Here Comes The Hotstepper: One Step Back

It does actually end up being really quite beautiful.

Sweet. The Master of Savy points me in the direction of One Step Back, which is another crisp arty platformer. Its “thing” is that a few seconds after you begin a level, a duplicate of yourself starts to ghost your path. Then a few seconds later, another follows. And another. If you collide with any of the ghosts, you die. The aim is to get to an exit – which only opens after a time limit. In other words, it’s about navigating a route which allows you to avoid your previous paths long enough. Helpfully, like that-bit-in-Braid time only flows when you’re actually moving. While its iffy wall jump is the main form of frustration, I found this a really lovingly designed shortform game, even before it hit its half-way change-of-pace. Do give it a try. And now, here’s the heavy-heavy-monster-sound of Madness…

Though go for Ini Kamoze if you really must.


  1. Dyst says:

    I’m downloading it, but I hope this one works. Dustforce crashes on start up for me. :(

    Visually I’m getting N+ vibes. Not sure why.

  2. Ed says:

    There was a level in an old 8-bit game called Jumpman that used EXACTLY this mechanic. Good to see it back, though :-)

    • bwion says:

      Heh, Jumpman is *exactly* what I was thinking of when I read this.

      God, I spent so much time on that stupid(ly awesome) game as a kid.

  3. Ian says:

    Tried it, thought I’d like it, couldn’t get on with the wall-jumping.

  4. Dood says:

    Yay, Madness!

  5. Stuk says:

    That is one broken wall/air jump mechanic.

    I think I would have really enjoyed it the character didn’t randomly jump the wrong way and into death every so often.

  6. Tom says:

    Sounds a lot like the Cosmic Clones gameplay element in Mario Galaxy 2, but I like the idea about time stopping.

  7. Tore says:

    That’s a really, really good song! Thanks!

  8. Petethegoat says:

    I found this to be quite excellent, and furthermore, the wall jump was fine.

  9. bill says:

    gah. I can’t even get past the first S level where they introduce the all jump. give up.

  10. Antlia says:

    Nice one. Playing till the end tickles your brain just perfectly.

  11. Forceflow says:

    The secret code to pass the wall jumping level is:

    right, right-up, left-up, right-up, left-up, left, left-up, right-up, left-up, right.

    Figure out the timings for yourselves!

  12. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    The game doesn’t work for me, although Madness do.

  13. Curvespace says:

    Mildly uninspired piano music = art game


    Mildly uninspired piano music = the last five minutes of most television movies, usually experienced whilst flicking through channels after Diagnosis Murder has finished

    /fact no.2

  14. psycho7005 says:

    Played it all the way through, wall jump gave a few deaths but nothing i got too frustrated over. Found the end half of the game to be refreshingly different. So yeh, enjoyed it.

  15. Robyrt says:

    Wow, that wall jump mechanic is broken. Difficult to execute, and you don’t even need a wall! It’s like Braid, except instead of figuring out puzzles, you have to get by with perfect platforming at top speed… so significantly worse.

  16. Ian says:

    The wall jump works better when you do the opposite of the instructions. Don’t hug the wall you’re jumping off, you need to jump the other way almost as soon as you touch the wall you’re jumping off.

    Did the first half, when trying to recapture myselves the hourglass level was rendered impossible to mop my past selves up because of the way I’d done it, though. :(

    • psycho7005 says:

      i lucked out on that hourglass level, apparently there was a point in time where all my past selves were close to each other near the exit door :P

  17. Cobb says:

    can’t get past the wall jump… liked it up to that point…

  18. Icepick says:

    Interesting idea but the poor wall jumping is a deal breaker for me.

  19. Bob Bobson says:

    The second half redeems the control issues for me, but of course if the control issues had prevented me getting to the second half then that wouldn’t have been the case.

  20. Serenegoose says:

    Just finished it. The second hourglass level was an absolute shit. I moved way too fast the first time, and couldn’t get up to the exit before my first reflection was at the bottom without MAJOR luck. fortunately, I acquired some and won. It was fairly fun, but I got quite frustrated at points – not that that means anything with me, as I get frustrated over anything.

  21. ShrimpFace5000 says:

    I played to the end, and found the wall jump mildly annoying but not too bad…

    I thought the ‘chased by your previous self’ idea was an interesting one, but the levels didn’t do enough to force you to think ahead about how you wanted to proceed. A good platform/puzzler concept which has more potential than the levels gave it credit for methinks.

    When it became ‘collect your previous self’ however it became dull, and even easier- the concept of turning the game on it’s head like that is a nice one, but I didn’t think it worked in this instance.

    The less said about the pretentious bullshit padding the better. The fact that the game ended with ‘fin’ should tell you all you need to know….

  22. Yghtdsf says:

    Fun, despite the angsty/artsy tone – there’s rare people who can pull it off, the creator of this game definitely can’t, and won’t ever.

  23. Berzee says:

    I like this a VERY lot! (The walljumping came easily to me.) I too was thinking “haha angst” until orangeness changed my mind (a little bit).

  24. Nonentity says:

    I’m stuck on the level where the two doors are right next to one another and you have to outsmart your past moves strung out over the whole level. I kick my own ass. This level is impossible.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Just run to the end of the level then turn around. The gaps are for you to hide in/jump in as you come back up. You should only jump twice when going down, once to get on top of the blocks in the middle and once to jump over the gap in the middle.

  25. Jacques says:

    that one is a bitch, but remember to give yourself room, this breaks the theme set up by the past 2 levels of mess around without hitting yourself, and basically you should jump alot and always know where you want to step on the way back, so you can go under your first run.

    It’s fun after you get the hang of wall jumping, which I hate the controls for in almost every game, particularly 2d platformers where up is jump, it makes sense, until you start jumping other directions. The ‘fin’ was a bit pretentious, and collecting your past selves did get boring, as did the quotes between stages on the way back. Granted at first the collection bit surprised me when I realized I was chasing my starting selves out of first door only to die soon after for no apparent reason, nice ohhhhhh moment.

  26. Pani says:

    I was really enjoying it until I came to a bugged level. Was on my reverse playthrough and didnt have any mes spawn on the hourglass level so I couldn’t collect any mes and therefore the door wouldn’t open. *sadface*