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Our examiner, Goran Wallgren, first checked When The Past Was Around 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 10 weeks ago.
This whimsical and bittersweet game has themes of joy and pain, love and heartbreak, moving on and letting go, peaceful days and angsty moments. It's about losing your way on the journey to achieving your dreams, and the importance of overcoming your past.
You play by panning around different scenes to interact with doors, cupboards, boxes and so on. Along the way, you find clues and puzzle pieces that need to be solved to progress. As is the way with these games there are often some leaps of inspiration required to arrive at a solution. But throughout, the puzzles are logical and are woven into the narrative of the game.
The result is a short moving story about loss and love. You play an integral part in revisiting Eda's memories of meeting and falling in love with her Owl man. And by doing this you find you have also helped her come to terms with her loss and find a way forward.
The game deals with the growing illness and eventual death of a character. This isn't depicted gratuitously, but does use some visual and audible techniques to communicate the shocking loss of losing someone you love.
10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to have really good observation skills and be willing to get stuck and keep trying. The emotive side of the game needs some maturity to engage with, as does the sometimes unsettling moments of loss.
Release Date: 22/09/2020, updated in 2020
Price: 40% off
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Content Rating: PEGI 3
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Accessibility: 9 features
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
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