“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong
We Went Back is a short, first-person ‘time-looping horror’. The protagonist awakens to find themselves alone on an abandoned spaceship, the only exit door is locked and whatever emptied the ship is still there. The player must explore a changing environment, find clues, and find a way to get out!
Developer: Dead Thread Games
Released: 03rd April 2020
Available on: Steam
The majority of the gameplay consists of exploring the increasingly surreal and regularly changing environment in search of clues to photograph. These will in turn reveal the exit door password. The clues themselves seem to have little connection to each other or relevance other than the brightly lit moon symbols that they contain. While the initial gameplay might lead players to think they will have to deduce the corresponding password digits, upon finding all the required clues the bulk of the puzzle is solved for them in a disappointing and somewhat anticlimactic way.
The circular ship corridor provides a decent amount of space for a game of this length (about 1 – 1.5 hours), especially with the bizarre changes and repetition, but this space is not used well to convey narrative or information. It soon becomes clear that the protagonist is not as alone as they thought and while there were some vague indications of a story within the environment and gameplay, overall the narrative remains obscure and feels incomplete.
We Went Back uses ambient noises such as the ship functioning and creaking, electricity crackles, the protagonist’s breath and something lurking unseen, along with varied and emotive lighting to create a creepy setting right from the start of the game. The sound of the other being on the ship is quite disturbing and follows the player in an eerie way.
The artwork and visuals on the ship get stranger and more gruesome as the game progresses. We Went Back also utilises a variety of fearmongering tactics, including the trusty jump scare in moderation! This all combines to give the game that ‘psychological horror’ feel and create a really atmospheric game environment.
We Went back is not perfect and clearly does some things better than others; the aesthetics are a definite highlight, despite being a little taxing on the CPU. But if you like a bit of a puzzle and a creepy sci-fi vibe you can’t go too far wrong spending an hour on this free game!
Looking for more indie horror games? Take a look at the following reviews:
The Hex: A Very Meta Murder Mystery – DISTRAINT: Moral Ambiguity and Avarice –TGIAL – A Community Game Jam Entry – SHUT IN: This Game will Insult You!