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The Past Within

Developer: Rusty Lake

Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Price: $5.99
  • Release Date: Jul 6, 2023
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: Feb 26, 2024 [$3.99]
  • Lowest Historic Price: $3.35
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
  • 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

    This is one of those titles where my initial thoughts ended up being completely wrong, and that was a good thing since this unconventional co-op game was a very pleasant surprise. The rub here is that in order to play you’ll need to have 2 copies of the game on 2 different systems (thankfully they won’t both need to be Switch, you can play it on multiple systems). Once you get past that hurdle though, it gets better pretty quickly. Surprisingly you won’t need to be connected to one another at all online or even locally, though you will need the ability to communicate with each other, preferably with voice just to make things quicker. Once you both agree on a few key questions that synch up which version of things you’re playing, with one of you taking the past and another taking the future, it’s time to begin solving puzzles. That’s absolutely where the game shines. It can be hard not to get stuck periodically as you both scour the few rooms you have access to in order to find commonalities, items, and clues that you’ll need to proceed but for the most part everything makes sense and tends to be satisfying as you work things out. The method of using some key details and elements to ensure both players are in synch without being connected is quite ingenious and, for the most part, you feel sufficiently dialed in with each other that you may as well just be connected. Another great surprise is that it isn’t over too quickly, my daughter and I were both very pleasantly surprised and intrigued by the experience and it has managed to get both of us (who are quite jaded at this point) to give it a thumbs up!

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.9]

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