Night In The Woods has been out a while on PC and maybe other formats (I don’t know) but has recently hit Switch. I have had the game sitting on Steam for ages but played no more than a few minutes. With the handiness of the Switch and being able to play it on a plane and barbecue, I managed to play through it and finish it.

I love it.

It’s a story game with not a huge amount of actual gameplay - that’s something you need to be prepared for going in. It’s mostly pressing a button to get through conversations. There are some platformy bits and parts that feel like mini games but this is really all about the narrative. You play Mae, a 20 year old college dropout who has gone back to her home town and also you’re a cat for some reason. You hang out with your friends and try to find some meaning to your life. The story explores what’s going on with Mae and her friends and then some creepy stuff starts happening and Mae goes in search of ghosts and it goes on from there.

A large percentage of the game is just hanging out with your friends. Doing stuff like breaking lightbulbs or or going to parties or engaging in shoplifting but mostly just talking to each other about life, jobs and how aimless life can be. Each character has their own thing going on and you learn more about them as you play. The dialogue can be funny and fresh at times, self-indulgent in places and Mae herself feels like a lot of young people coming out of the teenage years - lost and, possibly without realising it, starting to come to terms with the fact that life doesn’t revolve around them. I really like the dialogue but I’m not sure everyone would have the same tolerance for it.

The art style is absolutely gorgeous and the music fits beautifully. It’s all very cartoony even though most aspects of the story are more grounded than we usually get in games. It is hauntingly beautiful in places. As an experience, it’s lovely. And what I have found by letting my kid play it is that there are a LOT of optional events and story bits here -we experienced some quite different things as we played through it. So it could be worth a second run through.

So overall, I love it. It’s different and enjoyable.

I didn’t really play it on a plane or at a barbecue.