Welcome to Susan Arendt's latest column on Pocket Gamer. In 2018 we've recruited the best writers and most experienced gamers in the industry and asked them to inspire us. Today Susan takes a look at Raccoon Dentist, a horrifying look at what would happen if you started yanking teeth out of cute fluffy animals...
If you're at all aware of new game releases, you've undoubtedly heard about a certain game starring a hole-loving raccoon. I don't want to talk about that game.
It is certainly outstanding and well worth your notice, but I am compelled to present to you a different game starring a raccoon. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say this game will change not only how you look at games, but also how you look at life.
I am, of course, speaking of Raccoon Dentist.
The purpose of Raccoon Dentist is ostensibly to make trips to the dentist less scary for the wee ones, but I suspect it was, in fact, created by children-hating clowns who wield bone saws and balloons with equal glee.
Your mission in Raccoon Dentist is straightforward: treat the dentally damaged patients who roll up for your care by carefully tending to their pearly whites. Pick away debris, fill cavities, scrape off tartar, and when nothing else can be done, get out the pliers and pull.
Well, I mean, that's the cover story. Your real goal is to cackle with full-throated delight as the poor buggers' eyes roll in stark terror every time you pick up an instrument. Back and forth their pupils bounce, watching your every move as you utter "Should I use this one? Oh, no, how about this one instead? It looks rather like a tiny pizza cutter!" That one REALLY freaks them out. You can pull teeth all day, and you won't get half the reaction you will from that little round blade.
You don't have to actually talk to them, of course. That's just for ambience and personal enjoyment. Heck, sing tunes from Little Shop of Horrors if it gets you in the proper mood for the torture you're inflicting on these poor...ok, let's stop there for a second, because something is really bothering me.
The title of the game is Raccoon Dentist, and the patients have cute tufted ears, so I assumed it was implied you are a dentist for raccoons, not a raccoon yourself. I guess it could be both. But these suckers experiencing existential dread in your chair have no noses. Enormous, bugged out eyes, a mouth full of horrors, and the aforementioned ears, but no nose of any sort. WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THEIR NOSES, YOU MANIAC?
They don#t have any eyelids, either, but I figure that's to ensure they can't ever look away from your ministrations. I mean, what fun would that be?
When you pull teeth, you have to select an appropriate replacement...by which I naturally mean exactly the wrong tooth, thus leaving your victim looking like a snaggle-tooth beast from the dark beyond. Did I mention Raccoon Dentist makes it clear you're treating children? Also, the game starts with three raccoons standing in front of a Christmas tree.
Raccoon Dentist is free, and in its defense, it does a fine job of teaching the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene, if only to avoid ending up in the chair of a psychopath. (No, not all dentists are evil. Like...35%, at most. I'm just saying.)
I do hope there's an orthodonture expansion someday.
Read more of Susan Arendt's columns on Pocket Gamer, and find out more about Raccoon Dentist at the game's App Store page. If you're looking for more columns, then check out Harry Slater and Jon Jordan, who are always on-hand with sharp, tasty opinions too.