Review: Why You Should Play Night in the Woods

Does a mentally ill cat committing crimes with a fox sound like fun to you? Then read this article!

Gregg and Mae riding in front of the sunset. Just a small taste of this game’s gorgeous graphics.

Developer: Infinite Fall

Publisher: Finji

Jumping on telephone wires, throwing pierogis into your friends mouth, listening to amateur poetry, and ghost hunting are just a few of the things Night in the Woods has in store for you.

Night in the Woods is a relatively unknown indie game that was published in 2017. It follows a 20 year old cat named Mae who has just returned to her hometown on the last bus to find out her parents have forgotten to come get her. Leaving the company of the only human waiting for her the Janitor, Mae ventures into the woods… at night, catching fireflies along the way. While attempting to get through the woods Mae falls on her back, not very catlike, and says, “I’m not gonna die in this hole.” We first encounter this story in late October, which is a fitting metaphor for change with the falling leaves and dropping temperatures just before the Harfest, Harvest Fest, celebration.

Rather than tell you to play this game because its good or because it has deep themes or because it has silly animals, I’d prefer to share some of my favorite scenes and let you form your own opinions. Decide for yourself which scenes are funny and which are deep. But if you’re like me and hate reading long articles basically play if you like themes of mental health, growing up, and escaping from your suffocating hometown.

“Deep” moments and Funny moments

Rip Mallard an old spring parade float from Mae’s childhood. Fortunately he’s been recycled into a baby rat father.

The true beauty of this game is in it unpredictable nature. Exploring the buildings by walking on telephone poles the last thing you expect to find is an old parade float filled with rats who multiply as you feed them stolen pretzels. According to Mae, “Its one of those God things, like when you have babies because God.” If you continue to feed these miracle rats every day they will eventually multiply and overtake the old Food Donkey just outside town.

Too see the Sky cat you have to actually play the game, instead I give you one of Mae’s earlier dreams. (or you could google it but that’s lame, don’t be lame)


Mae has been having strange dreams, dreams which culminate in a vision of a Sky Cat in a vast desert. The Sky Cat begins to monologue, “There is a hole at the center of everything, and it is always growing. Between the stars I am seeing it. It is coming, and you are not escaping, and the universe is forgetting you and the universe is being forgotten and there is nothing to remember it.” I’m not going to spoil the rest of the monologue because you should absolutely experience this game for yourself. If you like this small excerpt you will adore this game.

Gregg ponders life by a pond staring out at skinny legged birds. The birds think you’re a good person Gregg.

On one of your hangouts with Gregg, your friend a fox, you two have a knife fight just like old times, but unlike old times you see a more insecure side of Gregg’s personality. None of the characters of NITW are one dimensional, even the rough exterior of Bea, an old friend, cracks to show her softer interior. Gregg runs off deeper into the woods and you follow. You find yourselves standing on the edge of a pond and Gregg begins to talk about how he thinks he isn’t good enough for his boyfriend Angus. He ends his rambling by saying, “I have really up up days and really down down days and I don’t know which it is until its over sometimes.” I think we can all relate to that statement. This game does a great job of reminding me and hopefully others, that its not going to be good forever but its also not going to be bad forever.

Mae draws in her sketchbook throughout the game. No I’m not going to explain the arm, play the game.

During the ghost hunting segment of the game you have the option to go with Angus. At this point you don’t know much about him besides the fact that he’s dating Gregg. I highly recommend going with him because this is your one chance to really get to know Angus. You discover that Angus knows about constellations and while staring up at the night sky he reveals the hardships of his childhood to you. He says he stopped believing in any higher power after what these supposed gods let happen to him, “I believe in a universe that doesn’t care, and people that do.”

I love every single character in this game, but Gregg’s playful personality shines through beautifully throughout the game. I’d bet good money he’s most people’s favorite character. The pizza scale is a perfect example of why, taking something mundane like mediocre pizza and bringing humor into it.

Poor Angus (the bear) returns home to find a strange trash animatronic on his couch, an electrocuted Mae, and an overjoyed Gregg.

Hopefully you made it this far and hopefully I’ve created a new fan of my favorite game. This game will make you laugh and then cry within five minutes. Finally I’ll let you know what Mae thinks about you not playing the game, “This is an error so bad even I wouldn’t make it.”