The Long Journey Home

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Long Journey Home Game Poster Image
Space tale filled with challenge, choice, and consequence.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

While sci-fi setting is purely fictional, there are real opportunities to learn about skills like diplomacy, trade, commerce, resource management, physics, more. Fosters a sense of adventure, exploration, can encourage kids to learn more about space, what lies beyond boundaries of our planet.

Positive Messages

Features positive themes of overcoming adversity, working as a team, exploration, interacting with others. Encourages players to follow their own path, make difficult decisions, deal with results of those decisions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players choose a crew of four from roster of ten available characters, each with their own unique personalities, skills, stories. Most characters are positive, good natured, talented in their chosen field. Aliens that players encounter also run gamut. Some are positive, willing to lend a hand, while others could be pirates, slave traders.

Ease of Play

A long journey to learn. Lots of things to keep track of, manage. Along with maintaining ship, lander, crew, resources, players also have to manage things like diplomacy with other races, dealing with threats regularly basis. As if this isn't enough, simply controlling ships takes a lot of effort, factoring in physics such as gravitational pulls, fuel consumption, drift, thrust.

Violence

Some ship-to-ship combat, dealing with certain races that are violent during ship, planetary encounters. Sometimes this requires a violent response from player. Still, there's no blood, gore, depending on your choices, very little overall violence.

Sex
Language

Some mild profanity used in dialogue of crew, aliens.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some minor references to drinking, drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Long Journey Home is a procedural sci-fi adventure/role-playing game (RPG), meaning no two games are the same. Players take charge of a four-person crew lost in space trying to make their way home. Throughout the adventure, players will make use of resource management, communication skills, reading and problem solving, and even physics to successfully make their way back to Earth. It's not an easy game to learn, but it's somewhat forgiving when mistakes are made and patience does pay off in time. The game's dialogue does make occasional use of profanity, as well as references to drug and alcohol use. There's some mild violence, depending on the choices you make and the aliens you encounter, but there's no blood or gore shown, and some of these encounters can be avoided.

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What's it about?

THE LONG JOURNEY HOME is a story about a space mission gone horribly wrong and the steps the crew must take to find a way back. When your ship's jump drive malfunctions during what should've been just another supply mission, you and your crew find yourselves stranded light years from Earth. To get back home, you'll need to forge a path ahead, explore new worlds and discover the secrets they hold, strike up alliances with alien races, use your crew's skills, and make some tough moral decisions. With each new game, you'll face new galaxies and new challenges, but through it all, one thing stays the same … the desire to get back home.

Is it any good?

This space RPG will challenge your management and diplomacy skills as you try to safely return to Earth. If you were stranded, far away from everything you held near and dear, surrounded by the unknown, what would you be willing to do to find your way home? That's the constant question players must answer in The Long Journey Home. While you may be lost in vastness of the cosmos, you're never alone. Stumbling into various alien encounters pushes players to make some hard choices. Should you give up one of your crewmembers to satisfy a slave trader's demands? Or do you fight it out and try to escape, potentially crippling your ship and leaving you with no way home? This is just one example of the tough moral choices you have to make in the game, the consequences of which can ripple through the rest of your adventure. Thanks to the procedurally generated content, each fresh start opens up new scenarios and new choices, with no two games ever playing the same.

Of course, there's a lot more to space exploration than alien diplomacy. You're in charge of a manned spaceship, after all. One that needs fuel, maintenance, upgrades, with a crew that needs its health and well-being if you ever plan to see home again. This means taking planetary excursions for supplies and discoveries. It might seem simple enough on paper, but there's a lot more to flight than just pointing the ship in a direction and hitting the gas. You'll need to factor in things like how to use a planet's gravitational pull to slingshot to a new destination while conserving fuel. Or you may need to adjust course and speed on the fly, with even slight changes making the difference between entering into a safe orbit or slamming full speed into a nearby star. The controls definitely take some getting used to and can feel a bit overly sensitive (especially if using a keyboard/mouse combination). Thankfully, the game is a bit forgiving when it comes to mistakes. Sure, crashing into a planet might leave the crew with a few broken bones and your ship a bit worse for wear, but it's rare not to be able to recover from a single bad choice.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about problem solving. What are some of the skills you can use to overcome obstacles? Are there any tips for keeping a cool head during a crisis situation?

  • Discuss science and space. What are some of the ways that we use science in our everyday lives, and how are we applying what we've learned to the future of space exploration?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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