Game Review: Night in the Woods

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments

I’m playing through the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. You can follow along with all my game reviews.

Night in the Woods is a cute looking indie game, with one fatal flaw. ​Nothing happens in it.

I gave the game an hour or so, and all I did was walk left and right and click next in the dialogue. There are a few dialogue options, but that doesn’t alter the course of the game.
A cat in a store.

I think I must be missing something. The game gets rave reviews… but for what? There are no choices, no interactivity, no puzzles. It felt like watching a cartoon where I had to repeatedly thump the space bar to progress the dialogue.

There’s a weird dungeon crawler mini-game and a Guitar Hero wannabe. But that’s it. The Guitar Hero is pretty pointless because it doesn’t use popular songs. And whether you hit the notes or miss them all – nothing changes.

There are hints of a story. Something to do with you killing a kid. Or your grandad dying. But it is pretty sparse. I don’t know if the story develops, or gets any better because it was ​so​ boring.

Graphics and music are charming. But that’s not enough.

Am I wrong? Do let me know if it’s worth progressing.

2 thoughts on “Game Review: Night in the Woods

  1. A short hike ends when you’ve got to the top, then got back to the aunt’s house and gone to sleep. You can carry on though, so no way of knowing if you’ve done it all 🙂


  2. Mallory says:

    You’re not wrong. Your feelings about the game are your feelings. But you could come back to the game with a different mindset.

    with one fatal flaw. ​Nothing happens in it.

    Do you like “slice of life” movies? Like Princess Cyd or Another Year? Nothing happens in them. No plot as such, just people living their lives interacting with friends and family.

    The game gets rave reviews… but for what? There are no choices, no interactivity, no puzzles.

    There are games like that. Some games have even less interactivity than Night in the Woods.

    Both of these issues you had with the game are about expectations. Try to let go of your expectations when approaching a new piece of art. Doing this will help you to appreciate it for what it is, and not resent it for what it isn’t.

    I personally got a lot out of the game. As somebody who left her small town to study at university, and dropped out of university I was able to relate strongly to Mae. And I appreciated the strong political themes.

    I hope if I’ve said anything that makes you think you could enjoy the game, you’ll come back to it at a later date and give it another shot. But if you don’t that’s fine too. No piece of art will be appreciated by everybody.

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