Royal Reviews: Game Review ‘The Long Dark’


Have you ever seen films like “The Day After Tomorrow” or “The Grey” and thought “boy I wish they’d make a video game out of that?”


Well, someone made a game about it anyway.

In Hinterland Studio Inc.’s “The Long Dark,” an environmental disaster has left the world very freaking cold, and players must struggle to survive after getting lost in the wilderness.

Review by Josh Hafemeister Managing Editor
Review by Josh Hafemeister
Managing Editor

The game is in alpha, meaning while it can be purchased, it isn’t finished. For players like me, this means we can give feedback to the developers as they make the game. What we say could improve or change the game.

There are no zombies in “The Long Dark,” no explosions, no giant robots and no plots with so many twists it’d make M. Night Shyamalan’s head spin. The only objective is to stay alive as long as possible.

This means finding food, water and warmth. The gameplay focuses around obtaining these things.

For example, to get water, you must melt snow. To melt the snow, you need a fire. To get a fire, you need fuel, wood and matches. Players have to find all those supplies to get water before they dehydrate and die.

As the game takes place in the frigid wilderness, finding these items can be a challenge, but survival is the goal.

The game doesn’t hold players’ hands either. Noggin power is required and whatever luck a player may have if they are to survive. “The Long Dark” gives zero hints, guides or walkthroughs.

Did I mention there are man-eating wolves in the game? Yeah, there are man-eating wolves in the game.

Death is permanent in this game. There is no save mechanic whatsoever. Players cannot reload a previous save point if they die. Once the character is dead, players must start back at square one. Any supplies gathered are lost and anything players achieved is gone.

Graphically, “The Long Dark” has a dated look. Not bad, but not as sharp as something players would see on a PlayStation®4 or an Xbox One. While this may be a turnoff to some, for someone like me who has a two-year-old laptop, this game runs perfectly.

The sounds in “The Long Dark” are great. Walking on ice really sounds like your walking on ice. Running up a hill makes your character breath harder. Burning wood crackles and hisses.

Interested players can purchase the game for $19.99 on Steam. People can download the Steam database to their computer at

Only a portion of the game is currently available, but Hinterland Studio Inc. is working to add more content, including a full-fledged story mode and several more maps players can explore on their own in sandbox mode.

I got my face ripped off by wolves, so I’m giving this game a 4 out of 5 rating. There isn’t a whole lot there yet, but what is there is very polished and runs smoothly, and the developers are hard at work on more content for the future.

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