I Hate Running Backwards!

Another roguelite I found in my collection. I seem to have a lot of these for some reason. This one is a top down rail shooter where you run backwards and destroy everything that was in your path.

When I first started playing I Hate Running Backwards, I found it extremely difficult to understand the gameplay. It quickly starts to make sense when you realise it’s just an old school shoot ’em up with a bit of 3D paint.

The game’s name comes from the fact that rather than moving left to right, or bottom to top, you actually play from the top of the screen and run backwards. The enemies are faster than you and will charge you from the bottom of the screen. It should be like any other SEU game, but this presentation makes the game feel fundamentally different to any other SEU you have ever played.

Once I got used to the controls, the game became very easy to play. It starts to feel like any classic SEU I grew up playing, keep moving, shoot enemies, dodge obstacles, collect power ups, destroy EVERYTHING. It’s fun, but it starts to feel a bit too easy.

That is, until you meet the first boss. Suddenly the gameplay changes – you need to learn the boss’ attack pattern and do enough damage to kill it and move on to the next stage. After many failures I started to get a bit bored. The normal enemies provided no challenge anymore, and I’d reach the boss and die.

I was almost ready to write off the game, but I thought it unfair to do so if I can’t even defeat the first boss. So I persisted for too long. Or perhaps just long enough, since I was finally able to defeat the King Scorpion and move onto the next stage.

After defeating a boss you can choose a perk that should make the rest of the game easier. You also get to spend some time in a base, allowing you to change your weapons if you like. When you are ready, you can press forward and start the next stage.

You will start to encounter new enemies with different attacks and movement patterns. And they are varied enough to provide new challenges and keep this game fun. I made it past a second boss, and the third level overwhelmed me. Swarms of enemies pour out at you, and in order to survive you need to activate auto-turrets that spawn in the level.

Then there is a Werebull that will randomly charge across the screen and kill you instantly if it hits you. The challenge is amped up, and it gets a lot more fun as you dive deeper into the game, and… oh, that damned Werebull killed me.

Well, time to try again. Did I mention this is a roguelite? Depending on your progress after each run, you will unlock new characters, new weapons, and new power-ups. These will be available in all future games, and should, in theory, make things a little easier.

Not too much easier, though…

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