The world has ended, and Kosmos the astronaut, along with his sharp AI companion L9, travel back to earth and discover a strange lantern which helps him move between the past and present, could this be the key to discovering what happened?
The Great Perhaps is a 2D side scrolling puzzle game with a little platforming thrown in as well. It’s a quick and fun experience, reminiscent of old browser flash games, albeit with a little more polish. It has an interesting premise for the story, which would be loved by fans of Sci-Fi, space, and time travel.
Being fun and reminiscent of a flash game, it falls short in some areas for that same reason, which makes the game’s mechanics and visuals seem clunky and inferior in those areas after playing other Switch titles.
The game would be best suited to being a quick and fun time waster, such as something you could play on a commute to work or school, or even something to pick away at while you’re bored and feel like playing something different. While it can be completed in a single sitting, it is best played in short bursts.
The story and writing are arguably the best aspect of The Great Perhaps.
Kosmos is an Astronaut, and the main protagonist of the game. He has been in a cryogenic sleep on his spaceship for 100 years following the destruction of Earth.
Kosmos’ only companion is his ship’s Artificial intelligence, named L9. The dynamic between the spaceman and AI is very similar to the Master Chief and Cortana relationship in the original Halo, and may have been influenced by that game. Halo fans may pick up on this one.
Following his awakening, Kosmos and L9 travel back to Earth, which is now barren, except for the occasional strange creature or monster. Kosmos’ mission is to find out what exactly happened to Earth, and if there are any survivors.
Upon Kosmos’ arrival to earth, he finds a lantern which lets him switch between the post-apocalyptic present day, and the past, when humans and society still existed on Earth.
This lantern is the main mechanic of most of the games puzzles, and provides an interesting insight into the history and lore of the games world.
While the story is brief and simple, each level tells its own little tale, from a psychiatric hospital to a zoo, the player interacts with the environment in both past and present learning small details about the people and the setting itself. The themes in the levels are very adult, and it’s not recommended that you get this game for a child. Adults and teens however will likely appreciate the themes it presents.
The controls in this game are limited. The left thumbstick moves Kosmos left and right, (R) to dash , (A) to interact, and (Y) to use the lantern. This is all the game really needs, and the limited control inputs aren’t a problem.
The game does however, move very slowly and clunkily at times, and people used to playing other Switch titles may not find it as responsive or quick as they are used to.
The gameplay itself involves completing very short and simple puzzles, which are only really made difficult and lengthy by the clunky controls and slow movement. If you are willing to put up with this, the game offers simple and enjoyable gameplay, but the controls may be a dealbreaker for some.
The visuals are simple, hand drawn flat 2D backgrounds with flat 2D characters on top. The designs don’t stand out but look nice and suit the style of the game. The art design and visuals of this game are what make it reminiscent of a flash game the most. Some may find this adds to the charm and style of the game, but for others this may not be as enjoyable to look at.
The game’s visuals are best suited to handheld mode, as they don’t offer any high definition 3D models, but look nice and crisp on the Switch’s native 720p screen.
Sound Design (6/10)
The game’s sound design is nice, from the music, to the ambient sounds and voices, they contributed well to the game’s atmosphere. The sound effects when being chased by creatures added to the spookiness of being chased by a spindly armed abomination.
Regarding the voice acting; while the voices themselves were good and suited their characters, they felt jarring at times. The voice actors did have good pronunciation, but often would emphasize words incorrectly in a sentence, making the voice acting sound lazy, when in reality, this is not due to laziness.
The developers, Caligari games, are a Russian based indie studio. The game offers an option between an English and Russian voice track, and much of the text in the game’s background is in Russian. This likely means that the story, voice actors, and lines were originally written in that language, the native language of the developers, making it the optimal language to play the game.
While the voice acting doesn’t take away much from the game for English speakers, Russian speaking players would have the added benefit of being able to play the game in its intended language.
Final Rating (6/10)
While the game is fun and has an interesting story, it is very simple and doesn’t stand out much.
It’s something that can be replayed whenever you are bored and have some time to kill, but there’s no real value in replaying it again other than to pick up on small details or re-live the experience.
If you’re looking for a short, cheap Eshop game to play, and love Sci-Fi, this is the game for you. It deserves a 6/10 overall.
Thank you to Drageus Games for the review code! You can purchase The Great Perhaps on the Nintendo Switch Eshop.