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Funky 1990 Sokoban/Strategy Mashup Backbeat is now on Xbox

Funky 1990 Sokoban/Strategy Mashup Backbeat is now on Xbox


  • Setback is now on sale on Xbox
  • Experience a fresh mix of the puzzle and strategy genres
  • Relive a tribute to classic ’90s ensemble dramas

This is my second title to launch on Xbox and it’s really cool to see how much our business has grown since then Hexagroove: Tactical DJ in 2020. The first time was a great experience, but there was so much more that I wanted to make more accessible and inviting. In Setback we designed the interface from the ground up for 4K and scalable for all members of the Xbox device family. The games we design at Ichigoichie are based on mixing genres and deriving our gameplay mechanics from music theory. This was a bit overwhelming at times Hexagonal grooveso I worked hard to lay out new mechanics Setback through a much wider part of the game. So much so that you’re still learning new tricks over three-quarters of the way through the main campaign!

Setback is at first glance a turn-based sokoban puzzle game. You have a band of up to four characters and must get them all to the goal within a limited number of turns. Each character moves differently and presents unique challenges. After a few levels, we’ll introduce time mechanics into the mix, and you’ll need to synchronize each character’s timeline with the others, working together to unblock obstacles on the path to the goal. Finally, we add four shared resources for you to manage as you navigate through space and time. Which turns you choose to change direction or interact with the environment will increase or decrease these resources. Maximize the resources and you will get a high score. Run out of resources and you are in a fault state. Fortunately, it’s possible to rewind each character’s turns individually to allow for incremental improvements to your puzzle solutions.


One thing I wanted to add Setback was a story to motivate your choices and determine the stakes. The setting is 1995 in suburban Washington, DC and has many references to the last days of the analog era before the advent of the Internet. The story pays homage to 90s drama series such as ‘With Honors’, ‘The Commitments’ and ‘School of Rock’. Heroine Watts struggles to keep a group of amateur funk musicians together and grapples with all the problems of collaborative creation: inflated egos, clashing personality types, and remote work and family responsibilities. There’s a diverse cast of characters in each of the two main bands, and I hope you can find one that appeals to you.

If you’re a fan of puzzle games, turn-based strategy, or story-rich retro experiences, I think there’s something for you to appreciate, and many more new features to discover. Start with the free demo of Setback and I hope you have some funky fun!






A mix of puzzle and strategy games. Manipulate four threads of time to guide your band through sokoban-style puzzles. Manage team resources over a series of limited turns. Experience a tribute to ’90s ensemble dramas. Customize the dynamic soundtrack with audio effects. === STORY === Stephanie “Watts” Watson, an aspiring bassist, bounced from audition to audition never finding music that really resonated with her until she discovered the magic of funk. Caught in the groove, she recruits a group of amateurs from her hometown to take on La Tormenta, the art school darlings, in the Battle of the Bands. === MECHANICS === Each character in your band moves through the map in different ways, encountering unique solutions and obstacles. Progressing a character takes up one turn and part of the timeline, creating interactions with other characters and enemies at different times. Rewinding a turn undoes your move, allowing you to find better solutions and new ways to tackle problems. Manipulate each character individually, rewinding or fast-forwarding along the timeline in the process to reach her current point in time. Changes over time are reflected in each character’s progression and actions in both the past and present, creating some abilities and removing others. Each character has their own super move with limited resources that can be activated under certain conditions. Tip toe through tight spaces with your bass player, slide through guards with your keytar player, break through walls with your drummer, or blow enemies out of the way with your mighty super sax. Strategic use of your super moves increases the number of solutions for each puzzle and is the key to reaching a maximum score. Four resource-based musical stats dictate how and when you can move and interact with objects in the levels. These can completely block progress if used inefficiently, and create amazing musical sequences and high scores if artfully regulated. === MUSIC === Join Watts as she grows on a musical journey rooted in funk and fusion. Soulful grooves and hot licks were composed by Pete Fraser, session saxophonist of The Pogues, Friendly Fires and Field Music! Twenty musical motifs are recorded by a live ensemble of seven funk masters, which form the basis for the dynamic music in the game. Unique numbers are generated depending on the directions and paths you take in each puzzle. Customize your performance with alternate playing styles, instrument changes, and real-time audio effects pedals. === CONCEPT === Backbeat pays homage to the 16- and 32-bit story-driven games of the 1990s, recreating the challenges and victories of the last days of analog life and the birth of the Internet. Washington DC’s suburbs are reflected in parking lots, shopping malls and dimly lit arcades. A colorful cast of supporting characters, both friend and foe, join Watts as she struggles with leadership, success and keeping a bond together.

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