I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer to a certain degree. I thrive on challenging platformers and boomer shooters in particular; however, I’ve also become quite a fan of the new wave of cozy games that are becoming more and more popular. It’s nice to take a break from ripping and tearing once in a while in order to administer treatment to a sick deer or help your friend tidy up their flower shop.

Fall of Porcupine, despite sounding like a kaizo variant of Sonic The Hedgehog, is a cozy game that focuses on building up relationships with an adorable cast of characters through its narrative and sprinkling it with some light gameplay.

The result is an absolute treat for cozy enthusiasts.

Albeit with one very major caveat.

Many thanks to Assemble Entertainment for the review code.


Set in the titular town of Porcupine, our protagonist – a pigeon fella named Finley – is both new to the town and new to St Ursula’s hospital, where he works as a junior doctor. He had a rough start with a bit of a knock to the head that had him laid up for a while, but now he’s ready to start proper. Both his co-workers and the townsfolk seem nice, so he rather enjoys his new job – even if the head doctor can be a little too harsh on him at times.

Set over three acts, the game follows Finley’s journey as a junior doctor as he spends time with his new friends and works hectic shifts at the hospital. As the seasons progress, he soon finds out that things aren’t quite as great as they seem with the hospital having its fair share of troubles as people try their best to do what they can under less-than-ideal conditions.

There’s a very clear parallel to the real world healthcare system as the game portrays an underfunded, understaffed hospital full of hard-working and well-meaning staff coming up against people who aren’t always quite as appreciative as they probably ought to be. Things are difficult, and the problems that the game portrays feel very realistic for the most part – especially to those who have been paying attention to the ongoing problems in the modern healthcare field.


As for the game itself, it’s largely a narrative experience as you follow the story along and perform the occasional task. Your work at the hospital requires you to administer treatment to your small number of patients, and the minigames for each are quite varied – if a little simple. There’s a diagnosis minigame that is reminiscent of Mastermind, an injection minigame that has you trying to steady a syringe and administer the correct dose, another that has you figuring out what pill combinations are right for each patient, and so on. None of them are particularly fantastic, but the diversity more than makes up for it. You are graded on how well you do, but it never seems to really matter – and that’s ok, considering the laid back nature of the game.

Outside of work, you can wander around the town chatting to residents and hanging out with friends. Residents of the town can also be colleagues or even future patients, so it’s nice to chat with each to feel fully integrated with the town. Whilst off-shift, you can find yourself hanging out in the bar with friends, wandering through the forest, or even taking part in a traditional festival. All of these tend to involve some kind of minigame or basic platforming sequence, but it’s all rather pleasant and the great writing helps make you fall in love with the residents.

Unfortunately, the game is let down somewhat by a not-insignificant amount of technical issues. During my playtime, I had speech bubbles that appeared so big that they ended up being offscreen (and thus unreadable), patients standing upright on top of their beds, hard crashes, and frequent stuttering with both the audio and the framerate. Thankfully the game at least saves quite frequently, thus making the crashing less of an issue than it could have been, but the crashing is still one more issue to add to all of the others.

Do they spoil the charming overall narrative? Well, a bit but not completely. I still had a wonderful time engaging with the town and its residents both on and off the clock. It really is a treat for fans of cozy games so long as you can either tolerate the technical problems or are willing to hold out for a potential patch further down the line.


Fall of Porcupine has the potential to be an unmissable cozy game with its cast of likeable inhabitants and story of hospital staff working under impossible conditions; however, a litany of technical issues spoil it more than a little. If the developers can fix them, this could be the next cozy fix to occupy your time.