Kent returned to a city rocked by a catastrophic event to reach a tower. To do this, he will need to solve puzzles, hunt down items, and battle against a bevy of monsters, all in a style meant to evoke the feeling of old survival horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
Back In 1995 contains examples of:
- Always Night: The sky in the game is always black.
- Apocalyptic Log: Plenty to be found.
- Artificial Stupidity: The AI is prone to getting stuck on obstacles, or losing sight of the player really quickly, barely reacting to him even when he's up close.
- Bloodless Carnage: Played with; there's a very basic blood spray effect from attacks, but it fades out almost immediately in mid-air, and never actually lands upon any surface.
- Driven to Suicide: By the end of the game you discover a note strongly implying that Kent's daughter Alissa had committed suicide and then the normal ending consists of Kent asking Alissa to forgive him and leaping off the radio tower himself.
- Everything Fades: Dead monsters immediately turn black at death and fade out as soon as they hit the ground.
- Excuse Plot: The game's story is essentially window dressing for its nostalgia, as it only consists of a few notes that barely even try to explain anything. The normal ending arrives abruptly and consists of Kent leaping off the radio tower after finding the letters revealing his daughter committed suicide and he's on the mental health watchlist ever since, due to developing a belief the year was still 1995. The real ending spells out the not-so-hidden message of the normal ending outright. See Gainax Ending.
- Gainax Ending: The real ending completely abandons any pretence the game had a plot, and instead reveals it was all a meta commentary on old survival horror video games and our relationship to them.
- Misidentified Weapons: The game's interface calls a pretty obvious short-barrel revolver a "pistol".
- Mook Chivalry: The monsters are pretty bad at swarming the player and will often end up lining up to fight him one at a time instead.
- Multiple Endings: There a normal ending, and a true one that's only achievable on New Game+.
- Retraux: The game is done in the style of Playstation and Sega Saturn Survival Horror games, with blocky graphics, appropriate camera angles, and even a screen effect meant to mimic the resolution on a standard-definition TV.
- Run, Don't Walk: Averted. Kent only has one walking speed.
- Sanity Slippage: By the end of the game, you find letters that reveal Kent is a mental patient who is delusional about the year being 1995, and likely much else, like the existence of monsters. In the normal ending, Kent responds by jumping off the radio tower.
- Take That!: By the end of the game, it's hard not to read the revelation that the year is not in fact 1995, but that the protagonist's cognitive ability is stuck in that year and refuses to process any information that indicates otherwise, or accept anything newer than things from 1995, as a dig at either the players of Retraux nostalgia, the creators themselves, or both.
- Wrench Whack: One of the weapons Kent can wield against monsters is a monkey wrench.