The Past Within Reviews

The Past Within is ranked in the 40th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
Top Critic
Nov 2, 2022

An imaginative co-op experience that demands communication and teamwork, and conjures something memorable and unique as a result.

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Nov 2, 2022

Though Rusty Lake: The Past Within has many of the same themes of a horror video game, it's not an outright scary title. Its cartoony graphics make sure that nothing ever gets too disturbing, and some moments meant to be spooky actually look quite silly, but the game's soundtrack does a good job of setting a generally eerie tone throughout. The Past Within is quite short, with its two chapters clocking in at about two hours total, although there is some replayability to be had via the ability to choose between "Butterfly" or "Bee" mode, which changes the answers to the puzzles. Overall, at the price of only a few dollars, Rusty Lake: The Past Within will likely be a worthwhile enough experience for long-time fans of the series, but players not familiar with the story or those seeking a challenge should look elsewhere.

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8 / 10
Dec 2, 2022

The Past Within is an intricate and extremely well designed puzzler which will scratch the itch of escape room devotees and fans of Rusty Lake's kooky series alike. The co-op only limitation may put some off, but this is a treat for those who are looking for a different kind of gaming experience.

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Ian Howarth
Top Critic
7 / 10
Nov 11, 2022

Unfortunately for the development team's usual crowd of fans, there is no single-player mode here.

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8 / 10.0
Nov 2, 2022

A short, sharp cooperative puzzler with a fun time-spanning twist. The Past Within sees Rusty Lake go all out to make the purest kind of cooperative experience possible, and ends up doing a fine job.

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6.5 / 10.0
Jan 12, 2023

The Past Within offers a nice co-op idea of two players trying to solve a big mystery in a time loop. It has a great technical state, atmosphere, and original puzzles. However, it still falls down flat due to the pure fact that I saw a game like this before. Just in a little different but better and cheaper form.

Review in Slovak | Read full review

6 / 10.0
Jul 10, 2023

The Past Within is a fun co-op game that is really fun, and that is mainly due to the unique gameplay. Graphically it is not very high, but the difference between 2D and 3D of the Past and the Future just does its job. Especially fans of Rusty Lake's previous games will immediately recognize the style. Although not all puzzles are equally brilliant, it is still fun to solve them together. Do you have an hour or two of free time left and would you like to do your own escape room on the couch with a friend? Then get The Past Within for a few euros and start puzzling quickly!

Review in Dutch | Read full review

7.9 / 10.0
Jul 13, 2023

While it has an unconventional means of supporting co-op play (you need to play with a copy on 2 different devices), it delivers nicely

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Jul 8, 2023

The Past Within was a lovely surprise. I’m not the biggest fan of point-and-click games these days, but by adding a co-op spin and playing with two great fellow gamers, I found myself hooked on the experience. This is exactly what I love about indie developers. While they certainly lack the budget, it’s here where we see innovation in gaming. The Past Within is well worth purchasing, even if you must buy an extra copy for a friend to experience. While the experience is short, it will likely stay in your gaming memories for many years to come

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