Night in the Woods is an single-player adventure video game for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, and PlayStation 4. It is being developed by Infinite Fall, a studio founded by game designer Alec Holowka, and animator/illustrator Scott Benson. It is an exploration game focused primarily on story in which players control a cat named Mae, who recently dropped out of college and has returned to her hometown to find unexpected change. It was funded via crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, where it eventually earned over 400% of its US$50,000 funding goal.
As Mae, players run, jump, and learn other mechanics that allow them to explore Possum Springs, a town populated by various anthropomorphic animals. Benson describes the key actions for the player are “explore, converse, see and touch”, while Holowka describes their approach as “narrative-focused” rather than “gameplay-first”. Players will also make decisions that affect the course of the story, though Benson has said “It’s more like ‘do you hang out with this person?’ Okay, cool. That person might not know you as well by the end of the game, but this person you hung out with, you’re going to get to see their storyline.
Mae, an only child, has returned home to Possum Springs, where times have changed since the closing of its coal mines. Now living in her parents’ attic, she discovers she possesses certain paranormal abilities, and uncovers a dark mystery that leads her into the nearby woods. Mae’s friends include Bea, a cigarette-smoking alligator; Mae’s best friend Gregg, a fox; and Gregg’s partner, a bear named Angus. Paste describes the themes covered as “mental illness, depression, the stagnancy of the middle and lower classes, and the slow death of small town America.