The Great Perhaps
Top Critic Average
Hopefully, Caligari Games can learn from this and make something better in the future but this is one gigantic miss and perhaps one of the worst games of the year.
The Great Perhaps does not offer anything that we haven’t seen before in its gameplay, but there is an understated beauty in its presentation that I found haunting (literally … you’ll see).
The Great Perhaps uses cute puzzles to explore the before and after of humanity's time on Earth, with a melancholy atmosphere that reaches for, but doesn't quite grasp, the profound.
The Great Perhaps shows how it is possible to implement a great idea in the worst way. Switching between present and past times has good potential for both telling an interesting story and making a challenging gameplay, but the weird story, dull puzzles, and broken game mechanisms destroy this potential
Review in Persian | Read full review
The Great Perhaps is a nice looking adventure game that takes players on an interesting journey with solid dimension-shifting gameplay. Just be wary of the poorly handled mood swings and occasionally annoying design elements.
The Great Perhaps throws up some interesting scenarios and as it released during the summer period, during peak “lockdown”, it did feel somewhat strange to think of the parallels between the world you’re playing through and the one we live in. Playing as an astronaut you come across a strange artefact; a lantern. The lantern enables you to see glimpses of the past but also lets you switch back to the present time, you’re tasked with finding out what has happened to the post apocalyptic world you’re living through in the hope you can save the planet. In terms of the story it’s fairly slim on the explanation front and it’s clear the developers wanted to focus more on the gameplay element. You have an internal guide who will help you out on your journey as you travel through the different areas and as you get used to the lantern and it’s function you’ll become more accustomed to solving the games puzzles.
Despite the short playtime, The Great Perhaps is an interesting and cryptic puzzle game with a unique mechanic, the magical lantern. The story is well told through the various interactions you have within both timelines, solving puzzles as you go by utilising objects from the alternative point in time. Although we learn a lot about the events which happened both to our protagonist and the world, the game left me with a lot of questions regarding the lantern, its powers, what happens at the end of the game, and what became of certain characters. This is a game which makes you think and fill-in-the-blanks, something I wasn’t expecting for a short puzzle title.
I’m slightly disappointed in The Great Perhaps. The game expands no further on Kosmos’ feelings that lead to his declaration at the start of the game of not wanting to live. I think it’s a missed opportunity. The non-responsive controls when switching off the lantern can quickly turn into a very frustrating experience, while watching Kosmos die through no fault of your own. The story, while interesting, comes to an abrupt halt at the end of the 3 hours or so it takes to complete the game. I guess that leaving the story on a cliffhanger at the end leaves the door open for a Great Perhaps 2. We shall have to wait and see on that one.
If only Caligari could travel back in time and tell themselves that perhaps a gimmick does not a game make. Until then, this game is far from great.
So much potential is wasted in The Great Perhaps. Puzzle design is solid throughout, but hampered with finicky controls. Art direction is outstanding, but the story that the game is trying to support flounders between ‘funny’ and serious, and is full of clichés. Offensive content notwithstanding, The Great Perhaps is a very run-of-the-mill time travel story delivered in a monotonous tone. Many adjectives could be used to describe this game, but ‘Great’ is certainly not among them.