Backfirewall, which lets you play as a self-aware smart phone operating system, drops demo at Future Games Show

Backfirewall is a tongue-in-cheek tragicomedy about a self-aware operating system, and it's the first game from women-led developer Naraven Games and publisher All in! Games. Oh, and by the way, you can play it right now, as announced at the Future Games Show at Gamescom Powered by Mana

Backfirewall is set inside of a smartphone, with you playing the update assistant desperately trying to figure out how to stop the latest update from deleting the previous operating system. The new operating system, OS10, may be better optimized, but you're on OS9's side, and you need to save it from getting obliterated by technological advances. Imagine you are a phone program, right, how terrible would it be to face erasure?

Backfirewall gives you the chance to party in the nightclub located in the phone's speakers, or navigate the red-tape nightmare that is, of course, the device's WiFi. OS9 is cheeky and British and desperate to stay alive, so you'll be treated with an almost constant stream of hilarious dialogue throughout your gameplay, which will task you with solving puzzles, chasing down bugs, and otherwise attempting to stop the update. Oh, and this game just looks cool, with distinctly late '70s/early'80s visuals and some very vibey music. 

If you own a smartphone, you can understand the core premise at play here. How many times have you gone to sleep with the promise of a new OS downloading while you count sheep and woken up to some weird new features that baffle you? Well, Backfirewall just wants to prevent that bizarre process, which we can all empathize with. But do you want to keep an antiquated OS around? Ultimately, the decision is yours. Backfirewall will release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC later this year, but remember, you can demo it right now on Steam

If you're on the prowl for more games to check out that were featured in today's Future Games Show, have a look at our official Steam page.

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.