I Hate Running Backwards is a fast-paced, adrenaline packed, never-ending shoot’em up developed by Binx Interactive, produced by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. It was released in May 2018, and the aim of the game is in the title – you have to run backwards. However, you have tox do this while trying to kill numerous waves of enemies, each wave becoming more difficult, including boss battles.
When I first played this game, I will admit I got quite annoyed with how easy it was to die, and I died a LOT at first. However, the more I played the easier it got, as I unlocked new characters with new weapons, even though the enemies did get harder to defeat. There were only 3 characters to play at first, but there was an opportunity to unlock 9 more, each with a very different look. Each character has 2 primary weapons to choose from, and the chance to charge up their own unique ultimate ability to use on the enemies, and some characters had passive abilities that you could use after a short cooldown. The player also has the ability to smash crates to pick up special weapons that make it easier to defeat enemies, and some of these weapons also have perks such as healing the player.
The graphics in the game are quite impressive and I didn’t encounter any problems at all throughout the time I played. There are 5 different environments for the player to progress through – Sand, Jungle, Medieval, Mines and Greek. At the end of each environment, you must defeat one of the 6 bosses in the game. I found the bosses easy to defeat in the first few environments, but they become more difficult as I progressed through the game. The last boss, Ugh Zan, has two different forms and he counts as 2 bosses instead of the usual one. After defeating the final boss, you are placed back in the first environment, but this time it is more difficult. This happens over and over until you die, the more you progress, the more difficult it becomes.
Of course, the game wouldn’t be that difficult if all you had to do was run away and shoot enemies, so the developers kindly added some obstacles which make it even MORE frustrating for us players – such as a giant BULL that runs across the screen killing and destroying everything in its path. There are also chances to collect random powerups, but you have to do this while running backwards, killing enemies, attempting to save ammunition, and dodging bombs thrown by enemies. The power ups are very useful, and come in the form of unlimited ammo, or even a shield, amongst many more. I found that every single one of the power ups was useful and none of them seemed like a waste of time.
To be honest, there isn’t a lot to the game. But that is what makes it so fun and replayable – it is absolutely chaotic in the BEST way possible. I found myself playing it when I was bored, and it definitely did fill up a lot of my time because the more I died the more I wanted to progress and do better than I did the time before. The game was very fast to load too, which was handy when switching from application to application. A fun aspect of the game was the mini games, this added an extra level of fun to I Hate Running Backwards, however the mini games were very random and sometimes seemed a little out of place and distracted you from the main aim of the game.
I haven’t got a lot of negative things to say about this game, however, a slightly annoying issue I had with the game is that it was very difficult to understand what you needed to do to unlock achievements, and with it, certain characters. Another very frustrating thing was the speed of the characters – sometimes I found myself walking rather than running, and sometimes the enemies were moving a lot faster than my characters were able too which made it a lot easier to die.
I was able to play with a friend on I Hate Running Backwards, however I found this quite un-enjoyable. I was constantly fighting to pick up ammo first and the enemies required more damage to die. I definitely enjoyed playing alone better than with a friend.
I Hate Running Backwards is an enjoyable game, however I personally found that it was a little bit too difficult. Maybe I just wasn’t any good at it, but it doesn’t stop me feeling annoyed every time I died because I couldn’t run faster than the enemy chasing after me. I feel that luck has more incidence in this game than skill does, which makes you feel hesitant to play over and over again. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time playing and I can definitely say that I will play the game again, even if it is just to fill time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.