BY MEGAN MCAMIS: When I found Night in the Woods in the Nintendo Shop, I had no clue what I was in for. I’d saved up a few coins from buying other games, and I found the game on sale pretty cheap. I decided to give it a try based on the artwork alone—and I am so glad I did.
The game is a side-scrolling platformer, with geometric art styles that are really appealing. It starts out cheery, or as cheery as a girl dropping out of college and returning to her hometown can be. Mae comes back expecting things to be the same as when she left, but soon finds that many things have changed, everything from the old grocery store being shut down to her best friend from high school, Gregg, actually working a real job (he still rulez, though).
You reconnect with your old crew, around their work schedules, and pick a different task or hang out each afternoon to do. You also get to participate in various mini games, including a dungeon crawler on Mae’s laptop and band practice, where you play the bass with your friends (badly, in my case, anyway). Mae does have weird dreams each night, as well as allusions to her checkered past during the day from random people around town, but otherwise, she appears to be enjoying being back home.
After a few days of Mae hanging around, you go to the Harvest celebration in town, where things suddenly take a very dark turn for the shocked Mae. After this, Mae’s energy is focused on finding out what happened, and enlisting the help of her friends into her schemes to find the “ghost.” Naturally, nothing goes quite as planned, and by the time Mae and crew find out what’s going on, Mae’s dreams are taking their toll, her friends are getting more worried, and they’re all in over their heads.
This game is full of witty, full dialogue, endearing, real characters, and one of the best storylines I’ve seen in a while. The game will make you think hard about how you view the universe, and where you fit in in it. It is also a game that encourages multiple playthroughs, as you cannot do everything there is to do and experience in just one game. I highly recommend Night in the Woods to anyone wanting a story-rich game to immerse themselves in.