(Photo courtesy of Steam) “Night in the Woods” is sure to make for a great gaming experience during the Autumn months.
“Night In the Woods”, is a 2017 release from developers Infinite Fall and Secret Lab. The game takes place in the small town of Possum Springs, an old coal mining town, and follows Mae Borowski as she adjusts to life after dropping out of college. The game takes place over a few days as the player runs around and explores the different parts of town. From high wires and abandoned buildings to the church Mae’s mom works at, there are many corners to explore.
The game also follows Mae as she rekindles friendships from high school with Bea, Gregg and his boyfriend Angus. Each friend has their own struggles and has changed since the last time Mae was home. Every day the player chooses a friend to spend time with, branching the game into two main story lines, with different events and mini games with each side character.
“Night In the Woods” is a very story heavy game, with two main plots the player can follow. The plot differs depending on if Mae spends time with Gregg or Bea and learns about how their lives have changed while she has been gone. Maes’ parents also play a large role in telling her story, asking her what happened at school and if everything is okay. The player can discover Mae’s backstory and why she has come home through these optional conversations with her parents. The story is deep, emotional and complex. It covers love, loss and the reality of a changing small town.
About halfway through the game there is a Harvest Fest event where the story truly begins to change and become darker. Mae sees something she isn’t supposed to and begins to hunt for answers about the truth in her town. She uncovers the town’s darkest secrets with her friends and must make tough decisions on what to do with this new knowledge all while being in grave danger.
The setting and the soundtrack bring this game to life. The town has random high school peers and ex-factory workers scattered around for Mae to interact with. Buildings that are long closed that each character has fond memories of back when it was open. The soundtrack is bubbly and spooky at the exact right moments. It changes with the peaks and lows of the story, creating even more of an atmosphere. The player is even allowed to add to the soundtrack through band practice, where they get to take over on bass.
The game boasts an amazingly simple cartoonish style, making the dark turn of the story even more hard hitting and emotional. The game uses simple colors and 2D animation to create an almost storybook feeling. There are falling leaves and rotund racoons around town to create the cozy fall setting. As the game progresses, the leaves change color, the trees become bare and people decorate for the fall festival, making this a perfect game for the Autumn season.
“Night In the Woods” is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Xbox, and PlayStation.