Night in the Woods: Review

Written by: Jon Castillo

Games | Mar 10, 2017

Finji game review Infinite Fall Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods was overhyped for a reason. If the Netflix series Riverdale was a playable game, it would be just like this.

The trailers and screenshots don't expound on what this game is really about. All you need to know is that Mae, a female humanoid cat, is out in the woods after taking a shortcut back to her hometown of Possum Springs. That's as far as I'll say concerning the story, as the rest is best discovered on your own.

The stories introduced in the game are weird and full of sweet moments. From Mae coming home each night to be welcomed by her father, to waking up in the morning and checking your social media messages as you converse with your mother, every day is an adventure with characters you will want to know more about.

Night in the Woods is a tale about Mae, but it is also just as much about the inhabitants of Possum Springs. From a recovering addict on the sidewalk to a crazy old man on the roof, everything in the game is sentient. It all comes together in an epic narrative that takes more than a single playthrough to fully appreciate.

It's a story about responsibilities and is a coming-of-age story about late bloomers. It's about feeling and being free, something free-spirited millennials can relate to. But it also tells tales about the older generation fighting to keep up with the new one.

It's a game about second chances, rebuilding bridges, and doing something stupid like having a knife fight with your friends. Night in the Woods is crazy like that. 

Your relationship with the different characters develops based on how much you hang out with them each night. This isn't like the
Persona serieswhere it's possible to interact and develop relationships with everyone. Night in the Woods gives you only one chance to pick out your best friend, spurring multiple narratives that stems from this friendship. This encourages you to play it more than once, making its replay value soar through the roof as you learn about the various characters you come across.

The game doesn't forget that it's a game, however. It's not always a sprawling narrative eager to tell stories, as there are a bunch of mini-games such as band practice, eating pizza slices, and stealing things that remind you that Night in the Woods is, in fact, a playable game. There is even a pixel-art dungeon crawler within the game, which plays a lot like Hyper Light Drifter. Called Demon Tower, this mini-game is a nice break from all the narratives.

The saddest thing about the game is its length. I would have loved to explore Possum Springs more and meet more people, discover oddities, and spend the holidays with friends and family. But that's a stretch; Night in the Woods is short, sweet, and is a good game that talks about different walks of life.

About the author: Jon Castillo

Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.

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