REVIEW: A Night in the Woods is the best college dropout simulator you may never play

“At the end of everything, hold onto anything”

I honestly can’t tell you in just a few words why I like this game, because I feel like I shouldn’t, but I really, really do.

It is constantly poking fun at 20-somethings, small town life, and having no drive or direction to go anywhere different. You play as Mae, a college dropout who heads back to her tiny town of Possum springs after being away for two years, and it’s gotten more bleak in the time she’s been away.

Okay, maybe not this bleak…

She meets back up with her best friend from High School, Gregg, and his boyfriend Angus, who are still playing in their awful band, and both working shitty jobs in retail to try to save up enough money to move away from that dismal place.
In a choose-your-adventure style RPG, you get into arguments with your parents about your life choices, the local cop (who is also your aunt), and the goth chick who joined the band in your absence.

All of this should bother me, as it really hits close to home on so many levels, but the witty, dry-as-a-desert humor, and the simple gameplay mechanics more than makes up for the shame-inducing trip down memory lane. There are no items to collect, no real direction that you’re forced to follow, but there are mysteries to unravel, and when you go to sleep, you have these odd dreams that all seem to be ominously tied together, somehow.

Plus, everyone in town keeps alluding to something you did as a teenager that got you into a mess of trouble, yet no one wants to actually talk about what it was. You spend your days hanging out with friends, causing anarchy, and just being a stereotypical slacker, but there’s always something happening that pulls you back towards the game and makes you want to keep playing, and let me tell you, it gets dark very quickly. There is something in the woods.

At first glance, the art style seems simplistic, but it’s actually very polished, and works very well for the gameplay style, looking sharp and remarkably foreboding at times.
Super bonus points for the inclusion of a same-sex couple that Mae can hag around with, and the game-within-a-game, Demontower, which you get to play after Angus clears up all the viruses Mae downloaded to her computer after watching too much porn.

Sometimes, maybe it’s too real…

A Night In The Woods is out now on Steam for PC, Mac, and SteamOS + Linux. Developed by Infinite Fall, and published by Finji.

SUMMARY & RESULTS

7.6

Worth the time it takes to play, but little replay value as you can't continue storylines once you complete the game

Story

8.5

Graphics

8

Gameplay

8

Sound

8.5

Replay

5

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  • Polyamorous. Pansexual. Sapiosexual. Author. Seamstress. Artist. Geek. Nerd. Student. Teacher. Human... Mostly. I still own most of the old-school consoles and collect games for them, own a PC dedicated to gaming, and have been an avid World of Warcraft enthusiast for over 10 years. When I'm not playing video games, I can usually be found playing tabletop games such as Werewolf: The Apocalypse (20th) or D&D 5e, or just the random board game with friends. My other hobbies include collecting Sailormoon merchandise, ball jointed dolls, and cosplay.

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