9 Story-Driven Games Like Night in the Woods

Games Like Night in the Woods -
Image credit: Finji

Night in the Woods is an impressive game. It’s a compelling story with some of the most real-feeling characters in gaming. That’s a tough act to follow. If you’ve already finished up play-throughs to see all the content though, there are some games like Night in the Woods that are good fits to play next. 

Night in the Woods is designed with quite a bit of replay value! The twists and turns of Mae’s story might only be fresh once, but most days in-game have two choices of activity. Between both sides of the story, you can get unique interactions that help you get to know the town of Possum Springs. However, eventually, you’ll have to move and find another game!

When that time comes, the top Night in the Woods alternatives all have something special to offer. These titles aren’t all exact matches, but they definitely have something similar. Each of these games has some aspects in common with Night in the Woods though that make them great for fans of that game.

Across this list, there are games with the same main focus on character and storytelling. Night in the Woods has meaningful themes that deal with both personal issues and the wider world through the decline of Possum Springs. Some of these games hit similar notes, with thought-provoking stories.

These are the top games like Night in the Woods. We’ll head in reverse order, with the best picks for games similar to Night in the Woods at the bottom!

9. Stray

Games Like Night in the Woods - Stray
Annapurna Interactive

Stray is a title with a unique selling point, you play as a cat! Unlike Night in the Woods, this isn’t an anthropomorphized cat either, it’s a normal walk-on-all-fours cat.

You play as a cat in third person. The main gameplay is platforming, taking advantage of a cat’s natural athletic abilities. You can climb and jump just as easily as a cat. However, there’s also some puzzle solving thrown in too.

Players can utilize a cat’s claws to operate machines, get the attention of NPCs, and more. You’ll use all the talents of a cat to progress through the world and unlock more areas. 

The game is set in an abandoned city where people used to live. With no human life there, it’s inhabited by their left-behind robotic servants. The plot of the game gets more interesting from there.

Across Stray, you’re going to discover more about what happened here and what the future could hold for the world. It’s a bigger story than the initial pitch of you’re a cat would suggest.

Stray isn’t the longest game, but it leaves a mark. It has an engaging plot and being a cat is a fun twist. This is one of the best games like Night in the Woods both for story and for playing as animals!

8. The Gardens Between

Games Like Night in the Woods - the Gardens Between
The Voxel Agents

The Garden Between is a little different from other games here as it does have quite a bit of gameplay going on. This game doesn’t have branching dialogue trees and the level design is more abstract, but it’s got a heavy theme and players can find a lot of depth here.

The Gardens between on the surface is a simple but intuitive puzzle game. Players progress through a series of puzzle islands. You get to use two different characters and solve various logic puzzles. The goal of each level is to progress to the top of the island and restore the light.

The puzzles aren’t too complicated in the Gardens Between but they are rewarding. This is one of the best puzzle games on Switch and other platforms.

Each completed island takes a form of a memory, helping you learn more about the characters and their relationship. The levels take iconography from childhood memories and blow them up to island-sized. It makes for some creative environments.

The game is played as a pair of teenagers. They’ve been friends since childhood. However, one has to move which will likely be the end of their friendship.

The Gardens Between is a simple game but one that can be very rewarding once you play through. The title has a melancholic and nostalgic feel. Between its simple visuals and soundtrack, it really helps to build an emotional mood despite the relatively stripped-back gameplay.

The Gardens Between is one of the games that Night in the Woods that similarly gets a lot of impact out of a simple looking and playing game.

7. What Remains of Edith Finch

Games Like Night in the Woods - What Remains of Edith Finch
Annapurna Interactive

What Remains of Edith Finch is one of the most engrossing games like Night in the Woods. The player explores a limited space to discover and experience the memories of a family. You learn more about characters and their strange histories.

Players are exploring the Finch house. This is a winding home with expansive forgotten space around it too. Exploration features narration from Edith Finch as you explore.

As you make your way around the house, you’ll hear more about Edith Finch. You’ll also begin to experience memories of dead relatives as you hit each of their respective memorials. These flashbacks have different styles which greatly expand the scope of the game outwards. 

The story in What Remains is an unusual one. It canters on a seemingly cursed family, the Finches. Every member has a unique life that seems to reach a strange end.

Throughout the game, you learn more about the various family members. The game’s flashback narrative device helps to make each passage feel unique. It covers a longer period and quite a few characters. This helps you to get a varied experience from all of these perspectives.

What Remains of Edith Finch can be strange in places, but the story has twists and turns that’ll keep players interested and on their toes.

6. Firewatch

Games Like Night in the Woods - Firewatch
Campo Santo

Firewatch is a similar game to Night in the Woods in a few ways, even though the art style is nearly entirely different! This is a heavily story-driven game that pushes you to really invest in its characters.

Firewatch is a game that follows Henry, who has recently become a fire lookout for the summer. The game is set in 1988, with the plot really picking up about a month after he’s started work. 

He’s taken this job as a change of pace from his normal life, which has taken some difficult turns in recent months. His responsibilities include watching out for fires and other problems in the expansive natural park, just a year after the Yellowstone fires.

The game is played in a first-person view. You are primarily talking things through over a walkie-talkie with Delilah. She’s your supervisor and the main secondary character of the game. 

Over the course of the game, you’ll get to know Delilah and reveal more of Henry’s background and why he’s chosen this secluded job. 

The game is made much more interesting by a plot involving a mystery to uncover in the park. This is one of the best games like Night in the Woods as both mix bigger stakes with the very personal.

A major part of the game is really just one-on-one conversations. Firewatch’s characters feel very alive. It has a short run time, but most players leave feeling like they’ve taken a lot from it.

5. Undertale

Games Like Night in the Woods - Undertale
Toby Fox

Undertale is a unique game that’s become known for its very open approach to gameplay and strong story. 

This is a game that isn’t quite like anything else. It has some similarities with Earthbound. However, it’s a title that takes that style and applies a similar approach to storytelling and characters as games like Night in the Woods. 

Undertale’s story is centered on a child who falls into the Underground. This is a realm beneath the normal world inhabited by various creatures and monsters. You encounter all sorts of colorful characters down here.

The breakout character of Undertale is probably the skeleton Sans. However, across the title, you can get to meet a lot of different creatures. They can be friends, foes, or something in between depending on how you play.

Undertale does have some combat, but it is completely optional to finish it. Players can go through the game choosing not to kill any enemies. This leads to an entirely different path for the story to take. Characters will react to your changing behavior across multiple runs, developing as you re-play.

The art of Undertale is simple, but it has an impressive style to it. It’s one of the best pixel art games on Steamfor some. This game also features a soundtrack that has become iconic. Like Night in the Woods. it uses music to enhance its themes. 

If you were a fan of the multiple-choice elements in Night in the Woods, this is the top alternative for you. 

4. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Games Like Night in the Woods - Rapture

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a story-driven game with a big mystery at its heart. This is one of the best games like Night in the Woods if you enjoyed the darker side of Night’s later plot.

The gameplay here is primarily walking around a village and exploring. You can interact with various things in the world. However, it’s mainly a walking simulator where you gradually unravel the mystery.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture takes place in 1984. The player character is exploring a village where everybody has suddenly disappeared. 

Over the course of this exploration, you’ll discover more about different characters, along with the central mystery of the apparent rapture itself.

A lot of the storytelling is done via audio you find, broadcasts, and other environmental elements. This method has become pretty common. Although, this game does it very well.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture features some of the best environmental storytelling. This is a great pick for games like Night in the Woods if you enjoy a bit of mystery. 

3. Celeste

Games Like Night in the Woods - Celeste
Matt Makes Games

Celeste is a great platformer with mechanics that push the difficulty scale pretty far in places. However, it also has engaging characters and a similar theme to Night in the Woods.

The game is about Madeline, who is trying to climb a mountain. Across the journey, you learn more about her and meet others who are climbing mountains of their own.

Madeline has plenty of setbacks in getting up the mountain. The climb has a lot of parallels with more personal issues. Her mountain climbing is her quest to face personal demons made literal.

Gameplay of Celeste is also pretty impressive. A lot of the games like Night in the Woods are mainly walking simulators. However, Celeste offers a different type of gameplay.

The title is a difficult platformer in a lot of places. The game is difficult to finish fully with all of the collectibles. Even playing just to get through it can challenge those who don’t normally like hard platformers like Celeste.

Although, the game is also open and accessible. It is difficult but it has a host of accessibility options. This means you can tweak the difficulty to a stage where it isn’t too much of a problem for you. This level of control is great.

These options help to make the game easy for everyone to play, even if a rock-hard platformer doesn’t normally sound like your thing. The challenges involved in climbing the mountain helps to understand Madeline’s personal. Experiencing the character’s struggle and catharsis is really the appeal of Celeste 

2. Life is Strange

Games Like Night in the Woods - Life is Strange
Square Enix

Life is Strange is one of the games like Night in the Woods with both similar gameplay and story. This is a series of games that deal with the pains that go along with coming of age. That’s all while characters hit up against the unexplained and strange mysteries.

The gameplay in the series is relatively simple like in Night in the Woods. You walk around the various areas in the game and talk to characters. There are a few puzzles, but the game is mainly riven by dialogue choices. 

The first Life is Strange game deals with Max. She finds herself gaining the ability to rewind time. However, as she uses the power more and more, disturbances start to happen in the town of Arcadia Bay.

The story draws a lot of inspiration from Twin Peaks. Particularly with how the plotline starts off with the investigation of the death of a young girl just before the game began. 

Life is Strange mainly deals with the personal struggles of coming of age, but with higher stakes. These personal conflicts are happening in a town with a murder on the loose and an impending disaster. 

It has a lot in common with Night in the Woods here. It even also takes place in a smaller town with some social and economic problems that factor into gameplay.

Life is Strange 2 is more of a road trip, but it similarly has strong characters that you’ll build a connection to. The choices impacting gameplay become an even bigger factor in this game. 

The first two Life is strange games are some of the top games like Night in the Woods. The others in the series are worth checking out too if you enjoy them.

1. A Short Hike

Games Like Night in the Woods - A Short Hike

A Short Hike has often been cited as similar in theme and art to Night in the Woods. Although, while Night in the Woods gets dark a Short Hike keeps things light.

A Short Hike is a bit different on this list for games like Night in the Woods. The title has a much more open design. Players are exploring an open world park area. The goal is to reach the peak of a mountain to get a signal on a phone.

You play as an anthropomorphic bird. The rest of the park is populated with similar creatures. You can play games with these like volleyball, fishing, as well as complete side-quests. 

The main gameplay is trying to get up the mountain itself. You’ll need to get golden feathers to make it all the way up. These can be found or bought depending on what bits of the game you want to play.

A Short Hike’s visual style isn’t too far from Night in the Woods. It makes the experience a lot more relaxing than it might otherwise be. 

This title’s writing and dialogue come close to Night in the Woods. It’s got that conversational tone that makes the characters come alive.

The soundtrack in A Short Hike is definitely worth highlighting too. This is an adaptive soundtrack that naturally changes depending on your activity. Since the game gives a lot of free reign, this soundtrack adapting with it really enhances things.

A Short Hike is a great title that can be relaxing as well as engaging. It’s one of the closest experiences to Night in the Woods in a few ways.


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