A downloadable game

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You Cannot Go Back is a quick-to-play adventure game which will test your memory, skill, and reflexes. It's available here on itch and on Panic's  Catalog.

Can you make it through all three levels of the dungeon alive, and escape with the treasure? Or will a nasty fate befall you?

Just remember dungeoneer - the only way is onwards; you cannot go back!

Version 1 (May 2022) is available for free and Version 2 (September 2023) for $3 on Catalog and for any payment amount on itch. Version 2 includes five more chambers, re-balancing, and a global high scores table (high scores are a Catalog exclusive feature).

Game features:

  • Quick to play: each game lasts less than 5 minutes
  • Random three-level dungeons of up to 36 chambers total
  • Three-button control scheme: Up, Down, or Straight On (there is no Back button!)
  • Music & effects
  • Playable in both Landscape or Portrait modes 
  • 15 (Version 1) or 20 (Version 2) different chamber types with increased difficulty at higher levels, including
    • Puzzle Chambers
    • Action Chambers
    • Memory Recall Chambers
  • Challenges short-term recall
    • With up to 5 clues to remember at any one time
    • Any one of which may be needed to proceed

Need some help to finish the game? Check out the walkthrough on the wiki!

Also consider checking out my other game for Playdate: Factory Farming

Asset credits:

Updated 2 days ago
Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
GenreAdventure, Puzzle
Made withPlaydate
Tags8-Bit, Arcade, Black and White, Pixel Art, Playdate
Code licenseMIT License
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsGamepad (any)
LinksBlog, Walkthrough, Source code, Original Pebble Smatwatch Release


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

YouCannotGoBack_v1.1.pdx.zip 18 MB
YouCannotGoBack_v2.0i.pdx.zip 18 MB
if you pay $1 USD or more

Development log


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I still play this occasionally on my Pebble. Great to see it on the Playdate!


Great job in keeping a Pebble going in 2022! I did not manage to keep mine going beyond 19ish...


Check out rebble.io if you still have it, they're keeping the Pebble going. 

On simulator (mac , v1.12.3) I get an immediate error with  "no such function 'update'" in the console

Hello ninovanhooff, the simulator build was compiled on Ubuntu Linux. It will not work on Mac or Windows I am afraid.

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Allright, I'll play it some time on ubuntu then. Might be a good idea to mention it in the description for those who have not received their playdate yet 

I see you did. Sorry about missing that info

I imagine you should be able to get this game compiling for Windows in a very similar way to the build.bat pull request for Factory Farming.


This is a very clever take on puzzle games and RPGs while also utilizing the PlayDate's unique features.  Awesome job -- this is a top 10 sideload PlayDate game all PlayDate owners should have IMO!!

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Good game.


Previous comment regarding a now resolved bug:

I played two runs this morning, they both ended in the system crashing. I was in a room that was empty except for a central (down) stairwell. (All I could do was press down. It was a later room.) And it crashed with my standing in the stairwell. Maybe the recent updated messed with something?

Hello brogarrett, thank you very much for the report. Yes, there seems to be an issue with the recently pushed 1.12.1 Playdate update, notably a bug in the audio system which is causing some games to crash - this one included. The good thing is that Panic look to already know what the issue is, and are working on fixing it for 1.12.2 (https://twitter.com/cabel/status/1545053944086286337) - Tim


Playdate's 1.12.2 update is now out, the audio crash bug should now be fixed!

This is, in my eyes, the best itch io playdate game. I love the features in the game, the setting, the gameplay,... oh man... superb.

Good Job :)

Fantastically addictive little game, who knew Warioware and Knightmare made such good bedfellows? I'd happily pay a premium for a version with more rooms/features.

This game is EPIC! You should add a price to it! Even if just $0.99!!  Can’t wait for some additional floors. 

So, so, SO good. Took me about 30 minutes to complete my first run but I loved the complexity of this game. I have never played anything like it. Would love to see this expanded upon with more rooms in the future -- or a more full fleshed out (paid for obviously) release in the future!

Weirdly kinda reminds me of The Cube haha

Thanks jordan for posting your playthrough - it was fascinating to watch how you tackled the various chambers. I may make some small adjustments in the future based on your experiences here. Hope you managed to figure out the solution to the final room, you got lucky that time ;)


This has become my most-played game for the past few days. Such an excellent concept and very well done! It feels like something that Edmund McMillen would’ve worked on.

Very cool game. Reminds me sorta of warioware. I agree with seacreek about the portrait mode too. Would love to see an update adding more puzzles/floors. A floor counter highscore based mode would be interesting.

Thanks for the suggestions - adding new rooms is quite easy on the technical side, I just need some good new ideas of what to populate them with. And I am thinking about adding a 4th level to the dungeon, with even harder versions of all the rooms!

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Great little game! really enjoy having a portrait example. I think maybe the first portrait mode PD game.