ReviewsReview: Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale

Review: Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale

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Logical puzzle games are rewarding, taxing, and relaxing. With the pressure of solving a problem in limited moves, it may be stressful for some, but I love the challenge it creates. It’s also nice to step back from the madness of sports games and first-person shooters every once in a while and try something different. Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale intrigued me. And I was keen to see what it offered.

Developed by and published by GrimTalin, this restrictive puzzle title will have you scratching your head. Its fairy tale narrative treats you to a bizarre story while testing your logical thoughts. You must roll a ball around labyrinthine levels, aiming to gather all the collectables while solving the puzzles as accurately as possible.

Feathers and lasers.

Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale is relaxing and frustrating in equal measure.

The beautiful imagery, serene music, and wonderful narrative set the tone for a relaxing experience. There is no pressure, and this allows you to try each problem as many times as you wish. Each of the five chapters comprises many stages, and each of these has two playthroughs. Yet, for all its calming charms, you’ll find it frustrating as hell.

You study the maze, work out your moves, and set off confident that you know the solution. But somehow you’ve made a mistake and you cannot solve it. Restart the level, try a different way, and the same result….. ARGHHHHH! So much for a relaxing time. Yet, this is part and parcel of a logic-based puzzle game, it’s infuriating gameplay has deep lows and euphoric highs.

Do you dare enter the portals?

Plenty of new mechanics, collectables and timed hints.

What’s particularly great about Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale is the drip-feeding of new mechanics. No longer do you roll to an object and allow it to stop you. No, you hit arrows and they change your path. These then alter to move each time you strike them, causing you to have to rethink your approach. Alongside this you will activate statues, power crystals, rotate bridges and more. Your mind must consider the new obstacles, making the game increasingly difficult.

Collectables are the focus of each problem. The first attempt has you collecting feathers and the second gold. The better you do, the higher the grade and the more blue crystals awarded. You will receive three, two, or one depending on how well you do. The second run-through may seem pointless, but the gems are required to unlock further chapters, so each is intrinsically linked. I found the second attempt much more challenging, and perfection in this mode felt like a real achievement and was super rewarding.

Achieving the maximum score is hard, and trying to find the solution can feel like hitting your head against a brick wall. Worry not though as GrimTalin has got your back. If you are struggling to work it out, a timer ticks away, allowing for three levels of hints. Bronze, silver, and gold. The higher the level, the longer it takes. It was a nice touch and took away the stress from any stage you were struggling with. 

A surreal fairy tale world.

From the chapter select to the dreamlike setting for each maze, Long Ago, A Puzzle Tale captures the fairy tale aesthetic perfectly. A mixture of earthy tones and bright colours didn’t overwhelm you, and the bird’s-eye perspective made planning an easy feat. It has a basic style, and I enjoyed its simple look and smooth animation.

Nothing felt rushed and there was always plenty of time on your hands. Luckily, this void was filled with some fantastic, calming music. There was a nice variety of airy songs that added to the dream-like world. It was a well thought out element of the game and complimented the visual style and theme.

It’s chapter select time.

Every angle was covered.

When you have many moves to make to get to the solution, you don’t want the controls to let you down. Luckily, this never happened. With few buttons to concentrate on and an arrow that highlighted the direction the ball would move, mistakes were kept to a minimum. However, errors occur, and in a puzzle game, this can be catastrophic. Luckily, the developers placed a handy rewind button in to remove this issue. It was a brilliant decision and allowed you to experiment as much as you wish.

With plenty of stages to complete, two different modes, a grading system, and collectables, there is plenty to keep you going. This is one puzzle game that has lots of replay value, and you will come back to play this repeatedly. The achievement list is unlocked through natural progression but requires perfection to gain the 1000 Gamerscore. It’s a difficult task, and you will have to be logically minded to be successful.

Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale will test you throughout.

It’s tough, infuriating, and will make you scowl in confusion, but my goodness is it rewarding. Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale ticks all the boxes for a logic-based puzzle game, and adds a great theme for good measure. I adored my time in this fairy tale world and enjoyed how the story unfolded. It’s not the most advanced concept, but I recommend you buy it here! Only the most logical of people will complete this without hints! Sit down, clear your mind, and complete each puzzle one roll at a time.

SUMMARY

Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale is a logic-based game set in a fairy tale world. Move the ball, collect the items, and solve each problem. It's challenging, addictive, and will demand you come back for more.

+ Well-designed levels.
+ Calming music.
+ A well-told fairy tale story.
+ Simple controls.
+ A balanced hint system.
+ Lots to do.
- It may be too challegning for some.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC and Nintendo Switch.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

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Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale is a logic-based game set in a fairy tale world. Move the ball, collect the items, and solve each problem. It's challenging, addictive, and will demand you come back for more.<br/> <br/> + Well-designed levels.<br/> + Calming music.<br/> + A well-told fairy tale story.<br/> + Simple controls.<br/> + A balanced hint system.<br/> + Lots to do.<br/> - It may be too challegning for some.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC and Nintendo Switch.)<br/>Review: Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale