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The Longest Journey (Windows)

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88
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  ETJB (447)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2010
Rating  :  4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars

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Summary

Blade Runner meets Final Fantasy

The Good

The Longest Journey (1999) was released during an era where many companies were either giving up on graphic adventure gaming entirely or attempting, with mixed results, to resemble the more action based play mechanics of Tomb Raider or Resident Evil. This is why everything about this game is not only amazing, but, for many older gamers, a retro ride down memory lane. The game features incredible animation, graphics, sound and music. The point n' click interface is easy to use and other user-friendly touches are added, like the ability to replay video sequences or toggle between text and or voice. The look and feel of the game shows influences of Blade Runner and Final Fantasy while adding its own creative perspective. Not many other graphic adventure games have been able to smoothly blend science fiction and fantasy as this game does. Nor do many games feature a strong female hero or positive depictions of gay and lesbian people. The game does feature some adult content, but it's used to help further the storyline and not simply to cover up the game's flaws or to push people's buttons.

The Bad

If I had a complaint about the adult content, it would probably be the suggestion that, as a child, April was abused by her drunken father. While it is handled well and helps define April, it is rebuked near the end of the game. Some of the attempts at comedy, seem a bit odd. For example, it does not really make sense that, in the distant future, rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur is hanging out in police station or that one of the most popular television shows is MacGyver 2200. The game also has a few, mostly fixable, bugs.

The Bottom Line

The Longest Journey is one of the last, great point n' click graphic adventure games. It combines some of the best science fiction and fantasy themes with its own original ideas. Its graphics, music, sound, voice talents, control and comedy are all praise worthy. The game deals with some interesting and thought provoking concepts related to art, philosophy, time, history, personal identity, cultural diversity, social class, sexism, sexual orientation, coming of age, child abuse, drug addiction, and human right. It's not a game for kids or adults who are uncomfortable dealing with these sorts of concepts in a game.