Night in the Woods: Weird Autumn Edition Review

Richard Walker

Night in the Woods is a real indie gem. A brilliantly written, impeccably executed drama that rolls through the changing of the seasons as 20 year-old Mae Borowski returns home from college early, only to find that her childhood town of Possum Springs has changed, but not really all that much. Just like real-life, brick and mortar stores are closing down and the once prosperous mining town is still reeling from a disaster, the nature of which you can choose at the outset.

What follows is a sort-of coming of age story, as Mae and the friends she grew up with – who haven't managed to escape the small town like she did – come to terms with their place in the world. Things can get very deep and sometimes quite dark, as Mae, Bea, Angus and Gregg hash things out together, striving to make sense of the weird and often illogical world around them. It's timely stuff and speaks to the insecurities and curiosity in all of us, or at least, I certainly found it pretty relatable.

Night in the Woods is primarily about Mae's interactions with her mother and father, her friends, and the inhabitants of Possum Springs, all of whom have their own inner lives. It's these exchanges of dialogue that give the game its heart, the quality of the writing and the characterisation making you truly care about each of the game's anthropomorphic players. And at the centre of it all is Mae, as she works through her own issues, while having fun with her buddies chatting, partying or playing bass via a cool little rhythm-action mini-game.

There are other little distractions like these, like instant messaging or little isometric adventure Demon's Tower on Mae's laptop, or shoplifting, feeding rats and engaging in a knife fight, but it's the exploration and dialogue that will keep you hooked. Night in the Woods can drag a little in parts, and there's the introduction of some supernatural weirdness in an effort to keep things interesting, but it's almost a shame that the game couldn't have just been about Mae's life and the interplay between the people around her.

The intrigue does eventually lead to some interesting places, however, and initiates a kind of apocalyptic angst among Mae and her chums that leads to even deeper conversation. Asides like taking a boat ride through Possum Springs' subterranean trash piles, taking a drive to a party out of town with Bea, or walking through the forest with Gregg keep Night in the Woods chugging along, and there's always someone to chew the fat with about existential musings and other more trivial subjects.

It's the standard of the dialogue throughout, the moments of tenderness, its constant capacity to really make you ponder life's quirks and oddities that conspire to make Night in the Woods something truly special. If it's a fast-paced adventure you're looking for, then Night in the Woods isn't that game, but if you're looking for something thoughtful, brilliantly-written, witty, clever and joyful, then Night in the Woods is about as good as it gets. Outstanding.

Night in the Woods: Weird Autumn Edition

One of the year's most enjoyable indie titles, Night in the Woods is what Kickstarter was made for. Affecting, warm and genuine, it's impossible not to fall in love with Night in the Woods.

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There's no spoken dialogue, only text, which is why it's so important that the soundtrack is fantastic. And it is.


Bold and colourful, packed with lovely autumnal hues, atmospheric environments and a neat depth-of-view. Despite being stylised, Possum Springs seems real.


Hop, skip and jump along the streets of Possum Springs, play bass, work through issues with your friends, enjoy the stellar dialogue. Night in the Woods is great.


A good 7-8 hours+ or so of game here, Night in the Woods gets a little flabby in the middle, but is nonetheless an absolute joy throughout. Did we mention that the writing is superb?


All secret achievements, some progress-related, some rewarding going a little further to find secrets, beat the mini-games and go the extra mile to explore. Nice.

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