Prepare yourself for Toronto’s unique response to the animal simulation phenomenon. A resident from Scarborough brings an innovative video game where players assume the role of a raccoon, freely navigating through various Toronto neighborhoods while engaging in the entertaining pursuit of rummaging through garbage. This whimsical and distinctly Canadian gaming experience promises an immersive journey through the city’s diverse landscapes. Offering players a playful perspective on urban life and the mischievous adventures of our furry, masked friends.
Trash Panda, an exciting venture masterminded by Jason Leaver, the acclaimed filmmaker renowned for his web series, Out with Dad, invites players into the nocturnal world of raccoons. In this intriguing video game, the bustling excitement revolves around their favorite nocturnal activity—garbage night. Priced at $9.99 on Steam, the game offers a unique experience of the city’s nightlife, focusing not on visiting bars or restaurants, but on creating the largest mess possible by knocking over trash bins in some of the city’s most recognizable neighborhoods.
Freshly out of beta testing and ready to play, Trash Panda is Jason Leaver’s debut video game, developed by the filmmaker himself. Hailing from Oakville, Leaver ensures that the game portrays realistic neighborhoods and landmarks across Toronto, such as Algonquin Island, Cabbagetown, The Beaches, Swansea, and the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant. This places Trash Panda among a collection of video games paying tribute to the city, alongside titles like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game and Far Cry: Blood Dragon.
Can you tell where this is?
Thanks to @CityGen3D, I was able to import real-world map data. Roads, buildings, landscapes, city park benches, @TTCNewsroom bus stops, @canadapostcorp mailboxes, all appear where they really do in real life in my #indiegame, Trash Panda. pic.twitter.com/5xChkbKjzL
— Jason Leaver (@HeyBishop) November 14, 2023
Reportedly, Leaver initiated the project during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns. Encouraged by the positive reception of its prototype, he made a personal commitment to see the project to completion. Despite being a raccoon simulator, the game has already generated rumors about its origin and symbolic meaning.
Toronto has earned the moniker raccoon capital of the world for years. The city’s struggle with the raccoon scourge reached such heights that in 2016, it invested CA$31 million in “raccoon-resistant” organic green-colored waste bins. However, rumors suggest that Leaver drew inspiration from Raging Raccoon Gaming, a Canadian video game YouTube channel with over 97,000 subscribers, known for its content infused with a healthy dose of rage. Established three years ago, the channel humorously refers to its audience as raccoons and trash pandas, creating a quirky connection between Toronto’s real raccoon issues and the new virtual raccoon adventure game.