Mojiken has a talent for beautiful adventure games that draw upon heavy emotions. Mojiken, an indie game development studio is based in Surabaya, Indonesia. their flair is for short visual novels with a unique style. In When The Past Was Around you play as a young woman named Eda, she has suffered a great loss in her life, Her beloved has passed away!
You navigate her precious memories through their shared love of music in attempts to find Eda closure.
A Quite Game With a Loud Message
When The Past Was Around uses an ever-growing melody, hummed and whistled as you progress. no doubt a favourite tune they shared.
This guides Eda toward the next portion of memory as you try to salvage the joy from the grief.
It’s a tough topic to approach but Mojiken does a tasteful job. As much as past memories can sting as we endure loss, ultimately we can salvage our joy within them too!
As I played through this slow and somewhat simple puzzle game, that sweet melody did start to become slightly irritating. Think of your dad whistling a tune as your trying to watch a movie. I do enjoy point and click adventures and have played many, this one hit a little different. why you might ask?
Substance and Puzzles
The game has a strong basis for an emotionally charged plot and a strong foundation for character connection. Unfortunately, it does not capitalise on these strengths.
We don’t find out much about Eda and her Partner, even Eda’s name is slightly cryptic, hidden in plain sight within a puzzle. Each nice memory is shattered with a ‘Pang’ of grief as you seek closure, killing the music and erasing the joyful Owl figure representing her deceased lover. I was left wanting a challenge when it came to the puzzles. They were so straightforward and lacklustre. Nothing new or innovative struck me with excitement.
It does suit those who are more casual to puzzle games and wish to enjoy a short picturesque story.
A depressing conclusion
I enjoyed my almost two-hour playthrough. It is very short but exciting at times. It is hard to overlook the overly recycled melody as you progress. As you find enjoyment in the game, suddenly your force-feed this same playschool tune. It’s nothing too special unfortunately but it is a nice relaxing game to pass some time on your commute.
If these issues have reflected what someone has been through I’m sure it will hit home and have a greater impression.
A simple yet metaphorical journey which helps bring back joy to the nostalgia of those we have lost.