Co-created by game programmer Alec Holowka (Aquaria, Paper Moon) and animator Scott Benson, Night in the Woods is a complex and astonishingly designed 2D adventure game that follows Mae, a depressed cat who drops out of college and moves back home to live with her parents in the sleepy town of Possum Springs. Life is pretty humdrum until, suddenly, Mae begins to develop psychic powers and discovers a whole new side of Possum Springs—particularly the woods at the edge of town.
Fully funded (over 400% funded in fact) on Kickstarter last year, the game has been in development since then and seems pretty solid. Benson has given the production an atmosphere that somehow romantic and beautiful, yet also very solemn, with a truly unique art direction. This is further conveyed through the game’s narrative which is described by the creators as coming from “a deep place.” It really strives to make you see the world through Mae’s eyes, a world where “things are changing and it’s time to move on but you just don’t know how.”
Mae isn’t alone in her emotional journey. Joining her is a supporting cast that includes Bea, Gregg, Angus and Germ, each of whom provide different perspectives to Mae’s point of view and may even lend a hand to help Mae solve her problems. Mae’s way of thinking and acting feels a lot like a modern teenager: she struggles with her own insecurities in the face of the unknown as well as her true potential in life. That must be what makes me see this game in such a warm and charming light.
Originally intended for PC and Mac, the team revealed earlier this Summer that it will also be coming to the Playstation 4 in 2015.