The fall season is right around the corner and it is never too early to get into the autumn spirit. Night in the Woods is the perfect game to get yourself into the mood for the fall season. It is a beautiful story game with wonderful art, spectacular music, and lovable characters. It tells a relatable story for those in their early twenties who feel a bit lost in the world and are just trying to find their place. However, hiding behind the beautiful facade, darker secrets lie within this town. This article may contain story spoilers in some sections, so read at your own discretion.
Night in the Woods follows 20-year-old Mae Borowski around her small hometown of Possum Springs. Mae has just moved back from college to live with her parents and she sees how much her hometown has changed. She is the town delinquent, who is known for her past shenanigans and sometimes current ones as well. Mae has no problems breaking into places she is not supposed to be or “borrowing” items when she needs them. This is one of the times I’ve played a game where the main character has their own problematic traits and may not be in the right the entire time.
Aside from Mae, there are a few other lovable main characters. There’s Mae’s best friend Gregg, a lovable goofball with little going on up in his head but a lot of love in his heart. There’s also Gregg’s boyfriend Angus, a quiet nerdy character who seems to be there right when you need him. My personal favorite of the non-playable characters is Bea, an edgy girl with a soft side. Each of these characters has their own school ties to Mae and their own personal stories you find out along the way. You start to fall in love with the characters and feel bad for them when some of their past comes out.
The town of Possum springs has so much to explore. It’s recommended that you go everywhere you can to explore and talk to everyone possible every day. Walk along the power-lines as much as possible and go to every possible destination in the game to get the full play-through experience. Little details given to you through conversations and other items will give you small indications to the weird things happening around Possum Springs.
Aside from the darker sides of the game, the art style is something to marvel at. The game features a layered two-dimensional style that looks almost like it was cut-and-pasted. There are pleasing muted colors, perfect for the fall season in which the game takes place. Overall, the game is really pleasing to the eye. There are beautiful muted shades of blues oranges and reds throughout the day, but when you play through the dream scenes it is filled with black and accents of bright blue and red. The color palette creates a beautiful soft tone with spooky accents, just like the game story itself.
The music in the game may be one of the best parts. Mae, Gregg, Bea, and Angus are all part of a band, in which you can play the bass at band practice. This takes place in the form of a rhythm game, which you do not have to be good at in order for the game to progress (trust me, I’m terrible at rhythm games). There is a wonderful mix of music throughout the whole game, there’s peaceful songs, spooky songs, and songs that make you want to rock out. This eclectic mix is enjoyable for anyone who wants to give the game a try.
The play-through of the game is very simple. There is very little platforming, which seems to be the most difficult part of the game. I played it on my Nintendo Switch, which at the time had drifting controllers, and I managed to make it through just fine. Anyone with a hint of game experience will be able to play through the game easily. I think I only spent around four or five hours on the game in total to finish it.
Aside from the usual surface-level aspects of a game, there are other reasons I love Night in the Woods. For starters, I love autumn. It is my favorite season and the game captures the feeling of walking around in fall and getting into the spooky mood. The game centers around the days leading up to “Harfest”, a celebration similar to what we know as Halloween. Without saying too much, the rising action begins the night of Harfest and is when the major turning point of the game occurs. This is where the game turns from sweet with a hint of suspicion to full on mystery.
The game also deals with different topics and struggles for each character. Mae is a college dropout, the whole town pressures her to get a job and to find out exactly what she wants to do. Her parents are going through financial troubles and it is in part because of her negligence. Bea’s mother died and she is still grieving, forced to work at her family store “The Ol’ Pickaxe”. There are themes of towns falling apart and cities falling down. The decline of a small town despite all the citizens living there. The darkest secrets come at the end of the game, which I will leave up to those who play to find out for themselves.
Night in the Woods is a beautiful game to play in the eve of the fall season. It is one of my favorite games I’ve played and I recommend it to anyone who likes story games. Its beautiful music, easy play-through, and gorgeous scenery make it a gentle game for casual playing as a break from new school work and the state of the world. Overall, I adored the game and will probably play through again soon to find all the secrets Possum Springs has to offer.