When The Past Was Around Gamescom 2020 Impressions
If you broke up after years of being in a relationship with your significant other and especially if you didn’t ask for it, then I think you will understand a lot of what is happening in When The Past Was Around.
This is a simple narrative hidden object game as far as the gameplay goes and you might feel that it doesn’t say a concise story, since you replay various disjointed memories of the main character, Eda. I believe though that this is its strength, I believe you can interpret it on your own way, depending on your experiences.
I only played the Prologue, available for free on Steam and personally I thought that I was reliving the first days/weeks after a breakup that I didn’t have a say in. Like Eda, I would stay at home, usually in one room, with a clutter of things around me, not having the will to put them into place. Any time I had to move things around, a weird dread will come over me, I was scared that I would find something that would remind me of Her and then I’d break down again. When I did find something important, say a happy photo or a loving gift, it would destroy me and the question I was asking was “Why did it have to end”.
I see the same parallel between Eda and The Owl (her boyfriend). I feel he has that name because he was more than just a boyfriend, he was like a wise teacher in her life, helping her navigate and enjoy her early adulthood. Losing such a character from your life is devastating because you lose a part of yourself and it drains your energy. I know that being in a relationship makes me at least ten times a better person, in every respect, I feel that I can conquer every hardship, easily. After that ends, it takes a lot of time to recover and reach a stable position, both in life and in mindset.
I don’t know though, that’s just me and I am Pisces, my imagination is off the charts. Play the Prologue and let me know if you feel something similar.
Gameplay wise, this is a narrative hidden object game where you search boxes, drum kits and various home appliances to find items and use them at the correct place. The Prologue is not hard but it does have a few smart puzzles that will make you sit and think for a bit about where each item needs to go and what actions to take. That’s really good in my opinion.
Finally, the Prologue ends with the best advice every heart broken person should take : open the door and get out. Get some needed air, see the light and the people, enjoy the nature, enjoy the sounds of the city. Then visit friends and/or family, talk about it, don’t be afraid to cry. It is the best way to take your mind off your breakup and start recovering.
Again though, that’s just me.