Night In The Woods: Beautiful Game with Dark Encounters

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Finding a unique game can be tough.

When you long to experience something different after years of repetitive games, finally having a new game to enjoy with unique characters, unusual tasks and exclusive level designs can feel like a god send.

That’s why we recommend Night In The Woods

With an in-depth story surrounding a whole town filled with exclusive personalities, Night In The Woods is just the game to play if you want to experience something new.

Not only is the game entertaining to play, it can also give brilliant inspiration for those seeking help to start their own game – there are many brilliant qualities we can learn from this game.

What makes Night In The Woods so different? Today we are going to discover:

  • What is it about?
  • Why is it so Playable?
  • Games like NITW

What is Night In The Woods About?

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20 Year Old Mae Borowski returns to Possum Springs having just dropped out of college.

You follow her journey and troubles as she explores the changing town, connecting with old friends and family.

As we learn more about our lead character, we unveil the truths behind why she returned to her hometown, the secrets behind her nightmares and the tormenting stories in Mae’s past.

Mae has an excellent sense of humour and a supportive group of friends yet something doesn’t seem to balance right inside her mind.

While finding out how to fix her mental state, she and her friends, Gregg, Bea, and Angus, take on the momentous task of discovering what is disturbing the peace in Possum Springs and why people keep disappearing.

Is it a Ghost? Or is it something much bigger?

The Retro-styled, 2D platformer offers the opportunity to explore a beautifully detailed town filled with unique stories.

What Makes Night In The Woods so Playable?

Art Style

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The first thing that strikes the player as different is the artstyle.

The game is set in Autumn so of course, the designers have picked the perfect colour scheme to match – lots of oranges, blues and earthy colours.

Not only that but the design behind the levels and the characters is well …art!

Night In The Woods is beautiful; it’s bedroom-poster worthy for sure!

For me, the design behind the game was enough to make me want to follow the story.

It’s great that it had other fantastic qualities behind the game as well.

A quirk that added to the artstyle behind the game were the speech bubbles used for text.

These could be animated in anyway by the developers in order to perfectly express what the player is trying the say and exaggerate their tone of voice.

It isn’t often that games these days prefer speech bubbles over voice acting however, in this situation, it added so much more personality to the game.

Not only that but it allowed the user to easily pick an option for what they wanted Mae to say next.

We loved the art style so much, we labelled Night In The Woods’ developers, Infinite Fall, as Masters of Creativity! Read more about that here.

Story

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Unlike most games, this game isn’t necessarily about following a hero.

Instead we follow Mae, a college dropout, and her journey as she reconnects with old friends and her home town.

She doesn’t have any particular superpowers yet we love her so much because she is so relatable.

Mae has problems in her own life that we can reflect in our own – adult responsibilities, people growing distant, etc.

So maybe we want to play the game because we want to see how she solved the problems and give us advice as we approach them too.

It is not only our protagonist that completes the story.

She, and her home town, have many dark secrets that the player is so desperate to find out.

Background characters always mention an event in Mae’s past that affected everyone greatly yet won’t mention what it was.

Meanwhile, people are being kidnapped and potentially murdered while no one does anything about it.

Everyone in the town seems to have hidden secrets that make you want to uncover truths even more.

The way the story was told was what made it unique. It’s rare that you hear from the point of views of trying-yet-slightly-failing 20-odd year olds.

But [no] game can fill the hole in my heart that NITW left. The writing is so good it’s basically permanently raised my expectations to the point that most story-based games can’t satisfy me anymore.

– Reddit User MaydayxBeebee

The story originates from a more recognisable dialog. Rather than having some Morgan Freeman-type narrate it, we hear only from the characters in which we connect with in order to piece the story together.

Ease of Play

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Playing this game was like reading a visual book (if that makes any sense at all).

A lot of the gameplay is reading dialog from the characters to understand the story.

The rest of the story is typically Mae exploring Possum Springs, living within her dreams and band practices. That’s pretty much it.

No gameplay is overly difficult. 

Night In The Woods was definitely not designed to challenge the abilities within the user.

Thanks to this, the game allows you to focus on the story and small hidden details instead.

Also, so many players who may not necessarily be gamers but may appreciate the story can play this game.

Characters

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Every character in this game is different. They dress differently, speak differently, act differently.

I don’t just mean characters within the game are unique, I mean no other game has had such an original cast.

We are presented with such a great collection of misfits that we are graced with the opportunity to discover a unique story from each of them.

All of them have such a fantastic sense of humour as well. In all of the horrid situations they may be thrown into, they still find something to laugh about.

Not to mention that two of our protagonist’s closest friends are in an openly gay relationship and no one in the town is truly disturbed by this! It isn’t unusual, it isn’t weird, it’s just normal.

Not only is it the main group who have such developed personalities – people all over the town are also filled to the brim with personal traits.

For example, we have Selmers who is the unlikely poet and our old English teacher who is now a budding astronomer. There is so much to discover within each character.

Life Lessons I learnt from playing this game

I learnt many valuable lessons having played Night In The Woods:

  1. Make friends that manically wave their arms when they haven’t seen you after a long time. Friends like Gregg are the ones that look out for you in the future.c67d0d08cc168d89d74bbdb8b225380a
  2. Talk to everyone because they might have something interesting and quirky to say. Having such a variety of personalities, I never say no to anything anyone says. Wanna read me your poem? I will definitely listen.
  3. Mischievous behaviour from your youth may follow you into your adulthood. People’s perceptions of you may have permanently change and you many never find yourself growing up.maxresdefault
  4. Don’t poke random limbs you find in the street. You can never predict where they will lead you…

About Infinite Fall

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With a successful Kickstarter, the creators of Night In The Woods, Infinite Fall are a small team consisting of 3 main helpers: Alec Holowka, Scott Benson, and Bethany Hockenberry.

While this is only their first creation, it was still a massive success receiving a variety of positive reviews across the board.

They did, however, release a couple of mini games developed in short bursts of time based on the Night In The Woods game. These are available to download from their main website. 

With design being such a prominent part within the game, Scott Benson, animator and illustrator, gave us a comment on the importance of artstyle within a game:

Photorealism, even if it’s somewhat stylized, is just considered a goal. Once you get away from how something is ‘supposed’ to look is where things get interesting, and interesting is memorable.

“I want to know what an artist’s trees look like when they can’t make them look like photographs of trees.

That choice alone puts such a fingerprint down, and tells you so much about the artist and the game itself.”

You can read more from Scott and other developers about designing a game here.

Games Like Night In The Woods

Completing this game will definitely have you longing for more.

So, we found some games that we know you’ll love!

Firewatch

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You play as Henry in the year 1989. After traumatic experiences, you decide to change your career to escape the life you once lived.

The only contact with the outside world that you have is through Delilah: the co-worker you communicate with through walkie talkies.

Peace is disturbed within the Wyoming forest and it’s your job to figure out who is causing this.

Like Night In The Woods, Firewatch includes a well thought out story and detailed narrative equipped with humour and lots of feels.

Learning the stories behind Henry and Delilah, you sympathise with each character and desire to aid them to safety.

Life is Strange

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This game relates to Night In The Woods through its mysteries.

“Follow the story of Max Caulfield, a photography senior who discovers she can rewind time while saving her best friend Chloe Price.

The pair soon find themselves investigating the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber, uncovering a dark side to life in Arcadia Bay.”

While no one else is willing to handle the situation, it’s up to our protagonist to save the day – like Mae and her group of friends.

Players have described Life Is Strange to have “similar themes, and emotional impact” to that in Night In The Woods. However, the game mechanics within this one make this game more unique.

Being able to rewind time is an ability various developers have used in games; they have shown their approach on how to personalise it.

Life Is Strange showed us their own special way to implicate time changing within their game.

There’s our reasons why you should play Night In The Woods.

Know any more unique games? Let us know in the comments below.



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