As Indie games have risen in number and popularity over the last decade, one of the greatest benefits of the influx of Indie games is the creation of games in genres that have become less popular over time. The Great Perhaps just happens to be one of those genre outliers, yet Caligari Games and Daedelic Entertainment still manage to craft puzzles, mini-games, and an interesting narrative into this adventure puzzler. Is it enough for fans of the genre to spend some time on a post (and pre) apocalyptic Earth? Perhaps you can find the answer in the following The Great Perhaps Review.
The game starts with a depressed astronaut as he prepares himself to descend to Earth after an extinction level event. With only a spacesuit and his trusty AI companion, L9, he quickly finds a time altering lantern that allows him to not only see into the past, but to visit it temporarily. The main storyline follows along a path that twists in ways neither the Astronaut, nor the player see coming. The primary driving factor of the game is heavily story driven, as one would expect from a traditional adventure title. Throughout the entirety of the game, you will meet interesting side characters, and developing stories that are often bittersweet, as nothing much has really survived the apocalypse.
With the power to time-hop, your goal turns into saving your loved ones of long ago from impending doom. To do this, you encounter puzzles abound. You will have to pick up items, plan your pathways, and sometimes even backtrack to ensure that you can complete your goals successfully. The game play is extremely simplistic, with only the most basic movement utilized. You can expect some minor reflex-based challenges, such as swapping from present-day to the past, and vice versa at the right moment, or you may experience a very temporary death. There really isn’t much punishment from dying or failing something. The worst thing that can happen is that you restart from the last checkpoint, of which are quick abundant, and usually not far off from the most difficult and deadly parts.
Stylistically, the hand drawn art can be both a little amateur, but also endearing. As I progressed and met more characters, it grew on me to the point that I began to appreciate the different areas I traveled through. One of the coolest things about the game is how drastic the atmosphere can change between the past, which often is bright, clean, joyful, to the present, which is bleak and depressing. The music often matches the ambiance to the letter. There is much to love about the portrayal of this unique indie title.
Where we run into some issues is mainly in the execution of some of the puzzles. The lanterns temporary nature ends up as more of an annoyance than a feature. Also, the game is extremely short. A player that is modestly familiar with adventure puzzlers could probably get through this in a couple of hours. There isn’t much reason to play it afterward, as there are no collections or difficulty settings. That being said, The Great Perhaps tells an exceptional story alongside some mellow game play that could scratch that traditional adventure itch you may get from time to time.