If you have ever wanted to play a space simulator that is frustratingly close to actual space travel, then The Long Journey Home is for you. An obvious labor of love lead by Creative Director Andreas Suika, Daedalic Studios presents a challenging RPG constantly throwing puzzles and mechanical failures at the player. As humanity prepares for its first hyperspace jump into space, the exploration is doomed from the start as the ship is damaged and flung to the other side of the galaxy. At PAX East, we got to play a demo with Jesse Bandeen, who gave us a step by step explanation of the game’s mechanics.

Choose Wisely

As soon as you start, you are allowed to choose from ten characters to form a four character crew, each with varying abilities.  The characters range from mechanics to researchers, and what combination you choose to play with will either make or break your ability to find and use resources along the way. It’s not just about selecting the right balance of individual skills, though. Jesse explained to us that “you should pay attention to everything the character’s say, and they [the four characters] will not always agree.” Dialogue is key in this game because, just as in life, if you don’t pay attention to what the scientists are telling you then you’re going to have a bad time.

How Do You Fly This Thing?

One of the most challenging aspects about The Long Journey Home was controlling the spacecraft. As soon as you enter the randomly generated galaxy, you have to immediately start looking for new planets to explore while monitoring your vessel’s fuel, oxygen supply, and power. You do this by controlling and monitoring the thrust of your ship to follow very narrow paths to make your attempt at connecting to a planet’s orbit.  Jesse watched us fail at this several times before explaining “you must use a limited amount of thrust and gliding to guide your ship to the right path.” Once you connect to the planet’s orbit, you can find out what resources, from fuel to medical supplies, are available to be salvaged.  However, getting to the planet is only half the battle; if you enter its orbit with too much thrust you run the risk of entering too quickly and crashing on the planet’s surface.

Take Me to Your Leader

If you crash onto a landing pad, chances are you are either going to destroy your only chances of acquiring the planet’s resources, destroy your ship, or a combination of both. The only hope of ever visiting that planet again lies with the blueprints of neighboring alien races. That’s right, I said it, ALIENS. You can trade resources to somewhat rude creatures that will trade you plans for new landing pads in return for resources. I wouldn’t rely on this method, though, as resources can already be quite scarce depending on how many planets you have visited beforehand.

Final Log

The Long Journey Home takes ‘you only live once’ to a whole new level. If you run out of supplies or damage your ship enough, your crew will die and the game will end.  Jesse explained to us “the long journey home lasts as long as you do, there are no save points.” With no checkpoints, any resources you’ve collected or planets you’ve visited can be lost n an instance. With everything to lose, players must tread extremely carefully, monitoring every movement and carefully mapping out each step. One wrong move could make the difference of getting home, and crashing into a system’s sun.  Jesse explained that this was done so that the journey would be as rewarding as any ‘in-game achievements.’

An extremely high stakes venture, The Long Journey Home is slated to release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One sometime in 2017.

About The Author

Christine M
Sr. Community Developer/ Staff Writer

About me: Christine "smollbirb" Marten is a recent college grad that has been playing video games since she was gifted with her first NES console in 1999. Known as LuxAterna on Steam, she started as a games journalist in 2012 and has been writing about games and the industry since. In college, she acted as the president/clubmother for the gaming club, and hosted her own gaming radio show called SoundWave Games. When she is not gaming she can be seen cosplaying at conventions, working with non-profits that fundraise through video games (like Extra Life and Child's Play), acting as community manager for The Senpai Project, playing League of Legends with friends, or serenading passerbyers with her violin skills on the streets of NYC. She will literally play anything that is thrown at her (but please don't throw to hard she is smoll). She enjoys indie games and horror games especially, and her favorite series of all times is Kingdom Hearts. Her third love, after video games and violin, is puns. Although it is a dangerous life she makes them whenever she hears the opportunity to do so. Christine hopes to bring her own spin on storytelling to the GAW community as she continues to seek out whatever the world has to offer!