The Great Perhaps is an Indie game developed by Caligari Games and published by Daedalic Entertainment. This title is a time travel and puzzle game about an astronaut returning to an Earth destroyed by natural cataclysms. There, among the ruins of mankind, he finds an unusual artifact — an old lantern, in the light of which you can see glimpses of another time and travel to the past. The game itself is relatively short, with a playtime of 2-3 hours.
The main attraction of this game for me was the jarring narrative. The game opens with the main character, Kosmos, observing the surface of Earth being devastated by immense explosions of some kind. He is ordered to enter Cryo-sleep aboard the space station he is on in Orbit and awakens 100 years later.
After waking up there are no signs of human life on Earth, no signals of any kind trying to reach him. the only form of communication he has is with L9, the stations AI. Realizing that everything he knows is gone, including his wife and child, he faces the crippling realization that he may be the only surviving human in existence. At this moment, Kosmos asks L9 to vent the stations oxygen supply into space.
The moments of sheer, monumental, emotion and stark imagery of the human condition really make this game.
The gameplay itself is very simple and straight forward. You can move left and right, jump, pick up, use, and throw items. Most progress requires you to solve fairly simple puzzles, and use of the lantern which allows you to shift between the past and the present. Although you can only stay in the past for a limited amount of time. This is a key mechanic that allows you to bypass obstacles in different areas of the game.
One of the challenges I did face was with picking up and utilizing items. You are only allowed to carry one item at a time, and if you accidentally drop items in the same location there is no option to choose which you pick up. Which was annoying for me as you often find yourself trying to bring multiple items to the same person or location.
The enemies that you do face in the game will all kill you as soon as you are touched, so avoidance is key. Movement and jumping felt a little stiff at times, but didn’t hamper the experience too much. The Great Perhaps is a fulfilling game that, if nothing else, will leave you thinking. The mechanics are implemented well, forcing you to use patience and timing to progress.
The art style is reminiscent of Valiant Hearts: The Great War, and sets the mood well with the jarring contrast as you move post and pre-apocalypse. I enjoyed the soundtrack, but the voice acting seemed forced at times.
I would recommend this game to anyone who would like a diversion for an afternoon. Replayability, while an option, doesn’t have any attraction here. Expect this game to be a one and done should you choose to pick it up.
My final rating is three out of five. The Great Perhaps is available now for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS .