When the Past was Around is a charming, hand drawn point and click adventure game about dealing with grief. For the sake of not spoiling too much about the game, I’ll leave it at that. The story itself is nothing special, as it is a tale told countless times in countless forms, but it is told well in this game.
As for the core game play, it is a straight forward point and click adventure game. Most of the puzzles are on the straight forward side but some of them are quite challenging and more reminiscent of puzzles found in escape rooms.
When the Past was Around also manages to use the point and click mechanics in a few moments of the game to show the emotional struggle of the protagonist. It’s not much but it’s always interesting to see how developers find creative ways to work around the constraints and limitations of the game engine.
Overall, the game looks lovely, the sound is simple and charming, and the puzzles are well made. The narrative elements are a bit on the abstract side and show the process of dealing with grief through recalling memories. It feels like a complete and well produced package. The game is a bit on the short side, taking me around two and a half hours to complete it and get all the achievements. While it may be short, I definitely think it is still worth checking out for the ride.