Thoughts on Night In The Woods

( by Paige)

At The End Of Everything, Hold On To Anything.

The game Night in the Woods started life as a Kickstarter campaign, one that was fully funded in 26 hours. Wow! Since then it has made its way to Steam, PS 4 and now, on to the Nintendo Switch.

Night In The Woods is a 2D adventure game focusing on exploration, story and character. It’s all about Mae Borowski, a fresh college dropout. The Nintendo Switch version of the game is the Weird Autumn version. That version contains extra content such as more playable songs, mini games and dream sequences.

The gameplay

The gameplay is simply walking around and talking to people with some dialogue options. It also has minor platforming as Mae likes to walk on the power lines. There are one time mini games, and repeatable mini games such as bass playing. Her computer has it’s own 2D Action game you can play either in the morning or evening.

Mae spends her mornings exploring the town and catching up with the locals. Afterwards you pick which friend you want to hang out with and play a story segment with them. I chose to hang out with Gregg every chance I got because that meant I could engage in delinquent activities. After that Mae ends up home where she can check her computer, play a game or play bass. Often when she sleeps dream segments will occur where you have to find musicians to finish the dream. There are several days like this however, story segments might change up the routine.

The main story

The main draw of this game however is it’s story, being the entire focus of the game. It starts off with Mae returning to her rust-belt hometown after dropping out of college at twenty. She catches up with old friends, avoids telling her family why she drops out of college and bums around all day. I loved not just the story of Mae and her friends but the locals of the town, as well as the story of the town. The town of Possum Springs is a former mining town, turned factory town until the closure of which led to it being a shell of it’s former self.

Mae herself might be a point of contention for some, being quite sassy. I found her a joy to play as, even while I couldn’t relate to her mental health issues.

At the end of the first part Mae and her friends find a severed arm on the sidewalk. Leading to a mysterious side of the story which is pushed aside for a while. Later it comes back for a dramatic build up to a climatic finish. Even with the mysterious element of the story there are still very real themes at play. Such as mental illness, economic collapse, financial problems and employment struggles. The latter of which hit too close to home for me.

The mystery drew me in to keep playing, while the realistic elements pulled at my heart.  It’s the kind of game I couldn’t get enough of, but after finishing I would wait a long time to play again.

Is it the right story for you?

This game isn’t for everyone owing both to it’s gameplay style and story. While there is a mystery thread in the plot, the main focus is on Mae and her friends. If that interests you then it is definitely a game worth playing.


  1. I enjoyed this game due to the well written characters and its art style. I don’t recommend that kids copy Mae’s acts of vandalism though. Jumping on power lines is also not advised.

    1. Haha! Well that’s what games are for, I can’t do it in real life so why not do it in the game?

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