LifeisXbox’s Fall Of Porcupine Review| In a world where animals can speak, shop hold down careers and homes, a junior doctor pidgeon called Finley moves into the quaint town of Porcupine to take up a doctors position at an old, run down hospital at the edge of town but he finds mixing work and outside life hard to handle, especially with difficult patients, even more difficult managing doctors and a hospital that is falling apart at the seams. Can Finley hold it together or will the stress be too much to handle? Developed by Critical Rabbit and Published by Assemble Entertainment brings a heavily story driven tale of stress of work, home life and friendship for someone working in the healthcare industry.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Magnificent story| I absolutely love the story in Fall Of Porcupine. The narrative of Finley struggling to balance work in the hospital to trying to keep a house in order and trying to make and maintain friendships in a new town is excellent and is a homage to how much healthcare professionals sacrifice to help you and your loved ones. It really touched a place in my heart as I have family and friends in the healthcare industry and it brought home how much they sacrifice every day and shows how much we should appreciate what they do for us.
- Visuals are beautiful| Fall Of Porcupine has a 2D hand-drawn style. The drawn style of the visuals look impressive throughout the game but the two bits that really stand out to me visually are the sections in the woods and the final sequence which are simply breathtaking to the eye, the colour choices are impeccable
- Sounds are great and match the vibe| The sound effects match the actions really well and doesn’t take the player away from the immersion of the story, the steps sound like steps in both dry and wet weather which is impressive, wheeling of hospital trolleys match the sounds etc. The music in the game I really like the majority of the time it’s very folky and invokes calmness, this is contrasted to when a moment of tension kicks in and the music changes completely to fit and it draws you in further.
- The characters draw you in| The characters in Fall Of Porcupine are interesting and draw you in further to the story. You are invested in these characters, especially Finley and you want them to succeed. They have well defined personalities and have elements in the story which focusses on them and builds them up further. My favourite portion of the game without doubt is the connection between Finley and Irma one of his more elderly patients, her mini stories are fantastic and it’s makes her a very well rounded character.
- Travelling from Finley’s home to work| The game makes you travel to and from Finley’s house to work every day. The first time this happens it is very interesting due to the excellent visuals but the 3rd time of doing this journey it loses it’s charm a little bit and becomes a chore that you get through in between the good bits of narrative. Thankfully some occasions Fall Of Porcupine allows you to ‘catch a bus’ which skips most of this walk. It’s a little nitpick but I felt it was worth mentioning because the first walk to work I really enjoyed, it just outstayed it’s welcome.
What we Disliked
- Technical faults| The major negative I found in Fall Of Porcupine are the glitches and faults I had in the product which could have very easily be ironed out with a little bit of play testing. Errors which feel like are a direct result of a rushed release. The worst of the faults were when it glitched, froze, then crashed the game. Thankfully autosaves are frequent so I missed a total of a minute’s worth of gameplay I had to redo but still frustrating nevertheless. Other issues included a button that was mapped incorrectly in the stitches mini-game where it asks you to press RT but it acted upon pressing RB, I only found this out after button mashing the controller like I was playing Mortal Kombat and another one right at the start in a dream sequence where I managed to find a stairway to heaven but I instantly forgave that one as it was a dream sequence and it was a bit weird to begin with. These faults prevent the game from reaching over 90%.
- No quest markers or way finders| As the town of Porcupine is quite large sometimes you can get lost trying to find your next destination especially if it is a brand new destination and woe befalls a player who loses concentration of one second and loses track of the conversation for a brief second and the conversation ends and you don’t know where to travel next.You can get very lost very quickly, myself it took about 20 minutes of wandering through different parts of town trying to get to the story marker. The reason for this is there’s no way finders or hints on where to go, Fall Of Porcupine just tells you to find it. It promotes exploration but it can be very frustrating also.
How long to beat the story | 8 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 8 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Night In The Woods, Beacon Pines
Fall Of Porcupine is a masterful tale of working in the healthcare industry and trying to balance the stress of trying to do your best for your patients and trying to win over the managing physician in a new environment and trying to mix this with a life outside work.
The only major issue is some technical problems, which on my experience, weren’t game breaking but were annoying, and I had to restart the game a few times, where were also some instances of a particular mini-game had a button mapped wrong and it said RT when it was meant to be RB. Other than a few minor problems which could have ironed out with a little bit of play testing, it’s an excellent game however it is these minor issues which prevent Fall Of Porcupine from hitting the elite mark of +90%. Rough diamond is the term I would describe this game as.
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