Night in the Woods

This game is really good and you should play it. I cried so many times. It’s a bit small for a $20 game, but definitely pick it up if there’s a sale.

I briefly mentioned Night in the Woods during my review of Always Sometimes Monsters, and I think it’s time to go a bit more in-depth on that. Night in the Woods is an amazing example of how to do realistic right. It doesn’t just have realism, it has verisimilitude. The whole story, from beginning to end, is amazingly, painfully real, not because of cynicism and darkness, but because of sentimentality and hope. I saw myself and the people I know in these characters and their relationships over and over again. This is a story about finding something to cling to in a world that’s falling apart, which I think is something a lot of people need right now — and the ending is eerily topical for something that started development in 2013.

Also, Demontower is super fun and the central mechanic is really clever.

Only thing you need to know that the game isn’t very clear about: whoever you hang out with on the first day, stick with them through the rest of the game.

Feel free to use this as a discussion post.

4 Comments

  1. Nerem says:
    I literally just finished playing this game a few days ago. I was going to recommend you play it, but I forgot to.

     

    You’re absolutely right. I love this game. And it has a lot of secret content, by the way.

  2. I will start the discussion!

    The reason I’ve been dragging my feet on making this post is because there’s one scene I’m still not entirely sure about.

    I’m talking about Bea’s final event, and the overall resolution of her plotline. I’m really not sure how to read it. It feels really one-sided on Mae’s part, like it’s handing her the relationship she wants with Bea without requiring her to address the problems or improve as a person. Bea brings up a ton of very legitimate grievances, then just kinda… gives up? Because if she pushes Mae away she’ll have no friends at all even though that scene shows she does have other friends? Mae doesn’t do much to acknowledge wrongdoing, and doesn’t seem to take any of it to heart given her solution is to go on a road trip with the money they don’t have while leaving Bea’s depressed dad all on his own for however long they’re doing this. It’s all about what Mae wants, despite the fact that Bea is the injured party who deserves recompense. Mae could have committed to being more mature and maybe helping out at the store to take some pressure off of Bea, or just… anything else, really. Instead she continues to be all take and no give. It feels to me like the story is saying Bea isn’t allowed to leave a toxic relationship because that would make the protagonist sad.

    Also not a fan of how impressed Bea was by Mae’s grand heroic gesture. Grand gestures don’t make up for being a dick the rest of the time.

  3. Nerem says:
    I think the main thing is that she actually still liked Mae and liked being with Mae and even the stuff that annoyed her about Mae was also something she treasured because it doesn’t seem like she really had anyone else she could do dumb things with, because she was trapped in a situation where she was forced to be an adult when sometimes she just wanted to be a dumb kid with Mae.

     

    So I think it was more Bea didn’t WANT to leave her relationship with Mae. She definitely felt a lot more trapped by the store and her relationship with her dad, who very much felt like he was taking advantage of her. Like, he had her basically run the entire store by herself with a sexual molester and he knew that for a fact and didn’t give a shit. And at the same time he wouldn’t give her any authority so she could either protect herself and fire him, or manage the important stuff that she needs to, making her already stressful and shitty job worse.

    1. So I think it was more Bea didn’t WANT to leave her relationship with Mae.

      That may have been what the story was going for, but I just don’t see any evidence for it. The thing is, Mae isn’t her only friend or her only outlet for those desires. She’s friends with Jackie and actively tries to make more friends through her, and Mae actively sabotages that. Bea is definitely in a bad situation, but I just don’t see any evidence that Mae is helping. Bea is trying to get new friends and coping mechanisms, and Mae actively holds her back from that. The only time she’s actually happy is at the mall, and she gets angry about that at the dinner too.

      There is the argument that since Angus is leaving Mae is going to be all she has left, but then it’s just really bleak and unfair that Angus and Gregg get a happy ending while she has to make do with the dregs they leave behind.

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