The Absolute Insanity of IHRB

I’m still playing I Hate Running Backwards, and Holy Hell has this game exploded. Initially the game seemed kind of boring and unchallenging, but now that I’ve defeated a few bosses and unlocked some new features it’s providing a fun and challenging gameplay loop I can’t escape from.

When I talked about I Hate Running Backwards last week, I wasn’t that enthusiastic. I thought it was a fun game, but not one that’s really going to hook me for a long time. Now that I have unlocked a few more things, that’s all changed.

Some of the mechanics work differently to how I originally thought. You get perks by gaining Mojo, not by defeating bosses. It just happened that each time I had defeated a boss, it gave me enough Mojo for the next perk. You can gain more Mojo by destroying buildings, which means it’s possible to earn perks before defeating any bosses.

I also learned that left shift will activate a character’s special attack. In the case of Rambo, a new character I’ve unlocked, this means I can collect and throw grenades at enemies for extra damage. This made defeating King Scorpion, the first boss, a lot easier. I’ve yet to explore the special attacks of other characters.

After defeating a boss you unlock a Curse based on the bosses abilities. For example, King Scorpion is poisonous, so its curse will spawn pools of poison that you have to avoid. Turning these on will add new obstacles to a run, but will increase the number of points earned at the end.

With these turned on, it feels like a completely different game. It’s an adrenaline rush of destruction, with waves of enemies coming at you and obstacles you need to avoid. Focus is key here, as there is a lot going on at the same time and you need to keep track of all of it.

There are also random vehicle sections, where you need to dodge or jump over mines, while shooting enemies that continue to try and chase you down. They add a nice bit of variety and extra challenge to runs, forcing you to adapt to a new mechanic quickly.

What I though was a simple, easy to play, shooter has turned into one of the most challenging and enjoyable experience I’ve had for a while. I keep coming back to it now, eager to see how far I can get this time. I’ve had runs that seemed like they would never end, and runs that end too early because of dumb luck or a mistake.

It’s living up to it’s goal as a fun roguelite that brings back that old-skool Shoot ‘Em Up feeling.

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