Developer: Logic Ember Limted
Publisher: Skymap Games
Genre(s): Platformer, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC – Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 20/05/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Back with a Splash of Colour
One year after its debut on PC in Febuary 2020, Backworlds joined the list of puzzle games available to Nintendo Switch users. In today’s Rapid Review, we dive into the adventure this game brings.
Self-care Through Gaming
Self-care comes in many a form these days. One task which is becoming more popular amongst the adolescent, is that of colouring. Colouring books, paint by numbers, and even games involving colour. Backworlds is a game that takes on a similar element, so of course I had to try a game which solely thrives around the use of colour and resolving puzzles in doing so.
This charming game has a variety of challenges available, all of which involve you using the colouring tool, to add colour, or take it away as you manoeuvre your way around the map to reach the goal. The goal in each level is an ink splash, and each one must be collected, which I think is an excellent little touch to the game. It’s as if with each little success, one step at a time you are adding a bit of brightness back to the world.
Nintendo Switch Strikes Again
When initially brought to our PC screens over nine years ago, Backworlds did not have any intention of moving across to another platform. However after years of development, Switch users were graced with its presence as of May 20th 2021. Developers, Logic Ember, definitely made the right decision in bringing this plucky game to our screens, fitting in perfectly amongst the world of cosy adventures, the Nintendo Switch is known and loved for. I have never been the best at puzzle games, but I was instantly drawn into Backworlds by its entire aesthetic. A platform game with unique elements, it has also brought alongside it the tests and trials we would usually see in any puzzle with moving platforms, buttons to press, ropes to swing on and tunnels galore.
A Unique Challenge for Veteran Puzzlers
The puzzles themselves offer an elite challenge, but what I particularly loved about this game, is at the very beginning, the tutorial is a challenge of its own. This enables the user to learn the controls of the game, and how the puzzles expect you to play. Setting yourself up for what is before you Backworlds, doesn’t hold back on showing you the trials and trepidations that lie ahead. An example of this, seen in many puzzles, is that a certain item, block or platform, may only be visible when painted a certain colour.
It takes your quick wit, to understand that in order to get from one side to the other you must ride the invisible moving platform but while it is only painted in one world. Despite some incredibly challenging and frustrating tasks to complete, I still felt that gameplay was self-care. Being in a world and adding colour was a touch of difference that puzzle games needed. By having this feature, it allowed the puzzles to be different from what is usually attempted in similar genre games.
Moving between worlds and levels while making your way past the enemies, were all smooth processes, and the flow of the game sat well, alongside the adventure. With each new element and level that you wandered into, the environment would also have its own features. Despite some of the puzzles feeling repetitive this would be over looked by the ambience of the world you would be in. The soundtrack, background and features available to you would vary, making each challenge have its own little individual twist.
Chunky Yet Funky
As a game initially made for PC, the controls used for the switch take a little bit of adjusting to. Time was wasted often at the beginning choosing which paint brush I needed, and the size, while switching between painting and erasing. It definitely took a number of levels before I could fully adjust to what I was doing. Not only that, but putting the game down for a few days and returning back, definitely was a puzzle of its own relearning the controls.
Once you get past the chunky layout of how to use the buttons, the game itself is absolutely adorable. While trekking through the world, the size and style of brush will vary, which adds to the difficulty of the trial, as some may require finer brush lines in order to make your way from one side to the other. These points in particular, really highlight a true entrepreneur in the world of risks, compared to the beginner, but as you play the different levels, it is clear Backworlds will always have something up its sleeve.
Crafting style graphics really stand out as the key characteristic for Backworlds, alongside the soothing tones, and audio sound bites, all of which come together to provide you with the calming atmosphere of the Backworlds planet. Alongside this, our main character is fully animated, with his little fluffy tail blowing in the wind, and squishy face which we all can love and adore. Not only is this a game which you want to do your best in, but you want to ensure you do your best for your new little pal. With each level, and environmental conundrum, you are often shown bright splashes of colour. Despite what may seem like basic graphics, the colours ooze multidimensional mystery and draw you into to the opportunities on each platform.
Should This Be Your Next Challenge?
If puzzle games are your perfect challenge, I would definitely recommend this upside down, back to front, colourful world. I did find it quite hard at times, and even though I am not the best at puzzle games, some elements were not explained and it took some exploring on the world wide web to figure out what to do. This isn’t necessarily a fault on the game however, as I think the overall minimalistic style behind the idea of Backworlds, is what makes it such a fantastic game, and an incredible work of art. It is nice to try a puzzle game with a twist.
Backworlds is still available on PC and Switch, so you can have either challenge, all while enjoying some peaceful self-care, through the therapy of colouring.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can purchase Backworlds from the Nintendo eShop by following the link below:
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.