In THE LONGING the player controls a Shade, who is told to keep watch of a sleeping King for 400 days until he awakens. The catch: These 400 days start to count down in real-time.

The player will be completely on his own, in a giant underground cavern. Do you simply want to wait? Do you want to build a home for yourself? Do you want to find a way out of the cave? Over time, parts of the cave change – moss and mushrooms grow, spiders craft their webs, water is dropping from the ceiling, stalactites break and fall. It’s a game about loneliness, escapism and the eternal search for purpose.


THE LONGING is a unique, slow-paced experience which makes excessive use of time as a game mechanic. The player only receives one task: to wait. But there are various ways how to play the game that the players will need to figure out themselves: You can speed up the time by collecting items in the cave and putting them in your underground living room. Or you can try to escape from the cave by taking the dark and dangerous path to the top. There are a number of obstacles the player has to overcome, each of them using the concept of time differently. You have to let a spider craft its web, which lasts days, or plant mushrooms in the right spots to let them grow bigger.

No matter how the player wants to play the game, THE LONGING guarantees a unique experience far from the hyperactive offers of today’s entertainment. Unlike any other art form, games can make extensive use of time to tell stories – an idea that hasn’t been explored enough yet. The game deals with the feelings of solitude and longing, which make their way into the players’ hearts in combination with the overlong duration of the experience.


THE LONGING was heavily inspired by the German Kyffhäuser legend, where a King under a mountain is waiting for the right time to awaken; The story is also described in a famous poem by Friedrich Rückert. Part of the graphics are a hint to the real Kyffhäuser caves and the 6.5-metre-tall Barbarossa sculpture.

In the game you can read real, complete books, mostly classics of world literature obtained from Project Gutenberg.

The music and the atmosphere of the game are inspired by dungeon synth music, an obscure subgenre of dark ambient and black metal.

Games that served as influence or comfort: Clicker Heroes, Arx Fatalis, Desert Bus, Tamagotchi, Dear Esther.

Other inspirations: David Firth, The Moomins, German Lore.