Hate it or love it, this "shoot-‘em-down" has flair.
I Hate Running Backwards is a funny flip on the classic shoot-‘em-up game. With simple controls, it is quick to pick up and just as easy to put down. Fans of arcade-style shooters will enjoy playing this solo or with friends, and while it has a lot of personality and unique style, it isn’t for the faint of heart
Quite a few characters are available to choose from that have different speed/health ratios, which can switch up gameplay a bit. As you are bombarded by a plethora of silly enemies, you try to outrun them while destroying your environment and picking up power-ups. These give you special abilities that can blast enemies and hold you over until the next wave. From spiders to screaming kamikazes to bosses, there are plenty of baddies to keep you occupied. You can unlock quite a few characters as you progress (some from other Devolver Digital games). They all have cool names and I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with any of them. Plus, it’s nice to get rewarded for your efforts.
And this game can take a lot of effort. Sometimes on different runs the difficulty fluctuates significantly because it generates different amounts of enemies/power-ups every time. This makes it difficult to get into a groove and really get the hang of beating levels. As the game progresses, this doesn’t improve much, and after a while of playing the same levels over and over, it becomes tiresome. Although I will say that I had a much better time when I invited my friend to play with me.
The design of I Hate Running Backwards is funny and it definitely has a lot of potential, but it didn’t really hit home for me. Co-op mode makes it an easier sell, because it is definitely fun to face challenges with friends, but it is still pretty difficult. Die-hard fans of the genre might enjoy the challenge of making it through this game, but for the casual player there are probably more casual options.