It’s hard to believe that it was all the way back in January that developer Joel Rochon aka GRYN SQYD released Backfire ($0.99) into the App Store, but if I’ve learned anything from 2019 so far it’s that time sure does fly. On first inspection Backfire looks like your typical retro-inspired top-down space shooter, with a little triangle for a ship and glowy neon graphics everywhere. And that would totally be fine, because I love those types of games, but Backfire has one pretty unique twist that sets it apart from similar games, and it’s hidden right in its title. You’re controlling a ship that literally can only fire out its backside, and the propulsion from your weapon firing is also how you’re able to move. No thrusters here. This creates a tense game where you’re constantly needing to get in close to your enemies but also position yourself so that your back-firing will destroy them. It’s super clever and feels really fresh, which is why we picked Backfire as our Game of the Week when it released. Since that time, GRYN SQYD has been hard at work on a major free expansion for Backfire called Purgatory, and it has finally released this week.
Purgatory is a new separate mode that you can access from the title screen of Backfire, and its main change is a fleshed-out scoring system where you are trying to stay in close proximity and kill enemies to keep filling up a bar that will increase a scoring multiplier. It’s a nice addition and feels different enough from the main mode without feeling like a completely different game. Purgatory also includes: “Rogue-like progression, game-changing curses, a blood-thirsty mini boss, and a blood-curdling final boss.” This update also includes some goodies for the classic mode in Backfire, including 3 separate save slots and 3 different difficulty options as well as “An all new chapter and ending… if you can find it.” Challenge accepted! Finally, to celebrate this update Backfire is currently on sale for just 99¢ down from its normal $2.99 price tag, and this is the first time the game’s been on sale since its launch in January. While we’ve already stated how much we love it, people in our forums love this one too, so now is a great time to check out Backfire if you haven’t done so already.