I've been hearing rumblings about Night in the Woods for some time now, and I decided to check out Lost Constellation, a 'supplemental' game that takes place on a tangent to the main game. A bedtime story told to young Mae (a character from NITW) about a crocodile astronomer looking for a lost star, Lost Constellation has everything required to stand out in its own right, and as a result Night in the Woods is now one of my most anticipated games of the year!
The game plays as a combination of interactive narrative and odd little puzzle game: wander through a snowy forest, meet bizarre characters such as Father Patience (a mouse-priest) and the Godtender (a blindfolded bear) as you search for the titular Lost Constellation.
Humour, melancholy and snowman building, Lost Constellation has it all and all of it is great. The writing is some of the best I've seen in a good long while, charmingly funny and philosophical to boot, telling a wonderfully understated story that is complete while at the same time allowing enough room to allow your own thoughts to wander. The writers have even managed to distill a cat's true personality into a darkly funny character (and having the the noise when its text appears sound like a purr in contrast to the other characters is a great touch).
Art-wise, the game is as lovely as anything you're likely to see in 2015. It's very simple, but very stylish, and conveys a huge amount of personality and charm and even my aging machine could run it with no problems on 'rad' settings. There are many little details that may go unnoticed (like the snowdrifts that appear when you jump) but serve to bring the environment to life. The music is also very special, combining ominous vibes with twinkly winter soundscapes and a great theme in 'Longest Night'. I've had it on repeat since finishing the game...
For those of you that might still be on the fence, it's free! Well, technically it's pay what you want, but you can get it for zero dollars. I paid five, and did not feel short changed in the slightest. The only problem is that five dollars has opened the floodgates as now I want to buy the sountrack, a t-shirt, and the main game! My advice to anyone who likes narrative based games or adventure games is to go get Lost Constellation as soon as possible! Grab it here!