Fall of Porcupine is a cozy, 2D story-driven game from publisher Assemble Entertainment and developer Critical Rabbit. While the game has some cozy feels about it, it also explores what it’s like to be a healthcare worker. Here is my review of the PlayStation 5 version.
Fall of Porcupine reminded me a lot of another indie game called Night in the Woods when I first saw it. One of those reasons is the fall like setting that the game features but the most obvious thing is that it features anthropomorphic animal characters. The game takes place in the cozy town of Porcupine and you play as a bird character named Finley who is now working as a doctor at the town’s hospital. Each day that passes you’ll be spending your time working shifts at the hospital or exploring the town and talking with the various residents that inhabit it.
At the start of the game Finley has an ordeal with a patient that ends up leaving him out of work for a short time with an injury. After he recovers, he returns to the hospital for his shift which is where you’ll be given your tasks. Each time you clock in you’ll be given three patients to look after which really boils down to playing some mini-games. These mini-games are OK but also a tad bit frustrating and poorly explained. One has you trying to inject a needle while another has you using a stethoscope. After each one you are given a grade but whether you performed poorly or really well didn’t really seem to change anything in regards to the patient so it was hard to really care about my performance on them.
The best thing about this game is talking with and getting to know all of the various other characters that inhabit this world. So many of them have interesting personalities and stories to share so whether I was talking with patients at the hospital or exploring the town and spending time with the people there I was always enjoying myself. The game isn’t always cheery though as it deals with a lot of issues that real healthcare workers face like stress. There are also mysteries to unravel like something going on at the hospital and things that have happened in Porcupine in the past. While I enjoyed the story it does have some pacing issues and also doesn’t wrap up very well in the end as things get a bit rushed.
The visuals in the game are very nice with characters having nice details to them and the colors in general just evoking a nice relaxing feeling while exploring the town. There were some performance issues and other little bugs during my time with the game though with the framerate dropping when it really shouldn’t and little things like characters talking when you can’t see them clearly on-screen. The audio however is very good and perfectly matches the small-town atmosphere the game has going for it. If you’re a trophy hunter you’ll find 20 trophies here including a Platinum. It’s not a hard list I would say but you will need to do things like getting an A on your mini-game evaluation and some other tasks.
Fall of Porcupine takes you on an emotional journey and touches on some real issues found in the health care system. Not everything is perfect as the story can get a bit messy and rushed in places and there are some technical issues as well that will hopefully be ironed out. Despite those things, they weren’t enough to ruin my enjoyment of living in this world and talking with the many interesting characters that dwell within it.
*Fall of Porcupine is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Fall of Porcupine$19.99
- Emotional story that touches on real healthcare issues
- Colorful, charming art style with great character designs
- Soundtrack that fits the small town atmosphere
- Lots of interesting characters to talk with
- Has some technical issues that need to be addressed
- Story can get a bit messy in places