Night In The Woods

Amethyst Barrett

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Welcome to Possum Springs! A few days ago, I had purchased a game known as Night In The Woods. Although the name was a little bland, the art style and music are what caught my attention. Though the entire appearance of the game was completely adorable, and the interaction between characters was rather sweet, finally pushing the cuteness out of the way, a darker theme is easier to see.

One of the many admirable traits of the game is how easy it is to be caught up in the same emotions as the protagonist, Mae. In various situations, things will catch you and her by surprise, in which you’re forced to quickly respond with whatever sentence the abrupt event calls for. An example being that while Mae hangs out with a friend, she later has dinner with her and her family. A bit of aggression is passed at the table resulting in a sudden argument, forcing Mae to pick a side.

Another notable plus is how realistic the entire game is. While the game heavily consists of anthropomorphic animals, they still have lives, even if they’re fictional. There are side characters with drug abuse problems, some working to fix said problem. Even people with issues at home are included, or at least mentioned throughout the game. The creators, Alec Holowka and Infinite Fall, were sure to input other people’s problems, allowing the protagonist to either sympathise with them or be cheeky about it.

Something that caught my heart from the start were the characters. Mae herself is already relatable to the average pessimist, but her friends, Gregg, Angus, and Bea, are all different in their own way. Every character in the game has their pros and cons, which is something desperately needed to compose an admirable character.

Shifting to the style of the game, I truly enjoyed the animation. It was smooth and overly fluid, making the characters appear as bouncy. Things like that make the setting and tone relaxing, a small yet noteable form of comedic relief. Not even just the animation was calming, the setting in general helped ease stress, yet at the same time, deepened issues.

Though there were an abundance of things in the game that I admired, not everything can be given a few words of phrase. Overall, the game itself wasn’t just some point-and-click walking simulator, you actually had to be active in mini-games. It may sound fun but they give you no instructions as to what to do. During the game you’ll have to play a guitar game, and despite Mae rejecting the offer, you’re still forced to suffer and attempt to strum your way through a song.

Along with the rapidly fast mini-games, Mae didn’t focus on one of her best friends going missing. Upon returning home, she doesn’t seem to care that Casey, a former band member, had just disappeared. Only after finding out about what really happened to him does she decide to shed tears of pain and horror.

Like everything, there was a good and bad side to it but in the end, it was still a casual yet fun game. I’m pleased to know that it was released so soon to me finding out about it, and I’m more than happy to know it was worth the time and the money.

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