Tails: The Backbone Preludes Review (PC)

Backbone was one of my games of the year for 2021 – a surprisingly touching, evocative noir adventure that had me hooked from start to finish. Now, Eggnut are back with Tails: The Backbone Preludes, filling in the origin stories for the characters and world. While the outcome might be known, that doesn’t stop this being another wonderfully written, engaging, and compelling adventure.

We follows the origins of returning characters Howard, Clarissa, Renee and Eli as Eggnut lay the foundation for the events of Backbone. Howard, for example, works his way through the highs and lows of university, while Clarissa has to come to terms with the realties of her family and what it’ll take to enact change.

We’ll spend most of the game reading dialogue like this – luckily it’s all very well written and entertaining

Those who’ve played Backbone will have an idea of where things go, but even so, new and returning players will still find a lot to get stuck into in Tails. Firstly, the writing is once again excellent, full of witty banter, touching moments, and many diverging dialogue choices for us to ponder. Much as in Backbone, these generally are there to add flavour to to story rather than change anything drastically, though there are parts where we can affect change more directly.

Each character has a branching path for their story to follow. Being a prequel, we’ll end up in the same place, albeit with slight alterations on the specifics. Spread across four chapters, each of the four protagonists have many conversations to partake in, and it’s to Eggnut’s credit that the big decisions flow as naturally into the conversation as the witty asides. Once we’re done with a characters section for that chapter, we’re presented with a flow chart showing what effect we’ve had on their journey. The potential for replays is pretty wide in scope, the flow chart weaving in many different paths between the start and finish points.

Eggnut add in lots of incidental detail that we can read or ignore as we move about

Sometimes, it’ll be a conversation that will move the needle; others, a choice to interact with an object or not. One later section has us presented with the option to rip out some pages of a book before a third party investigates. Doing so – or not – will alter the flow of the conversation that follows as we try to palm off excuses as to why there may be missing information.

There are also small moments of direct interactivity. In scenes reminiscent of Unpacking, we can tidy a shelf, clean a kitchen, or pack up our belongings before moving on. I played the majority of Tails with a controller, but these sections only really worked by switching to the mouse as it was hard to interact with the pad for some reason.

Dialogue choices are more flavour-filling than impactful most of the time, but that doesn’t stop them being worthwhile reading

This small niggle aside, it was fantastic to be back in the world of Backbone. That stunning audio visual work is only enhanced here, with subtle lighting and animation that make the 2D world of anthropomorphic animals feel alive. Combined with excellent character work and writing, as well as an overall plot that is interesting from beginning to end and multiple paths to explore and we have yet another masterpiece on our hands.


Tails: The Backbone Preludes is another stunning title from Eggnut and Raw Fury. Excellent writing and character work, stunning presentation, and multiple paths to explore make this an easy recommendation.

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This game was tested and reviewed on PC (via Steam). All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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  • Excellent writing and characters
  • Branching paths for repeat plays
  • Looks and sounds stunning
  • Item interactive scenes don't function well on controller
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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