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Review: Back Again (Playstation 5)

All I have to do is make this jump…Back Again. Okay, I know what I did wrong, just….Back Again. This time I’ll…Back Again. Okay, I finally made it and now a headless mannequin is running circles around me. Great.

Back Again is a first-person surrealist, hardcore, puzzle platformer from developer Derek Manning’s studio Manning Media, and released by EastAsiaSoft for Playstation 4/5, and Nintendo Switch. It uses a small color palette: red, black and monochrome, and minimalist graphics, to set an eerie tone. The game is shorter in duration and simplistic. You must jump across small floating platforms, in a winding maze of 20 check points to complete the game.

You’re greeted along the way by a series of mannequins and voice spewing philosophical diatribes at you, as you fall repeatedly to your death, only to hear the phrase “Back Again?” And then, you do indeed, go back again.

It’s out there in the ether

The whole affair has an M.C. Escher meets Salvador Dali vibe to it. There is a a story here, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you exactly what it is. You can tell Back Again was made by a small team of developers, and it is well polished. The team had a clear vision of what they wanted to create, and succeded in getting there.

Simple but creepy.

The controls are a little bit floaty, but that’s necessary to navigate some of the tricky platforming that lies ahead of you. You’ll need to wind around vertical columns as you jump. Luckly, those floaty controls work in your favor. When you fall, you know for sure it’s your fault. Some of the jumps are difficult to see, but I believe that is part of the aesthetic that the developers were going for here.

Living on the razor’s edge

If you’re a fan of Mirror’s Edge or Super Monkey Ball, I think you’ll be right at home here. Back Again has the same kind of challenging platform navigation. It isn’t not particularly long but does get quite challenging. A skilled player could probably clear this in an hour. It does have a death counter to tally up all of your failures.

There is also a Survival mode for those really wanting to test their skills. This mode features a running clock and one life play for the masochists out there.

It’s nothing to lose your head about!

One Last Jump

Not being a fan of first-person platforming, I was surprised by Back Again. I easily get motion sickness and I still had fun with this. It is challenging and you will die, probably a lot. However, it has that quick, one more try quotient.

Back Again is out now on PS4/5 and Nintendo Switch. It was previously released on PC through Steam. Review code provided by EastAsiaSoft.




If you’re up for a challenge you’ll want to come Back Again.

User Rating: 2.45 ( 2 votes)

Andy Schneider

Lifelong SEGA fan ever since the Master System. Avid comic book reader and video gamer. Midwest born and raised. Yakuza, Jet Set Radio and Panzer Dragoon are some of my favorites.
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