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You Can Play as a Stressed Healthcare Worker Who Happens To Be a Pigeon in “Fall of Porcupine”

A new indie game is taking aim at the plight of healthcare workers—through the guise of adorable anthropomorphic animals. In the narrative adventure game Fall of Porcupine, players take on the role of Finley, a pigeon doctor looking after the diverse inhabitants in the town of Porcupine despite the crippling flaws in the healthcare system.

So far, the game promises a compelling narrative that blends humor and depth. Finley is a new resident in Porcupine, balancing a high-pressure job at the local hospital, St Ursula, with getting to know the locals. Along the way, he will make friends and uncover medical ailments through conversation. And while Porcupine is an overall cozy town, there may be a secret or two lurking within St Ursula and the mysterious castle in the surrounding woods.

Each of Porcupine’s animal inhabitants come with big personalities. “The blunt head doctor, the selfless nurse, Finley’s smart friends, and many other residents populate the small town of Porcupine,” reads the Steam page description. “Engage in funny, profound, and sometimes serious dialogues, in which you’ll be able to choose your answers and influence your relationships.”

A recent trailer from the Wholesome Direct 2023 showcase revealed even more gameplay. In addition to exploration, light platforming, and branching dialogue choices, Fall of Porcupine will feature a series of minigames for treating patients and engaging in activities with friends. A free demo covering the game’s prologue, titled Fall of Porcupine: Last Days of Summer, is currently available to PC players on Steam.

The game has already drawn comparisons to Night in the Woods for the way it combines a cute aesthetic (a small town full of anthropomorphic animals) with adult subject matter (such as labor exploitation and its toll on mental health). Although developer Critical Rabbit is based in Germany, which has its own specific healthcare situation, the game will touch on topics that transcend borders and industries, like the unreasonable expectations of hospital leadership and the difficulty to maintain a work/life balance.

Fall of Porcupine will release on June 15 on PC, Switch, PlayStation 4|5, Xbox One and Series X|S.

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