Games / Game Reviews

Review: Night in the Woods


By Sean Booker
Jan 22, 2018 - 16:07

It is so rare that a game so believably captures a moment in time. Night in the Woods follows a college dropout, returning to her home town with no direction in life. The writing is incredible and the characters feel real. The game’s look and sound help add a style that is unforgettable. The world established feels alive and will drive you to continue exploring.


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The strongest aspect is the writing of the characters. Mae is a college dropout returning home to her dead end town. You meet some of her old friends and acquaintances and learn that not much new has changed. Everyone and everything seems to be stuck in a rut. Over the game we see how each character is dealing with this dilemma and it comes across almost tangible. There’s an earnestness to how the writing portrays these relationships that is rarely seen in games. The characters feel fleshed out and deep and you are compelled to learn as much as you can.


You wake up each morning and work your way through the small town, talking to the various people you encounter. There are several side quests you can participate in by talking to the right people continuously. When hanging out with your close group of friends you are often tasked with picking one to spend the afternoon with. These moments provide the most backstory and character development. Each event will finish the day off before you are back in your house to finish the night. As the days go on, you learn more and more about the people and the weird happenings with the town.


The only real drawback I experienced was missing out on some content. Since spending an evening with a friend finishes up the day you can’t hang out with everyone. This means you need to decide which person you will continue with while missing out on other characters’ stories. To see everything you would need to play the game through at least twice. It’s a bummer since I wanted to get deeper with more characters but only had enough time to finish out one storyline fully.


It’s a side scrolling game with some light platforming. You can jump on the telephone wires and onto roofs to find more characters and rooms to visit. It’s not difficult and provides many hidden areas for exploration. Some of the best moments are hidden away in a random building’s fire escape for example. There are many secrets to find and stories to uncover.


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This is all presented in a gorgeous looking artstyle. Everything is real flat and shaded to make it seem almost picturebook-esque. The colors and lighting work together to make some very cool scenes whether during the day or one of the several dream sequences. Paired with this is the great music found throughout. In your dreams you assemble a band of musicians as you slowly build more and more of the overarching song. You play bass in your friends’ band that manifest like a rhythm game. It’s fun to hear the different songs and the lyrics are silly. This game looks and sounds great.


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Night in the Woods perfectly displays this moment in time. The characters are rich and the weird undercurrents in the town are interesting. There is always a new story to find and it is enjoyable the whole way through. This place feels real and that’s an incredible feat. This game is really special.


Rating: 10 /10


Last Updated: Mar 10, 2019 - 23:20

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