Long Road Home tells the story of your life after being released from prison. It’s about your anger issues, and how you choose to live with them. There are many choices in this game, and most of them have meaning, and the game flows along with what you decide. Some games try to make the choices a little hard to predict, but this game helps you to tell the story you want to tell for your character.
The most interesting mechanic in this game is the colour coded choices. Now, while it’s not something that hasn’t been done before (Mass Effect being the first to introduce it), it’s a good implementation, and it helps you decide how you want to play the MC. Red, of course, leads to more reasons to rage out, while blue is the option to choose to control your rage.
The significance of your choices is really well handled here. If you choose all blue choices, the game is a short one, with a good, happy ending where you live happily ever after and never leave the first location. It’s a complete and satisfying story and is fun to play. I have a suspicion that at the end of the game, playing the long way around, you’ll get to the same (sort-of) ending. If it does end up that way, it’ll be fantastic!
If you choose some of the red choices, the game lasts a lot longer, and you’re introduced to more women and more situations. This adds an element of replayability to the game, and lets you tell slightly different stories each time. There’s a lot of content here, and the writing supports it well, regardless of your choices..
After the end of the first act, there’s the addition of pink choices which, as you might be able to guess, are ones that lead to sexy times. These choices seem to control how many sex scenes you see, but don’t seem to have too much impact on the story itself. That’s still left to the red and blue choices.
Some of the blue choices can seem to be the opposite of what you would expect from a “good” choice, like choosing whether or not to let Jessy have more shots, but trusting the story is the way to go if you want to play that way. It works out in a “blue” manner in the end.
The user interface of the game is pretty standard Ren’Py fare, which makes it steady, but the weakest part of the game. On the plus side of the production aspects, there are many options to control the sex scenes, and usually more than one point of view to choose from. However, while the dialogue choices are made clear, the choices during the sex scenes, often “Continue” or “Faster,” are a little unclear. Picking “Continue” just replays that segment, but “Faster” accelerates it tand then brings up the option to proceed. Some clarity here would be good. Also, the menu usually blocks the action, but that’s standard Ren’Py. A UI overhaul would make this game stand out more, especially around the control of the sex scenes.
The graphics and art are good, with some lovely looking characters and generally good posing. I only noticed a couple of glaring clipping issues, which means the developer is at least paying some attention to the details. It’s good and effective work.
This is the kind of solid baseline graphics quality that any game worth taking seriously should aim for at the beginning, but being baseline means is doesn’t stand out. Yes, there are games, some of them new, that have better art, but the art in this game is focused on telling the story as opposed to being recognised as art. It’s functional, simple, and that makes it effective. I can only think of one scene where the art really needed to be fixed (a titjob scene), and that’s something that would have been improved greatly with a little research and some extra work. It’s a minor issue, but one that bears mentioning.
Apart from a few typos here and there, the writing is above average, and the story, however you want to play it, remains of a consistently high quality. I was quite happy to just play the short version and put the game away, but my curiosity as to how the longer path would play out rewarded me with some cool new characters and a story that is growing well.
All in all, Long Road Home is an entertaining experience and despite the scores for art and production values, it’s a game worth trying out and playing.
Have you played Long Road Home? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!