Backbone Preview – Stripey in a Trench Coat


EggNut’s crime noir roleplaying detective adventure, Backbone, will be coming in 2021 to PC & Xbox Gamepass, Nintendo Switch, Mac and Linux. In anticipation of the game’s release the studio has released a Prologue demo on Steam featuring the game’s first chapter. Please note that the demo was released in April of 2019, but I only recently discovered the game on social after the official account shared a picture of the game’s protagonist, Howard “Howie”Lotor, a stripey (Raccoon) in a trench coat.

Backbone is being developed by the in 2017 in Vancouver established fully remote studio, EggNut. A diverse team of passionate creators based across Canada, Russia, UK, USA and the Netherlands. Their mission is to explore the complexity of the human condition through the joy of interactive experiences.

Backbone: Prologue is the first act of the upcoming noir roleplaying detective adventure. You get to role play as Howard “Howie”Lotor – anthropomorphic raccoon and private eye – and explore the beautifully rendered 2.5D pixel art environments of dystopian Vancouver. The Prologue takes place in Granville, a place that smells like wet concrete, overpriced fast food and puke.

The prologue takes you on an adventure that promises to be quite dull. As most of the cases Howard works on are unremarkable domestic disputes. When Odette Green asks him to take on her case things seem like business as usual. Little did Howard know that this would be a slightly more adventurous case than any of the cases he had worked on before in his detective career.

The prologue is well written and submerges you in the perfectly created Crime Noir setting of EggNut’s Dystopian Vancouver. From the loading screen featuring a lit cigarette to the dark back alleys of the city. The pixel art looks amazing and overall character design is well done. The game;s dialogue is well written and funny at times, if you choose so. Have you heard of the joke about the Raccoon and the Bear that went into the bar? No? Me neither as the Bear bouncer told the Raccoon detective that wanted to go into the bar to fuck off.

Backbone’s offers is a new take on point-and-click adventure, featuring stealth, exploration and extensive branching dialogues inspired by classic CRPGs. As Howard, you must traverse the different districts of a now walled-off Vancouver, sniff out clues, collect evidence, interrogate witnesses, and choose which leads to follow.

As per the studios’ latest updated Backbone is almost completely done. All music (40+ tracks) are composed and are currently going through mixing. All environments, except for a couple most pivotal and complicated ones, are concepted and have pixel art outline, what’s left is to polish pixel art and do a tech-art magic pass on them. The script is done and 100+ dialogues are now going through polish. The game is playable through start to finish.

Some of the game’s Key features:

  • Backbone is a dark story set in dystopian anthropomorphic animal society, where social class is dictated by species.
  • As a detective, sniff out clues and evidence, interrogate witnesses, solve stealth puzzles, and choose which leads to follow.
  • Stunning combination of high resolution pixel art and Unreal Engine tools like volumetric lighting, particle effects and custom materials.
  • Non-linear conversations with a diverse cast of characters inspired by old school CRPGs.
  • Detailed environments are modeled after the real streets of Vancouver, BC.
  • Original doom jazz OST.
  • You get to play as a highly relatable raccoon in a trench coat.

Backbone: Prologue available on Steam. Backbone the full game will release in 2021 for PC & Xbox Gamepass, Nintendo Switch, Mac and Linux.

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