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Backtrack

Quick Definition

Backtracking means returning to areas that you've already explored.

From a developer's point of view, having the player return to explored areas allows them to add a few extra levels without creating many new assets, so it saves on time and money. Players however, often view backtracking as a bad thing, as it feels like busywork or needless filler.

Note that it's not backtracking if the player returns to find the original area has been greatly changed. For example, if a player spends time in a specific village and later returns to find only a pile of rubble, then it's effectively a "new area" and therefore not backtracking.