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Working backwards: ‘The Great Perhaps’ review

The Great Perhaps

Among the numerous games hitting Steam this late summer, Daedalic Entertainments’ The Great Perhaps is the first indie title by developer Caligari Games. The game officially launches Aug. 14 on Steam, but what makes it so different from all the rest?

The Great Perhaps
Don’t mess with this astronaut guy …

The game introduces players to Kosmos, an astronaut currently residing in a space station orbiting Earth, until some unknown calamity befalls the planet. Kosmos sets out to find his family on his devastated home world, finding a lantern capable of moving him backward into time for short stints.

This mechanic in particular makes The Great Perhaps feel very similar to another time travel puzzler, Chronology. The gameplay is relegated to 2-D side-scroll control, and players flit between the present and the past to find items that will unlock the puzzles barring their path forward.

The Great Perhaps
Sure the Earth is a wasteland, but you got this sweet mech out of it.

Where The Great Perhaps separates itself is its story. Kosmos’ journey to find out what exactly afflicted the Earth proves to be a well-breadcrumbed plot that motivates players long enough to get through its relatively short content. The controls work well and sometimes make for rather intense moments (as well as silly deaths), but the voice acting is very rough. The sound design gets high marks, as the transition between times via the lantern gives off an intense countdown feel that adds to the suspense of certain scenes.

The Great Perhaps final score: 3/5

Overall, The Great Perhaps really fills out that one-sitting type of game. It’s just the right blend of complexity, difficulty, and story that makes it an easy and mostly enjoyable play. It’s a solid debut effort from Caligari Games, and hopefully leads to more from them in the future.

The Great Perhaps launches on Aug. 14, 2019, via Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux. See their store page for more details.

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About the author

Christen Bejar

Christen Bejar is a freelance gaming writer who started the local blog The Pause Button while studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For Nerdvana, Bejar reviews video games and also previews, recaps and photographs many local events from a gamer's perspective.