You are a graduate student and you must defeat the ultimate boss monster: your Thesis! Develop relationships with quirky allies and improve your stats by inspecting your surroundings and making difficult choices. Will you explore and alter memories for a chance at a better life? Will you risk looking back?
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Release Date:
Aug 7, 2019

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About This Game

Looking Back is an autofictional game that takes you, the Player, inside of Kris's life as a PhD student. Appropriating the classic J-RPG style with a Choices Matter twist, it is a parts exploration, parts visual novel game, in which you must carve your own path toward the destruction of the ultimate boss monster that haunts your everyday life: your Thesis. It lurks in your bedroom and fills you with anxiety, but before fighting it, you must make sure your Mental Health, your Energy, your Skillfulness, your Wits, and your Endurance are high enough to tackle this challenge of a lifetime and finally obtain that degree! However, the way to become stronger is not by gaining experience grinding on endless hordes of monsters. Rather, you improve your stats by exploring and making decisions, building relationships with people around you, and altogether attempting to improve your everyday life. Simple things like choosing your dog to be a German Shepherd instead of a Cocker Spaniel, or difficult decisions such as saving one of two friends, every choice matters and affects your stats, your world, and yourself, indelibly.

Memory "triggers" are scattered throughout the city of Toronto, allowing you to explore them, which may or may not improve certain outcomes and your odds at defeating the Thesis. Some are beautiful, some are heart-wrenching, but you have the power to modify some memories at the cost of some Mental Health points. Memory shards even allow you to go through certain dream sequences, embodiments of your subconscious. You have the power to change the present and the future, but abusing this power may lead to your demise -- running out of Mental Health means utter despair...

Will you look back and alter the past to get a chance for a better future? Or will you look forward and focus on accomplishing your dreams?


  • Branching storylines.
  • 10 allies that may join your party.
  • Beautiful and atmospheric music.
  • Quirky characters.
  • Hundreds of dialogue options.
  • An adorable dog that you can take with you everywhere (if you choose to!).
  • A combination of different endings.
  • Over 15 explorable memories and dreams.
  • Inner demons that you may choose to try and defeat once your Identity Level is high enough.
  • References to famous and infamous thinkers, pop culture icons, and politicians.
  • Countless retro video game references.

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

Some dialogues contain strong language.
There are textual references to sex and themes of physical and mental health (death, mourning, domestic violence, suicide).

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows 7, or greater
    • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated graphics
    • Storage: 800 MB available space
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

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