Until Then is an indie game with unexpectedly profound things to say and a breathtaking art style set among Philippine-inspired landscapes. Don’t mistake its simplistic controls for a lack of substance—from its addictively mundane minigames to its meaningful look at healing from trauma. This game has the potential to stand among the classics in the narrative adventure genre.
Until Then unravels a bittersweet story of mystery and tragedy, unpacking the trauma of loss through the eyes of the main character, high school student Mark Borja. In a world still recovering from catastrophe, Mark and his friends navigate the joys and woes of another year of high school—piano practice, homework deadlines, and school drama— as you reminisce about the daily insecurities of high school life.
That is, until a fateful meeting sets off a chain reaction, upending Mark’s life. People
disappear, and memories prove unreliable. You’ll work to uncover a hidden truth with Mark and his friends in this narrative adventure as you race to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
An emotional rollercoaster blending tearful moments with delightful fun
Throughout Until Then, you’ll meet a diverse and achingly familiar cast of characters to converse with in person, over text, and through email. Watch how their personal stories unfold alongside yours as you get to know them, build relationships, and possibly flunk group projects.
Weave through familiar, busy corridors in your school uniform, wake to the roosters’ crows, and calls for Tahooooo! (a popular local sweet snack) and, of course, don’t miss the train for your morning commute. Immerse yourself in the sights and songs of the daily lives of Filipino students, barreling their way through high school in a rich and intricate city inspired by Metro Manila and the developers’ alma maters.
The game confronts you with philosophical issues as you walk alongside Mark as he makes mistakes and struggles to heal his wounds and let go of the past. Decide how Mark grows and strives to improve throughout the story.
Moments of relief from tear-jerking topics come in the form of comical and engaging minigames that you won’t want to put down. Insert a flash drive—oh wait, wrong way—nope, it was right the first time. Help Mark practice for his piano recital. Enjoy minigames inspired by Filipino life as well: Fight your friend for more fishballs at the food stand outside. Get in the groove to pay for the jeepney, a unique local mode of transport. Until Then lets you lose yourself in little games you play in everyday life.
Uncomplicated side-scrolling mechanics
You are seamlessly guided through the world of Until Then as you walk your character through the environment and interact with items and people. The dialogue—chatting with friends or texting with your in-game smartphone—often drives the story forward with new information and context for the strange occurrences Mark starts to experience. You can also explore the depths of social media, where your likes and comments may pose consequences. Scrolling through social posts, emails, and webpages might reveal further hints and clues about the people and world around you, so keep your eyes peeled.
Investigating the mystery will take you to all sorts of places, from a warm evening playing games at the local fair to the ruins of a coastal town marred by catastrophe. Take your time to walk around, see the sights, and interact with the environment to discover more about this bright and vivid world.
Concept Art provided by Polychroma Games
A love letter from the developers
Polychroma Games is a team of talented developers based in the Philippines, entwining the interactivity of play and the power of stories. Until Then was born from our desire to create stories that only games can tell.
The game itself is a love letter to youth in the Philippines. From small details in the background to major motifs in the setting of the fictional cities of Liamson and Bonifacio, we wanted to show a world that would celebrate the rich and diverse culture that shaped our own lives.
Attribution: Google Maps
We also wanted emotions that would resonate—a story familiar to everyone, which would resound in anyone’s heart even after playing. We wanted to tell a story of growing up, navigating relationships as time changes us, and coming to terms with loss.
Creating this game and its story wasn’t easy. It involved quite a few leaps of faith, and trusting that people would see and feel the heart we put into it, that people would want to see a story about some random kids in a Philippines touched by tragedy. Prepare to be swept off your feet into immersive storytelling, stunning pixelated visuals, intricate plots, and unforgettable characters when you come face-to-face with the mysterious world of Until Then. Wishlist Until Then now on PS5.
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