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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

We Went Back



At A Glance

  • Released: 4/3/20

  • Reviews: 4,300, net very positive, as of 7/2023

  • English Reviews: 3,342

  • Localized in: English

  • Had Publisher: No

  • Majority of reviews:

    • English ~78%

    • German ~4%

    • Russian ~4%

  • Price: Free

  • Review report:

    • Negatives: Monster reveal was blamed for the instant loss of scares and should’ve been put off til later or not done at all, confusing and not straightforward (Or, players just couldn’t figure out how to proceed quickly enough, not scary, boring

    • Positives: clever jumpscares mixed in with cheap ones, graphics and atmosphere were good



Gameplay

  • Option to run is available

  • Solving a big overarching puzzle is the key to leaving

    • Make sure the player can figure it out, don’t let them get to the point where they would rather google it

      • Sections with crosses on the notes, what does it mean? Is it relevant to me as a player?

  • The breaky light sticks denote clues/collectibles

Music

  • New, foreboding music played when things start getting weird

Sounds

  • Lots of whirring, mechanical noises

  • Footsteps are heavy and booted

  • New sound makes me stop dead in my tracks

Art

  • Photorealistic style, fully-realized and chocked full of details

Writing

  • Wake up in stasis

  • A spacesuit fell and something was behind it, used the ‘scare’ as a way to progress the story

  • 3rd time is wrong, should have ended where I began (keeps subverting expectations)

    • Stuck in a single area until I find what I need to progress (Smart?)

  • Rat is gone, butterflies fluttering, player knows something is amiss

  • Broken glass in the cryopod, what got out?

  • Rat came back, but decapitated and gored

    • Butterflies are gone

  • Cryo pods appear leaky, the broken one is fried, what is this?

  • Plants are now back, appear thriving

    • Rat is also alive

  • What’s behind the door?

Scare Factor

  • Upon waking, PA states life form is detected elsewhere

  • Went in a full circle, found nothing

    • Second time things got weird

    • Subverted expectations in the spacesuit hallway, they all looked at me

  • One suit fell, not a jumpscare but enough to put me on edge

  • Low alien rumbling, something standing in the hall (got a full look, it was creepy, but clear the thing didn’t see me)

    • Seems like the next part wants me to get closer to the monster, but every instinct I have is saying the opposite

      • This forced interaction and a jump scare, but it felt cheap, the player shouldn’t feel forced, it has to be clever

  • Eyeball impaled on a pencil

Extra

  • Made in Unreal 4

  • Got significant YT attention (Markiplier, jacksepticeye, cjugames)

  • Wanderbots played the game with only a ~9K views (video avgs tend to be ~12K, higher range are in the 20-30K range, rare excepts go far beyond that but still under 100K)

Overall

  • Really interesting, high-budget-seeming game that worked to deliver good scares and a stunning atmosphere

  • A true shame that the company didn’t ride this success into another game or at least make it paid, it was worth it

    • I’ve been recommended to try the free approach and transfer fans into a new game, but after 3 years I don’t know if the fans will stick around for a new one

      • To consider: People are still playing and reviewing this, it will be fresh in some minds and stale in others


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