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Backbone: Prologue is the first act of a post-noir narrative adventure. Become raccoon private eye Howard Lotor and explore dystopian Vancouver inhabited by animals as you uncover a deeply personal story of change and transformation.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (17) - 94% of the 17 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Overwhelmingly Positive (4,145) - 97% of the 4,145 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 24, 2019
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Publisher:
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Reviews

“The art is beautiful, a mixture of detailed, chunky pixel-art and subdued, hazy lighting. What steals the show for me is the writing.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Backbone has some, well, backbone in its early state in how it tackles classism through its well-written script and intriguing world.”
GameRevolution

“It does, so far, seem like a pretty interesting story.”
Kotaku

About This Game

You’re not special. You’re not a hero. Thrust into unfortunate circumstances, you find yourself with no other option than to unravel what might be your biggest case yet.

There is no choice. We change, but we change nothing. Get to work, detective.


Backbone: Prologue is the first act of a post-noir narrative adventure. Become raccoon private eye Howard Lotor and explore dystopian Vancouver inhabited by animals as you uncover a deeply personal story of change and transformation.


Backbone is inspired by film noir, weird sci-fi, post-soviet aesthetics, modern political regimes, the works of Lynch and Kaufman, and existential philosophy of Sartre. It is a linear, cinematic narrative experience that subverts genre and challenges your perception of what it means to be a person.




Backbone’s gameplay is focused on storytelling and emotional expression, featuring rich and elaborate dialogues inspired by old school CRPGs, as well as exploration of the lush environments. The end of all things is inevitable, but defining which version of Howard Lotor reaches the conclusion is up to you.

As Howard, you will:
• Make meaningful connections with a diverse cast of characters in pursuit of truth
• Shape and express your identity through dialogue choices - decide what kind of person you want to be
• Explore and experience both downtrodden and flourishing districts of a strange, yet familiar version of Vancouver
• Come to terms with the universal pain of existence and loss
• Be a raccoon





Post-noir dystopia
Backbone’s Vancouver is a dangerous place, bleak and dreary, but not entirely without hope. It’s a tale of a cold and existentialist world, interspersed with genuine connections and a bruised but undying drive to make a difference. Everyone wants to change the world, but not always for the better.



Stunning visuals
The breathtaking combination of high-resolution pixel art and 3D effects like dynamic lighting, pouring rain, volumetric fog and neon lights bring the sprawling city to life.



Evocative and unforgettable soundtrack
An original soundtrack by Danshin and Arooj Aftab is expertly crafted to create a cinematic, atmospheric, and simply jaw-dropping soundscape. You’ve never heard dystopian doom jazz quite like this.

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

Backbone heavily features strong language, themes of violence, systemic racism and sexism, drug abuse, depression, terminal illness, body horror, death. All imagery is suggestive and not direct, but we would still never recommend this game to children.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Multi-core 1.8GHz or faster
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 760 or equivalent
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Something that can do beep and boop
    Recommended:
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Multi-core 2.5GHz or faster
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 950 or equivalent
    • Sound Card: Something that can do much more beeps and boops

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