A Long Way Home is an arcade physics puzzle game from Jonathan Mulcahy. Stranded 100 light years from Earth, you play an astronaut whose only companion is a wrist-mounted computer who offers bits of advice. Using a sharp eye and impeccable timing, trot around asteroids and planets and jump from their surface across the screen, the goal being to collect dark matter so you can open successive worm holes that get you closer to home. Along the way, you'll encounter exploding asteroids, comets, teleporting dark matter, and more. Not exactly a leisurely walk in space.
Although the description sounds like an action movie, A Long Way Home is more of a calm, thoughtful puzzle experience than a fast-riding explosion fest. That's not to say there's no excitement, but your navigating will be based on careful observation and obtained skill, not button tapping or mobile device shaking. Using a variety of control mechanisms (we prefer on-screen buttons), simply move around each spinning asteroid and jump when you line up with a piece of dark matter. Make sure you land on solid ground, though, as one false move and you'll be adrift for the rest of your life!
Later levels introduce new objects to contend with, but the basic premise remains the same. You'll dare countless long jumps, narrow misses, and lucky breaks, all while mastering the art of asteroid jumping. A Long Way Home is a very beautiful game, sticking to minimalist roots and providing a simple but incredibly enjoyable gameplay experience. It manages to evoke actual emotion, which can't be said for most action/physics games, though it's never sappy or emotional itself. In short, this is a fantastic casual mobile game that is slow enough and challenging enough to be entertaining while tugging at a few heart strings along the way. Grab it, kick back, soak in the soundtrack, and have a good time!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on a NOOK Tablet. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.