Another World/Flashback-A-Like The Way Out Now

The pitch of a “2D puzzle platformer game inspired by classic titles like Another World, Heart of Darkness and Flashback” got The Way [official site] successfully to its Kickstarter goal in 2014. Now it’s out, released on Friday. At first glance, The Way’s deference to those, especially Eric Chahi’s 1991 sci-fi classic, is quite striking, however I also get Universe and Heart of Alien vibes from this trailer. Check it out:

Yup, very Another World-y, which, depending on your age, will undoubtedly govern your expectations here. Folks of a certain era will probably be all over this, however young ‘uns or those who perhaps missed Chahi and Delphine’s 20th century best the first time round might be left wondering what The Way offers in this modern age of pixel-boasting sidescroller inundation. The following, say publisher PlayWay:

“The Way tells the story about a member of space explorers team, who lost his beloved one and cannot accept her death. Discovering ancient writings on eternal existence during one of his last expeditions, he is encouraged to return in search of the meaning of life itself…He will quickly realize that the planet has its own secrets and plenty of challenges to overcome in his pursuit for answers.”

This pursuit will pit the protagonist against a host of “mind-bending puzzles” as it relays its “immersing sci-fi story” – the latter of which is said to last somewhere in the region of ten hours, which is impressive scope for a game of this nature.

Then again, I’m yet to test out The Way’s teleportation, telekinesis and whichever other hi-tech abilities it might offers players, and I probably won’t get to do so until next week as a result of boring family parties all weekend. Ho hum.

If you however fancy doing so before me, The Way is out now for Windows, Mac on Linux. Grab it via Steam, the Humble Store, and GOG for the reduced price of £9.34. Let me know how you get on.

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Marclev says:

    But Another world and Flashback were nothing alike one another, apart from both being 2D platformers and both being released by Delphin Software.

    ISTR Another World being a hyper frustrating “instant death”‘athon were you needed to memorise the exact route through the maps through trial and error to get to the end without dying (I’m perplexed that anybody actually properly enjoyed that game oustside of some sort of masochism thing).

    Flashback was a cross between Prince of Persia, Total Recall, a futuristic techno thriller, and The Running Man (at least that’s how I imagine it got pitched), utterly brilliant and sublime.

    Any word on which it’s more alike? It sounds more like Flashback (as I can’t picture anybody actually making something like Another World and hoping for good review scores in the 21st century), in which case oh yes please.

    • Shazbut says:

      The second level of Flashback is so good I can hardly believe the game came out in 1992.

    • Arseny says:

      It’s like a combination of Another World (one-hit death, environment puzzles) and The Dig (figuring out alien technology). Though it’s not as punishing as Another World, with regular checkpoints and not as obscure as The Dig.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Huh? They were both members of the tiny sub-genre of precision platformers kicked off by Prince of Persia, and characterized by dense, high-fidelity, non-cancelable animations; realistic physical limitations on your character; an uncommon focus on mantling, i.e. climbing up/down ledges with your hands…etc.

      They certainly did different things within that sub-genre, but they were hardly unrelated platformers.

    • LionsPhil says:

      From what I recall Another World was sorta Dragon’s Lair-esque: the gameplay kinda was exploring a fairly small decision graph, and enjoying the animation along the way.

      Because in a 16-bit world, it was amazing.

      • LaurieCheers says:

        People saying Another World was like Dragon’s Lair obviously haven’t played past the beginning – it starts out like that, but opens up into a more conventional platform game after a while. (Though it still has a lot of unfair instant death.)

  2. Wormerine says:

    I am all for another Flashback type game. However, while it might be an interesting game I don’t think it will work as a successor. The movement in Another World and Flashback were quite fantastic (similar to old good Prince of Persia.) It was a “realistic” platformer, with a lot of weight to the character. You couldn’t drop too far down, and you had to jump “in preperation” as it would take another step for the character to make a jump. This one looks very floaty. You never know. It might turn out good, but after the trailer I am not impressed.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      Agreed. I adored Flashback and Another World, primarily for their aesthetic. They are from a small group of games where stripped of their aesthetic I find the core mechanics incredibly frustrating and shallow, but because dying over and over is so damn pretty I am happy to do it anyway. Just watching the YouTube of this, I am not convinced. The walking scenes are nice but in the action scenes the animation does not look fluid or natural enough.

      Out of fairness, I also just went back to watch a playthrough of Flashback to see if it was my memory playing tricks on me. It’s definitely jankier than I remember, but Conrad jumping still has a weighty, human feel. This guy bouncing around like a Mario brother does not evoke that. That said, Dex was a modern Flashback-em-up with similarly arcade-y movement but it ended up being fun anyway. Of course Dex didn’t claim to be a spiritual successor either. I’ll wait for a few more reviews from the peanut gallery before jumping on this one.

    • SirDeimos says:

      Hmm, I get that the video makes it seems a bit floaty, but having actually played it I can tell you that it doesn’t feel Mario-ish at all. There’s no springy jumps or allowance for large mid-air horizontal movement. It has that same Another World feel where trying to jump too close to the edge of a platform while running results in you actually not making the jump. You fall down and go squish.

      The Way is a great tribute to those older games we remember fondly, and also succeeds on it’s own merits. Definitely worth checking out. Also, the small team of devs have been very responsive to the community, and have already fixed the early reported criticisms regarding the balance between difficulty and fun.


  3. Wormerine says:

    Also both intros to Another World and Flashback. Still so good

    • LionsPhil says:

      There was an Another World trailer on a coverdisk from some Atari ST magazine at some point that was basically just the intro. I watched that so many times. Amazing stuff.

      (Shout out to The Killing Game Show’s intro, too.)

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  6. Epicedion says:

    Flashback might be the greatest action platformer of all time. I need to break out the Genesis again.

    • PostieDoc says:

      Playing it on my Amiga right now.

    • Axyl says:

      GOG *REALLY* need to get Flashback sorted. It’s been on their Requested list on the GOG Forums forever.

      I can’t imagine what the problems is. Finding the rights holder maybe?

  7. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:

    They really called their own game a masterpiece in that YouTube description.

  8. Jackablade says:

    The Flashback comparisons might wind up working against them. The first thing I see (probably unfairly) is the lack of fluidity in the animations.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, it’s got that stiff-spined spindly indie sprite thing going on, rather than the meticulous rotoscoping of the games it wants to be.

    • SirDeimos says:

      It isn’t exactly like the animation in Another World, true. But if you were a fan of those older games (speaking as someone whose played The Way), you’re probably doing yourself a disservice to discount this game so quickly just from the video. Obviously, just my opinion. Have fun.

  9. theapeofnaples says:

    Awful title. And I must agree with the above about comparisons to Flashback- those action scenes have no fluidity or weight to them at all. Shame.

    Enjoying the John Carpenter-esque music, though.

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  12. Jay Load says:

    Okay, okay, we get it: Flashback and Another World had exceptional sprite animation and The Way doesn’t. I love both of those titles dearly but let’s give the new game a chance to impress before we snap-judge it to death with a thousand tiny cuts about its lack of the same. You can be inspired by mood rather than specific production values.

    This game fired me up on the premise of its sci-fi story and the fabulously atmospheric, almost Vangelis-esque music. There’s always room on PC for a good sci-fi story done well. I’d like to think the theme of death would lead to some Planescape Torment style rumination on the matter, something so rarely attempted in digital form.

  13. SMGreer says:

    Glad to see someone out there in the universe might remember Heart of Darkness as fondly as I. A bit trial and error it was but gorgeous and charming.

    Haven’t played anything like it since so if this really hits the right notes, could be exactly my cup of tea.

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  15. LaurieCheers says:

    Another World style creatures, check; Flashback style teleport mechanics, check; but the art style actually reminds me most strongly of Sword and Sworcery.

  16. Phasma Felis says:

    The one thing that bugged me about Flashback is that it was called Flashback: The Quest for Identity, all the marketing copy was about how you had to face terrible peril to recover your stolen memories, and then you meet an guy with a memory-restorer machine at the beginning of the second level. Memory problems gone, go save the world. It was a little odd.