When The Past Was Around Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: When the Past was Around is an adventure point-and-click puzzle game about love, moving on, letting go, and the joy and pain of everything in between.

    This is the story of Eda, a girl in her early 20s. Like anyone in her age, she’s lost. She lost her way in the journey to achieve her
    When the Past was Around is an adventure point-and-click puzzle game about love, moving on, letting go, and the joy and pain of everything in between.

    This is the story of Eda, a girl in her early 20s.
    Like anyone in her age, she’s lost.
    She lost her way in the journey to achieve her dreams.
    She lost her way in the journey to find love.

    That until she met The Owl.

    The man that would help her burn her passion,
    the man that would help her find the spark in a relationship,
    and also the man that would teach her about heartbreak.

    The game tells a bittersweet tale between a girl and her lover in a surreal world consisting of disjointed rooms from memories and time. With each gathered clue, solved puzzles, and unlocked door, the girl will find her way, unraveling the secrets between her and her lover, the secrets which she used to know.
    Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 25, 2020
    90
    Concise, carefully crafted and beautifully malleable in its meaning, When The Past Was Around is a rather gorgeous little art game that remembers it needs to be interesting in its puzzles as well as its narrative. Taking the principles of escape room-style gameplay and fitting them around its theme lends them a gravitas that belies their simplicity and elevates this game into more than just the indie flavour of the month. Sure, you're not likely to play it twice, but you'd be hard-pressed to forget about it. And, honestly, after this year? We needed it.
  2. Jan 29, 2021
    85
    When the Past was Around is an emotional roller coaster of a story told exclusively through gorgeous art and stirring violin music. The puzzles are clever and fun but a little immersion-breaking at times. The addition of touch screen support in handheld mode on Nintendo Switch adds to the experience as well.
  3. Aug 20, 2021
    83
    When The Past Was Around finds a way to include some interesting puzzles in the mix — but Florence found a way to be interactive without letting its little challenges get in the way of its story. It’s like that at every turn, in every respect. When The Past Was Around is good — but it’s no Florence.
  4. Dec 22, 2020
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  5. Jan 29, 2021
    80
    When the Past was Around isn’t a long title by any means, but what it does with its run time is definitely worth the look. The puzzles throughout are challenging, but not to the point of frustration (mostly). The beautiful visuals and music tell a wordless tale of love and loss with such deftness and care that the game’s emotional moments feel earned. If you’re looking for a great indie title to while away a sombre afternoon, look no further.
  6. 80
    Not to be too grandiose about the game – it won’t be for everyone, and it has very little replay value – but I do think there is room for When The Past Was Here alongside some of the story-based indie greats. It does what it does with utmost care and sensitivity, feeling like the sort of dream you have when you’ve just changed your sheets. We could all do with some more comfort after the year we’ve had, and When The Past Was Here – which comes out on console on December 16th – is the video game equivalent of a warm cup of tea by a rain-streaked window.
  7. Dec 28, 2020
    70
    When The Past Was Around feels heavily inspired by Florence. While it is easy to fall in love with its gorgeous artwork and music, its puzzles fail to support to the story’s narrative. There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment when solving the game’s harder puzzles, but they are often utilized as traditional videogame obstacles rather than meaningful tools that contribute to the story.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Aug 28, 2021
    10
    The visuals, artwork and music of this game is very impressive and beautiful. Combined with a well written and touching story makes this gameThe visuals, artwork and music of this game is very impressive and beautiful. Combined with a well written and touching story makes this game a magical experience. Expand
  2. Nov 22, 2021
    8
    I liked it. Simple, easy, slow. I loved the art and the music. You can relax while playing, it's very low-key. The story is moving and sad.
  3. Dec 22, 2020
    7
    When the past was around
    more like a point and click sadventure
    When the past was around is a point and click adventure that’s about to have
    When the past was around
    more like a point and click sadventure
    When the past was around is a point and click adventure that’s about to have you all up in your feels as you relive the memories of you and youre violin playin owl boyfriend..
    youll be going through these memories, collecting items and finding clue to unlock other items to progress, pretty simply concept, something you’ve seen a million times, but the story, art, and music here made this hour and a half worth going through for me…reliving the memories, and trying to find a way to let go.. gameplay wise I kinda got over the click on stuff til I find something probably halfway through and just wanted to get through the story.. but that just goes to show how good the story was for me.. I was willing to retrace steps in the chapter, finding all the clues I needed to set up the answer to the final clue to move on…
    When the past was around reminded me a lot of Florence, while it doesn’t do much to engage you as much as Florence does, and there isn’t anything crazy special here, I found that this was still a point and click adventure worth taking..
    I give when the past was around
    a 7/10
    Expand
  4. Oct 16, 2021
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When the Past was Around is developed by Toge Productions and Mojiken Studio and published by Chorus Worldwide Games (eShop link). The main protagonist in this game is Eda, a 20ish girl. The game will invite you to explore her mind and deep memories of love, joy and pain. Obviously, the story is being told in a subjective way, and it rather lets you come to your own interpretations. If you are good with puzzles, you can beat it in an hour or so.

    At its core, When the Past was Around is a point-and-click puzzle game. That said, it does not take the same approach as those classics made by Lucasfilm Games. In this game, you don’t explore a vast world and do a lot of backtracking to solve puzzles. The puzzle itself is usually presented through scenes and is quite linear. However, you still have to solve them by interacting with objects in order to find feathers that belong to a mysterious owl guy that you will meet throughout the game. Also note that some of the puzzles require you to find a key, which is well implemented but also appears to be overused especially in the early game, while the rest seem either fun or okay at times.

    What stands out the most is the art direction and violin music. Emotions are expressed through music, and I could feel it in my bones. Some music feels especially haunting as intended. However, I’m not a fan of the sound choice for the X button used for showing clickable objects. While I was investing into the game, it felt rather annoying all of a sudden whenever I pressed that button.

    In my conclusion, although the game let me experience a unique hand-drawn art alongside brilliant music, the puzzles did not manage to make it stand out from the crowd. That’s a step-down. For me, it’s a 6.5/10 game, overall.
    Expand
  5. Jan 2, 2021
    3
    Protip for anybody checking metacritics for anything - ignore the so called reviewers.
    Sorry but no. Its beautiful - I give it that - but its
    Protip for anybody checking metacritics for anything - ignore the so called reviewers.
    Sorry but no. Its beautiful - I give it that - but its barely a game. PowerPoint presentation I did in high-school had more gameplay than this. And the whole thing can be beat in 30 minutes. Most freeware games from itchio or newgrounds will grant you more entertainment... and for longer!
    Expand