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Beyond the Long Night Lets You Play As A Cowboy Ghost

Beyond the Long Night takes place in the afterlife, so we at the KKP got to venture past the light at the end of the tunnel to give a little preview for the demo of the game.

But first, a little background on the game. Beyond the Long Night is a twin-stick 2D shooter roguelike that sees you taking control of a ghost of a nameless cowboy. I mean, I’m assuming he’s a cowboy from the hat, as the western influences stop there. The game is set in the afterlife, in particular, the Dark Mountain, which we see as a pretty cozy array of forest themed rooms in the game’s cute and charming pixelated art style, at least at the beginning of your run.

Unfinished Business

The game starts off with a white screen with bold texts telling you you’ve got unfinished business, which makes your character wake up from his hammock. The game plays pretty similarly to The Binding of Isaac, but since you’re a ghost you float around a 2D plane instead of it being top-down. You’re also able to dodge, which will be a crucial tool.

Moving upwards into the next room introduces you to a banjo-playing Pickles, sitting by the campfire. Interacting with him brings up a text box as he provides the obligatory exposition dump, in which you have a list of questions you can ask him. In a nutshell, he explains that the area that we souls reside in is called the Dark Mountain, and right at the top is a place called the Overworld which is talked up to be a pretty cool place that explorers like ourselves strive to get to.

He will then give you an active ability, called Superpowers, and you’re off on your journey. Pro tip: Remember to always talk to Pickles in every new run and he’ll give you a random superpower each time. Other NPCs like him are scattered across the map who act as shops or even provide questlines.

Good ol’ Pickles.


The core gameplay loop sees players enter new rooms to expand their map, to clear out hordes of enemies to unlock the doors to the next room. It’s a pretty familiar premise in terms of roguelikes, but the enemies you’ll face will be a variety of bugs such as bees and beetles, along with several plantlike baddies. Clearing the room causes all the currency drops, in the form of gems, to be sucked up by your character across the area, which is a pretty nifty convenience.

From there, you can choose to move to the next room based on what doors are available to you. However, your main goal is to reach the top into the Overworld.


Like many roguelikes, each run is procedurally generated and randomized. Enemies have a chance to drop pickups that can either be bullet effects, passives, more superpowers to swap out or even a buddy companion. These can also be found in chests.

Bullet effects are your standard upgrade, changing how you deal damage. From my time with the demo, I found the typical damage increases, but standouts such as sticky shot slows down enemies as you shoot them which came in clutch many times. Passives can affect your movement speed, provide a temporary shield after being damaged or turn your dodge into a parry, which oddly deflects projectiles to the back of you. Your buddy comes in the form of an adorable white smiley face with a propellor, that follows you around shooting along with you.

One of my best runs that got me to the end involved a fully dedicated buddy build, which had my little friend fire rapidly, push enemies back if they got close and slow down enemies. Honestly, the lil’ dude carried me and I barely had to do anything besides dodge, so expect creative builds like this to be a core feature in the full game.

Someone call an exterminator?

A Storm’s A-Brewin’

A bit later into your run you’ll get a text prompt saying that the walls are shaking and something is awakening beneath you. This is the Storm, an event in the game that’s designed to push you to move forward and add some tension. You’ll notice that some rooms you’ve been in are lit up red on the map, with their entrances glowing ominously red.

Lowkey wished the whole game looked like this.

Entering these rooms reveal the cute forestry scenery to turn into a literal hellscape. Staying in these rooms will drain your health and can kill you, so either make a quick exit or avoid these rooms altogether. The Storm turns out to be a natural cycle in the afterlife that spreads across every room, killing everything to begin the reincarnation process, which characters like Pickles are funnily really nonchalant about it.

That’s our quick look into what the demo offers. It’s a pretty simple play, but it’s not a bad one. Beyond the Long Night will be available on Steam later this year but you can try out the demo for yourself right now.

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