The Longing

LQ: 8.85


Brain grade: 8.5
Fun score: 9.2

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 10+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

Steam Nintendo Switch


The Longing is an idle game that deals exclusively with killing time. You play as a Shade who lives underground with an ancient king. The king decides that to conserve the last of his power, he needs to go to sleep for 400 days. He asks you to remain in the caverns and wake him when the 400 days are over. He also commands you not to go into the outside world. While he is sleeping, the Shade needs to find things to keep himself occupied. The Shade can play an instrument, draw pictures, decorate your room, mine and explore the cave, read books, or even just sit and stare. The interesting thing about this game is that it takes place over the course of 400 actual days. So the player also needs to “wait” 400 days to discover what happens when the king reawakens. Certain actions can make time go faster for the player, but you can also just leave the Shade to explore on his own and check back in on him from time to time. 

The Longing is available for Steam and Nintendo Switch.

The Longing helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Time Management: Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.

Some of the activities in The Longing require the player to wait a certain amount of time to complete a task. For example, the Shade finds a bridge that is damaged but can be hopped over if a stalactite falls from the ceiling of the cave. He thinks that it will take a week to fall. The player has to then leave the Shade and remember that in one week’s time in the real world, they need to check back in on the game and then proceed over the bridge. Players who struggle with time management may find themselves forgetting to check back in with the Shade or checking in too soon. They may even miss those quests entirely. This game is a good way to practice those time management skills because of its slow pacing and low-stakes; if you make a mistake with timing, you have over 400 days to try again! 

Self-Control: Delaying impulsive actions.

The Longing is a great game for practicing impulse control. Because you have 400 real-world days to wait until you can see the ending of the game, the player needs to exercise patience and find other ways to keep the Shade occupied so that he does not get too lonely. The player is given many ways to do this, even reading books alongside the Shade right in the game. For players who struggle with impulse control, they may be frustrated with the slow pace of the game and the amount of time that it takes to complete a task or even finish the game. But just like in real life, sometimes we need to occupy our time while waiting for something else to happen, and the Longing is a great way to practice this skill. 


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