Night In The Woods
◉ ◉ ◉ ○ ○(3/5: decent)
Playstation 5
Finji (2017)
These kids are alright.

Night In The Woods is a bit of 2-D platforming, some mini games, and a whole lot of interactive YA graphic novel. I mean, there is an intense amount of reading in this game amongst the beautiful backgrounds and jumping around. The story is poignant, sad, and well-crafted. The characters are as lovable and personable as their cute animal representations and as complicated as the history of the small, dying town they populate. It is a grand story of friendship, exploration (both physical and metaphysical), and insight into the lives of young folk today. It's sad and heartfelt and pretty great, but I still fell asleep twice while playing this game.

I'm a big fan of exploring and finding secrets, but Night In The Woods requires visiting the same scenes multiple times and got a bit monotonous at parts. Part 1 was good, getting to know the town and the people. Part 2 was a bit of a slog, with some of the slower parts really highlighting some maybe too-chill sections of town. Part 3 picked it back up and I devoured Part 4 and the epilogue in a single session. Throughout the game, your gameplay mostly consists of jumping and hitting a button to advance dialogue. There are mini-games -- like a Guitar Hero clone, and a pretty solid roguelike called Demontower -- but they are a very minor part of the overall game and after an hour of advancing dialogue seem like very difficult tasks for some reason.

Youths will love this game as they will see themselves deeply in it, but olds will probably be in two camps: thinking it is too "woke" (they can all die mad) or appreciating a nice story. For this old, it was a nice story and looks and sounds wonderful. It was slightly nostalgic but not life changing, it was good but slow, and it was enjoyable but varied. Overall, I'm glad I finally played it but it won't top any lists for me, I'm afraid.

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Last updated: 08/25/2023
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