On Tuesday, publisher Whitethorn Games and developer Brian Wilson announced that its upcoming puzzle platformer The Forest Cathedral — inspired by conservationist Rachel Carson’s book on the dangers of pesticide DDT — will release first for Xbox and PC on March 14.
The Forest Cathedral is a dramatic re-imagining of Carson’s book Silent Spring, where players take on the role of Rachel, a field research biologist who has embarked on a research trip to an island. As she works on and completes her weekly tasks, Rachel begins to realize that things are amiss here. Using advance technology to solve environmental puzzles that also involve platforming, the biologist slowly begins to uncover the horrifying effects the pesticide has had. Players will be able to switch between controlling Rachel in the 3-D environment and Little Man within the 2-D environment of her scanning tools. There will be people who try to stop her, but the truth must come out somehow. The game is fully voice acted to help narrate the story of how the pesticide industry attempted to silence Rachel Carson.
Secret Spring is an environmental biology book that Carson published September 27, 1962 which documented the damages of DDT and other pesticides. It was named one of the 25 best science books of all time by the editors of Discover magazine in 2006. She became concerned with how the pesticides were being used and their effects on the environment after the United States Department of Agriculture’s 1957 fire ant eradication program, which involved spraying pesticides combined with fuel oil aerially.
Whitethorn Games is an indie game publisher that specializes in “defending easy games” that are more narrative focused.
“Our big three brand pillars are approachability, snackability, and ease – basically, the games need to be playable by anybody regardless of experience or skill level, need to be playable in short bursts, and need to be relatively easy to complete,” Whitethorn Games CEO Dr. Matthew White told Gayming in an interview.