There are a few games that come to mind when I think of environmental puzzle games. Games like Myst, Q.U.B.E., and PORTAL pop up, and now The Long Gate by indie developer David Shaw. The Long Gate is similar in that you must explore an unknown environment devoid of any other life and solve puzzles to uncover its mysteries. What makes The Long Gate unique though is the use of puzzles built upon real-world technologies, and it contains accurate depictions of quantum circuits and a 4-bit quantum computer, verified by scientists at D-Wave Systems. What makes this game difficult is that along the way, you’ll need to learn the basic principles of each puzzle type in order to solve them correctly.
Let’s start with the art style first before we get to the gameplay elements. The art itself is pretty good. Everything is very realistic looking with lots of technical-looking elements everywhere. Mainly, there’s lots of machinery in the game that looks very good and lifelike. There are sprinklings of greenery here and there but most of it is just for the scenery. Overall, a beautiful looking game, though parts of it can be a bit on the dark side.
Heading back to gameplay, the puzzles in The Long Gate are not easy. Because the puzzles are based on quantum circuits and a 4-bit quantum computer, they can be very intimidating and difficult to understand at first. I’m not ashamed to say that for the first 10-15 minutes of the game, I was completely lost and had no idea what to do. Luckily, if you don’t understand a puzzle, there are some hints to help you along the way. You also have the option of moving on to another puzzle and coming back to the one you didn’t understand, later.
Most of the game just requires a lot of interactions with different machines and circuits and being able to complete or alter them to turn them on. It’s actually very, very interesting once you start figuring it out, though there are still a few puzzles that boggle my mind.
So is The Long Gate worth a purchase? Well, that depends on your really. This game definitely isn’t going to be for everyone because the puzzles in this game can be very frustrating if you can’t get the basic concepts of quantum circuits and quantum computing down. It’ll take time to understand them if you’re a noob like I was but once you start figuring it out, the game starts to click. It’s actually pretty satisfying figuring out the concepts on your own. I think that if you love puzzle games, you’ll love The Long Gate.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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