It’s always hard for a new game to stand out from the crowd, especially when there are so many released on what seems like a daily basis. Something I’ve always liked here at LadiesGamers is that I feel we give time to those new projects trying to make a start in every competitive industry.
In Retrospect is an endless runner style action platformer, kinda similar in vein to the Bit.Trip Runner games. It tries to make itself stand out from the crowd by allowing some form of player choice, which will alter how future levels play out. I had the opportunity to sit down recently and play through the free demo available on Steam. Here are my thoughts.
A New Challenger Approaches
Choose Your Destiny
When you enter a level you’re constantly moving towards the goals. Sometimes that’s moving to the right, sometimes falling vertically, often it’s a combination of the two. You need to use a variety of jumping moves and simple control manoeuvres to avoid incoming hazards, but also to collect a variety of collectables icons like a heart, money, book etc. Collectables appear absolutely everywhere and you can take multiple paths through each level to get them. These are quite important as they play a part in what will happen in future levels.
Between levels, you talk to a dark pixel character named Dee, who has quite an interest in the characters personal life. You are asked some questions where the responses play a part in how the next level will play out. I discovered if you collect a lot of hearts it will grant you double health in future levels. Collect lots of flame icons (or spirituality as it’s called here) and you can use a shield move. The main one I seemed to end up with was ‘creativity’ which alters the appearance of future levels. This idea gives the game a lot of legs and an incentive to replay again to see how things might turn out differently.
The demo features four levels all of which are in very different locations. You really can’t quite predict where this game will go. The first level is just scrolling to the right in a typical green environment. Next, you’re falling vertically in space and then there’s a level where you head into a computer and play a Game Boy themed style level with deadly binary code.
These levels appear to be reflections of the pixel characters life such as dealing with growing up. Dee elaborates on this further between levels and I got the sense the developer has some personal connection to this story. This is all presented in a colourful pixelated art style with a nice score to accompany it.
Pick up and Play
The controls are simple to pick up and play. It’s fairly easy to begin with, simply jumping over spikes hazards and deciding the route you want to head in. But soon the game becomes quite cluttered, with hazards and collectables sometimes filling the screen and becoming hard to follow.
The demo offers three difficulty settings to assist with this, but on some levels, I still found some hazards impossible to avoid. It feels like this is an area that still needs some tweaking and will hopefully be fixed before the final release.
More to Come
In Retrospect is a unique spin on a simple formula. It’s clear the developer has put in a lot of hard work bringing this project together and hopefully this is a title that will grab the attention of gamers looking for a pick-up and play experience with a bit of heart.
No release date has been announced yet and the developer is yet to state if the game will come to other platforms. So hopefully it will come to the Nintendo Switch as this looks like a pretty cool experience to take on the go.
A free demo is available on Steam and will run on most computers. You don’t need a super gaming PC to give this one a go.