When the Past was Around
- Genres : Indie, Adventure, Music, Puzzle
- Publishers : Chorus Worldwide Games
- Developers : Mojiken and Toge Productions
- Players : 1
- Consoles : Nintendo Switch
- Languages : Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, English
- Release date : Dec 15, 2020
Today I propose you a little test on an Indie game: When The Past was Around recently presented in an Indie World.
When the Past was Around is developed by Mijken and Toge Productions, edited by Toge Productions and Chorus Worldwide. It proposes us an adventure with a very softy and sincerity feeling that reveals the true feelings at the heart of a story without any speech that won’t leave the player indifferent. Indeed, no text or dialogue are present in the game letting the player interprete the game’s scenario.
The game was kindly given to me by Brown Betty so that I could test it and I thank them. But without further ado, let’s get to this beautiful, poetic adventure and somewhat dreamlike.
Quick oversee of the scenario
When the Past was Around is point and click adventure game about love and break up, renunciation as well as joys and hearaches that come with it.
We play the character of a young violin player named Eda who seems sad and having lost her passion for music. The game proposes us to help her find her confidence in herself back through her memories, happy or sad. Step by step and as you go along in the story you discover a little more about Eda and her mysterious friend, Owl.
A softy game that plunge us in the bittersweet memories Eda shared with another musician: Owl.
Each solved puzzle will plunge us a little more in the daily life of this couple stirring the curiosity of the player as the story unfolds. The intrigue of the game is well built and will take you In until the end of the game. You will need between 1h30 to 2 hours to finish this little story.
On a gameplay level
As said higher up, When the Past was Around is a point and click game. The gameplay is well thought out and adapted to the Nintendo Switch be it in portable mode or on the dock.
The game’s system is very intuitive as with every point and click and you go from scene to scene to solve the puzzles in function of the elements you find. Where, When the Past was Around stands out from the others, is by the simplification of its gameplay. The developers have removed a recurrent step present in all point and click’s: the access to the inventory of collected games. Here, it appears directly at the bottom of the screen without intermediary steps. Which allows to always have your inventory in front of your eyes and give the interactions a more dynamic feeling. It is very enjoyable on a rhythmic level and furthermore, it allows the player to focus fully on the scenario of the game: it gives place to the entire poetical side of the scenario.
You go through many scenes illustrated and showing different rooms and places in which Eda has memories. Each of them will be animated and represents a moment of her life in which we will have to solve to gather all of Eda’a memories. Once the scene done, a door appears and allows you to go to the following place.
If at the beginning the room have no links between each other, they become more and more linked as the game unrolls, allowing the player to transfer the items that you will gather from a place to another. The puzzles are quite intuitive, varied and accessible. They get more and more difficutl as you go into the game, but without becoming impossible to solve, the aim being clearly to let you appreciate the entirety of the game: scenario, illustration and music.
A game that puts its artistical universe forward
Thanks to this simple gameplay, the game lets itself fully appreciated as much on a décor (drawn by hand) point of view than on a story point of view that let’s itself guessed. Indeed, no dialogue, no written text comes disrupt the path of the player.
I really was snatched by the story all soft, only wishing to see our character Eda get out of the sadness that seems to prevent her from going forward. The characters as well as the decors are all drawn by hand and the pastel contours animated with taste reminds the player of the pages of a book one turns with the fusion of the images. Each tableau or scene of the game is put into life as we go so near to daily life scenes. They are drawn and animated with a lot of taste: bird that fly, butterfly, music notes…
The game tells the story of a violinist couple. It is filled by a music first discrete played by a violin, but builds itself as the story unfolds to form a beautiful melody. Even if the noises are realised via a violin. I really love it and this adventure is perfectly rhythmed by the music. I was really immersed in the soft general ambiance of the game.
When the Past was Around is a charming point and click. Filled with softness and sincerity that will know how to affect the players. It is a beautiful discovery, be it on a scenario level than on its technical and artistic realisation. The game proposes accessible and various puzzles that allow the player to spend a nice moment all the while attracting the player on its artistic realisation. Only the gaming time is a little low! One can count between 1h3à and 2h to finish the game, but the experience is worth it! The gameplay is well thought out, the soundtrack is really nice and the pastel coloured drawings magnificent.
I simply had a crush for this game! The game is at 9€ and it is clearly worth it. I spend a really nice time on this game and it really touched me. I recommend it to you even though I find it a little sad, it hides a positive side and a beautiful story which I loved.