Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods captures the fears and anxieties of being a young adult with surprising clarity, but brings it into new and interesting territory thanks to its developers’ deep understanding of rural America’s economic hardships. Branching, well-written dialogue made me feel closer to Mae’s story as I helped build out her history and reignite friendships, encouraging a second playthrough to uncover the scenes (and even a few secrets) I know I missed.
A witty smalltown adventure with light puzzle-platforming elements that walks the line between nostalgia and nihilism.
A beautiful, heartfelt coming of age story that says something about life, and cracks a few jokes in the process.
A hugely impressive achievement in interactive storytelling, that tackles difficult subjects head-on but still manages to be life-affirming and relatable.
Natural, clever dialogue is the most compelling aspect, mixing black humor, charm, and profound observations
Night in the Woods delivers an evocative take on the early-20s existential crisis with awkward humor and charming characters.
Night in the Woods isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. Life isn't perfect. But as the game itself tries to espouse, if you've got the patience, you may find that there is true beauty in that revelation.
The main plot of Night in the Woods didn't move me much, and in fact it disappointed me a little in its shift from relatable 'people stuff' into grander, supernatural machinations. But for me the plot was secondary to the experience of kicking around town, bumping Mae up against everybody's lives, seeing myself, who I could have been, who I'll never be.
All of this -- the unique pieces that make up Night in the Woods -- goes back to why it's so damn hard to define the game. There isn't an adequate term for titles that blend clunky platforming with choose-you-own-adventure friendship simulators. Nor is there a word to describe games that feature knife-fighting minigames and Guitar Hero-inspired band practices. But, again, maybe that's a big part of Night in the Woods' appeal. It's a confident outsider, and one that takes pleasure is celebrating the weird ways that everything comes together in life.
Night in the Woods tells a sad story in many levels. We love the art direction and the soundtrack (specially in minigames and dream levels), but it is not a game for everyone. Gameplay falls short compared to narrative elements.
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