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Night in the Woods Switch Review

A coming of age story about a cat. She plays the bass too. All this and more in Night in the Woods, out on the Switch, among others.

Night in the Woods title screen

Night in the Woods has received a lot of praise for the way it tackles mental health and its general approach to storytelling. On this basis alone, I logged into the Nintendo eShop and purchased it pretty pronto. But is Night in the Woods any good? Yes. Yes, it is.

Mae is our protagonist and she’s a cat. The first hurdle for me as I’m a dog person. Well, I’m not remotely a dog, but I like dog protagonists more than I like cat protagonists. That’s a thing. Look on Wikipedia. Actually, don’t. It’s not a thing. Mae was away from home having ventured out for herself and in student digs but has since returned to a town that seemingly hasn’t moved on and pretty much self-contained.

In the attic, Mae's bedroom

Everyone knows this type of town; you either live in one, have lived in one, or even fantasise about one, as your humble abode is the polar opposite of Catville. The town is Possum Springs, not Catville. It’s sleepy, everyone knows one another and nothing changes. Or does it?

There’s a bit of variety in the game and it looks and sounds wonderful. Mae is a bassist and there are bassist mini-games that had me at hello, or ‘D’ but… I didn’t click with the overall feel of the game so much. Sure it’s a tale of growing up and how things change – sometimes when you aren’t ready and how it is to ‘fit in’ when everyone else appears to have moved on. I think we all relate to that somehow.

Mae playing the bass - simplified version of Guitar Hero

Night in the Woods is a very good game but from my perspective, there is just a tiny hint of these characters being a bit too hipster for me. I never was the cool kid nor aspired to be. Likewise, I wasn’t the self-aware brat that had a sense of entitlement. While these characters are far from that, I still couldn’t connect. I’ll play this again in the coming weeks and will update my comments as I feel I should like this more but y’know, we don’t all fit in with the norm.

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