Fall of Porcupine from Assemble Entertainment and Critical Rabbit is a 2D narrative adventure about the hardships endured by healthcare workers. Check out our Fall of Porcupine review!
Fall of Porcupine from Assemble Entertainment and Critical Rabbit is a 2D narrative adventure about the hardships endured by healthcare workers. The game features a cast of anthropomorphic characters who live in the titular town of Porcupine. You’ll play as Finley, the newest doctor to join the ranks of St. Ursula Hospital. At first, everything will seem to be perfect as you explore a colorful town and meet the warm and friendly individuals that call Porcupine home. But will this first impression reflect reality in the long run?
As a heads-up, because of the game’s story and the fact it’s set in a healthcare environment, that means some of its plot points will deal with issues related to topics such as stress, illness, death, and self-doubt, to name some examples. Due to this, it’s a game that will not be for everyone. The game even displays this message before you get started:
Please pause the game if you feel unwell, and consider contacting family, friends, or a professional for support.
Once you start your new adventure in healthcare, you’ll be controlling Finley with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the B button, and interacting with objects and other characters by pressing the A button. Finley can hover for a bit after jumping if you press and hold down the B button. You’ll get to learn the basics during the tutorial segment at the start of the game, which will have you going through a dream sequence.
You have a very useful cellphone that you can use by pressing the X button. You can review any tasks you have to complete at St. Ursula Hospital, chat with your contacts through its messenger app, and check your notes so that you can learn more about each character – such as how Mia started as an intern on the same day as Finley, how Pina owns a flower shop and is the one who gifted you a plant after you arrived at Porcupine, or that Doctor Krokowski is your senior resident, and that she heads Internal Medicine on the third floor. New characters will be added to your notes as you get to meet them. You can also check your phone if you need some help with what it is that you need to do next.
The gameplay is split between the time you spend at the hospital and your time exploring Porcupine while interacting with its inhabitants. Once you arrive at the hospital, you’ll begin to work on helping patients… right after greeting Ingrid, the receptionist. It turns out that Finley had an accident on the 5th floor and had been resting at home for a bit to recover. This is evident from the prologue, as well as from the big band-aid on Finley’s head. Once you’re at the hospital, you’ll start by doing your rounds in the morning.
As to not spoil things too much, allow me to discuss the first two patients that Finley checks during the rounds. There’s Ms. Martin, the first patient Finley will interact with on the day he returns to St. Ursula Hospital. She came to the hospital due to pain in her abdomen, along with a sharp pain in the heart. She was in so much pain that she could hardly move! When Dr. Krokowski asks Mia and Finley what could have caused that, Mia says a stomach ulcer. Since there’s no indication of gastritis or anything along those lines, you still need to find the cause for it.
Room P33 is where Mr. Anders is currently located. It was due to caring for Mr. Anders that Finley was hit in the head by a falling box that mysteriously, well, fell on top of his head. While Mr. Anders suffers from dementia, he’s still relatively fit. He ended up injuring his leg due to the incident, along with a moderate concussion. Finley’s task will be to change Mr. Anders dressing. This is important since you need to make sure that the wound does not become infected.
This is when one of the mini-games will pop up. For this one, you’ll need to press and hold the buttons shown on the screen to administer the treatment. You must only press the buttons on the screen, and it must be as quick as possible. Things can get a bit hectic if you need to, say, press right on the left analog stick, press the X button, press the ZL button, and then follow all of that by pressing the ZR while making sure all of the aforementioned inputs remain pressed. Do this fast enough, and you’ll get a good grade for your effort.
After the tutorial on this, Dr. Krokowski will let you know that you can download an updated schedule to your phone thanks to the tasks app. Doing this will let you know what patients you need to care for, what room they’re in, and what type of care is required. If someone needs meds, be sure to try and get all of the patient’s readings to their optimum levels by using as little medicine as possible.
There are some accessibility options to consider that will allow you to tailor your experience. There’s the very helpful possibility of increasing the text size – a must for most games that are making the jump to console while also having a PC version – and you can also activate dyslexia mode to change the font type used in Fall of Porcupine. There’s also the option of going into the color mode menu to select from the default option or Protanopia, Protanomaly, Deuteranopia, Deuteranomaly, Tritanopia, or Tritanomaly. There’s also the possibility of activating simple mini-games, as well as player guidance for an easier time.
Fall of Porcupine offers a colorful cozy-style experience that deals with some serious topics. As you dive deeper and deeper into this journey, you’ll get a better understanding of the hardships experienced by healthcare workers in their line of work, from mental health to how loss can impact their lives. There are simple mini-games to complete along the way as you care for your patients. There will also be some puzzles to solve along the way. Fall of Porcupine is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag. If you hurry up, you can buy the game with a 15% discount.
This Fall of Porcupine review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Assemble Entertainment.