Backbone

EggNut, Raw Fury, EggNut

Fair Man
OpenCritic Rating
74
Top Critic Average
43%
Critics Recommend
Based on 30 critic reviews
Backbone MastheadBackbone Masthead

Backbone

Rating Summary

Based on 30 critic reviews
Fair Man

OpenCritic Rating

74

Top Critic Average

43%

Critics Recommend

Based on 30 critic reviews
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General Information

Available on:PCJun 8, 2021

Developer: EggNut

Publishers: Raw Fury, EggNut

Genres: Adventure, RPG

It takes a certain kind of person to take on the greatest evils of the world. A keen intellect. Relentless courage. An unstoppable desire to see justice done. But you? You’re just trying to make rent. 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. Get to work, detective. Backbone is a post-noir roleplaying detective adventure, in which you step into the shoes of raccoon private investigator, Howard Lotor, and explore dystopian Vancouver, BC, beautifully rendered in high resolution pixel art. After years of small-time cases, lonely evenings, and just barely scraping by, Howard Lotor is swept into a job quite unlike any other before it. What starts as a menial case slowly unravels into something much darker, pitting Howard against the oppressive, systemic power hierarchies of the City itself. Backbone's gameplay is a modern take on the classic point-and-click adventure, featuring stealth, exploration, and elaborate dialogues inspired by old school CRPGs. As Howard, you will: • Make meaningful connections with a diverse cast of characters in pursuit of truth • Explore both flourishing and decaying districts of a now walled-off Vancouver • Uncover clues and collect evidence • Solve puzzles and sneak around • 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.

Backbone Critic Reviews

View All (30 total)

Eurogamer

No Recommendation / Blank
Eurogamer

Backbone's sumptuous pixel art and promising narrative threads are undermined by flat gameplay and a non sequitur of a final act.

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As a whole, Backbone is stylish but not exceptional. It’s a good time with an enjoyable story, but otherwise it’s just kind of routine. The visual style is great, but it’s offset by uneven audio design. There’s definitely a lot to love about Backbone, I just don’t feel it sticks the landing quite well. It will be worthwhile playing for most, but I’m more interested in what comes next from EggNut.

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I am disappointed by the mixed feelings I get from Backbone. It is absolutely worth a look solely on the merits of its audiovisual presentation, but its attempt to offer commentary or insight into the topics its narrative broaches repeatedly fall flat, particularly in the latter half. EggNut clearly has the goods in the art and music departments, so I would love to see what they can do with a stronger narrative in the future. If you do choose to give Backbone a shot, make sure to get the Artifact Edition, as it includes the wonderful soundtrack.

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Backbone features a compelling story and a well-realised post-noir dystopia, with engaging characters and some smart gameplay.

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Backbone Launches on June 8 | Announcement Trailer thumbnail

Backbone Launches on June 8 | Announcement Trailer

Backbone - Reveal Trailer -  Beautiful dystopian noir adventure coming 2021! thumbnail

Backbone - Reveal Trailer - Beautiful dystopian noir adventure coming 2021!

Backbone Screenshot 1