Available now on: Steam, Switch & Xbox One (Switch version tested)

I find puzzle games a little bit hit and miss, perhaps because – being autistic – I find it frustrating difficult to work out solutions to a problem, even when they may very well be staring me in the face. I feel it’s important to divulge this information up front, because while Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale didn’t quite click for me, I don’t think it’s the game’s fault.

It’s certainly a very well produced game, with charming writing (much of it rhymed), a lovely soundtrack and beautifully illustrated visuals. Presented with stages on which collectables appear, the task is to gather them all in a limited number of moves, nudging your ball in a chosen direction, upon which point it’ll continue to move until it hits an obstacle. When first playing a stage, you’ll be collecting feathers – which progress the story – and if attempting it again, it’ll be gold coins to pick up, with coins being used to unlock customisation options for your ball. A number of different types of obstacle or object are added in as you proceed, gently – and only slightly – layering the complexity as you go.

It’s a sedate experience in terms of its pace, with no time limit and no reason to rush. From that point of view, it’s a nicely chilled out game. However, to counter that is the fact that getting the highest rating on each level depends on finding the correct solution that’ll ensure everything is collected within a specific number of moves – and I found this to be somewhat frustrating a lot of the time. It doesn’t help that the somewhat punishing rating system seems to ramp up far too quickly, taking away some of the serene atmosphere of the game. Though a generous and helpful hint system is included – as well as a very useful rewind feature – it does rankle a bit that solutions don’t always feel obvious and it can seem as if you’re often just trying to find the one ‘true’ solution to a stage through trial and error.

However, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I’m not afraid to admit that this could just be an issue I had with the game due to how my brain is wired. There’s an awful lot of content included, with plenty of levels – 80 of them, plus 30 variations – to get through, skins to purchase for your ball and optional challenges to test your skill on – so it’s a nice little package for the price if this type of game appeals to you.

Though Long Ago: A Puzzle Tale didn’t work for me, if you’re a fan of cleverly designed, logical puzzle games that you can take at your own pace, it’s well worth checking out.

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