Night In The Woods is an adventure game that is focused on story, characters and exploration. All of this navigated with platforming mechanics. The story follows Mae’s return to her hometown (Possum Springs), after dropping out of college. She’s embarrassed to be back and feels doesn’t feel at home anymore. You play through her story on discovering who she is and the mystery that surrounds this town. It’s best if we leave it as that as you should experience this story with a fresh mind.
While it is dressed as a interactive adventure game, Night in the Woods plays out like a 2D exploration game. You have the town to explore, talking to friends and strangers just to see how much life has changed. There are dialogue options that follow your conversations. Who you choose to spend the most time with, and how you treat them, will effect your end game. This opens up the game to multiple playthrough’s so you can see how some of these relationships play out.
Throughout Mae’s encounters you can feel the harsh sarcastic tone that she pushes forward. Sometimes it comes out as hilarious and sometimes you can see that there is something troubling her inside, that this isn’t the home she left behind. People have grown up, moved on and so forth. The writing in this game is absolutely top notch. The characters feel real despite being talking animals in a cartoon setting. The responses are those that you would expect from a 20 year old without sounding cliche. This makes Night in the Woods feel extremely relatable for anyone that could have gone through some of these issues in their life.
When it comes to gameplay, the majority of your time is spent walking back and forth, having conversations with the town to progress the story. In between that there is some very light platforming as well as a few mini games. The platforming controls aren’t the tightest you will see on the system but they’re far from bad. Anyone who has had experience with the genre will be able to grasp the sometimes floating mechanics.
The mini games range from stealing (she’s not a thief though she will tell you!) to playing in a band. The first time I played the Guitar Hero type mini game I was smiling ear to ear. As someone who was addicted to the musical games way back when this was a bit of a nostalgic rush (despite only being 10 year old game type). Speaking of playing in a band, the original music that is in this game is absolutely fantastic! Specifically the band music. I absolutely loved it. You can purchase the soundtracks on their bandcamp.
Overall my experience with Night in the Woods is a positive one. I dont feel like it has lived up to the hype that it gained during its initial release. However it is quite the experience to be in this world with these characters. Other than pacing issues half way through, the game did a good job at keeping me involved and interested in the story. If you’re a fan of great story and want something new I highly recommend Night in the Woods. As always with Nintendo Switch versions I believe this game is best played in these small bursts that only the switch allows. This version is also considered the “Weird Autumn” edition which is basically a directors cut of the original game including new content.
DEVELOPER: INFINITE FALL
RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 1ST (NINTENDO SWITCH)
AVAILABLE ON: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE & NINTENDO SWITCH
DISCLAIMER: THIS GAME WAS PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER FOR REVIEW PURPOSES