Humanoid animals live in a reimagined Vancouver, carrying out their lives in a walled city, their lot in life dictated by their species. A lone raccoon detective, Howard, feels like he doesn’t belong, but a powerful technology and a series of bizarre cases will work to keep his mind off his problems in Backbone.
Backbone is a noir detective story set in this city of animal people, following a gloomy story of corruption and discrimination. Players will have to do their own digging if they wish to figure out who is behind the various crimes that occur throughout its world, following clues they discover and deciding their own meanings, as the game offers little in the way of hints or direction. It’s purely up to the player to figure out what things mean.
Some clues may lead players to places they’re not terribly welcome in, requiring some sneaking around. However, as all of the characters are animals, many of them can locate Howard by smell, and vice versa. Players will need to mask their scent through a quick hop into a garbage bin, or confuse the noses of their pursuers, if they hope to sneak past them and find the information they need.
While a raccoon might not be a powerful creature, the players have access to a technology that can allow them to shift some aspects of their body into those of other animals. This can have dramatic effects on what Howard can do, but may also have drastic effects on society and the story.
Backbone is currently raising money on Kickstarter, with a projected release in 2019.