When The Past Was Around Review

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What can I say, I just cannot help but adore indie point and click games. Here, When The Past Was Around caught my interest with the emotional theme of love and having to let someone, who is dear to you, go. That’s never an easy decision, however, sometimes it’s mandatory, nonetheless. Anyway, not sure what to expect of this game, it ended up being such a lovely game, although the playing time was rather short. But hey, not every game has to contain a lot of hours, and When The Past Was Around doesn’t overstay its welcome and was a joy to go through. Besides that, I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for future games of this developer.

When The Past Was Around revolves around Eda, a girl is in her early twenties. She is lost and doesn’t know what to do with her life — until she meets “The Owl”. Yes, that’s right, this game is about a bittersweet love story between Eda and her lover, although the player doesn’t know a lot about him at the beginning of the game. However, When The Past Was Around takes place in a surreal world where nothing is as it seems. With each gathered clue and puzzle-solving, she opens another door that will reveal the secrets between her and her lover, step by step.

So, When The Past Was Around is indeed an emotional game. During playing, the game kept me invested in the story of Eda and I couldn’t wait until I finally got to know her story. When a section of the game is completed, a feather appears which will reveal more about her lover’s appearance as well, as he is only a huge shadow at the beginning. However, slowly the player gets to know more about him, and their story, which revolves around music quite a lot. Fortunately, the music theme just fits the game perfectly thanks to the cosy atmosphere.

The gameplay itself is quite simple. The player picks up an object and can use it to advance, such as using a key on a locked door. In that sense, When The Past Was Around works exactly like a point and click. Something useful is that there is a hint button in the screen’s corner that shows the player what they can interact with. Sometimes it was hard to spot every item I could use and, unfortunately, when one item is missing, the player is stuck until they manage to find it. At times, I found it quite annoying as I still didn’t know what to do even with the help of the hint function.

The graphics are beautiful in When The Past Was Around, and I couldn’t help but admire each section of the game. I found that each room, or place, gave off a different vibe so Eda finds herself in her cosy room, but sometimes also visits a funeral which is anything but cosy. I also loved that the game is very detailed and implements a bunch of small objects with the purpose of making the room feel more lively, which it perfectly fulfilled. However, it was sometimes hard to spot what item I could interact with and which one was just there for decoration purposes, but luckily, the hint button was very helpful in that regard.

When The Past Was Around is such a lovely game, despite its short playing time. Some stories don’t have to contain a lot of hours to be impactful to the player. I was so invested in the love story of Eda and wanted to find out what the deal was with the owl, as the concept itself is quite unique. While a lot of parts of the game seem rather cosy and lovely, there are emotional and depressing vibes available in this game too. That being said, When The Past Was Around is a game I can highly recommend to point and click lovers, and those who enjoy a surreal but touching love story.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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When The Past Was Around Review
  • Gameplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Graphics - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sound - 7/10
    7/10
  • Replay Value - 6/10
    6/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Overall
7/10

Summary

When The Past Was Around is such a lovely point and click game that is full of mysteries and thematizes a bittersweet love story.

Pros

  • Lovely graphics.
  • Cozy atmosphere.
  • Engaging puzzles.
  • An emotional and touching story.

Cons

  • Sometimes I got stuck not knowing what to do, despite the hint function.

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