The Night is Grey will leave you pale
It isn’t exactly clear why Graham is in the woods, but one thing is for certain — he needs to get out of there.
Unfortunately, he can’t go back the way he came. The wolves are after him, blocking his path back to humanity. No, he’ll have to press forward, deeper into the woods and further into unknown territory. At least the moon is full, lighting his way through the darkness, and he has his wits about him. But the night is still young — who knows how many surprises are in store for this unlikely hero?
So begins The Night is Grey, an upcoming point and click game developed and self-published by Whalestork Interactive. The debut title for the team, The Night is Grey is touted as “a cinematic thriller” and a “revivalist take on trauma” told though painstakingly hand drawn animations at 12 frames per second. With over 50 digitally painted locations, a fully original studio recorded music score, and a promise of “no pixel-hunting,” The Night is Grey already feels like a familiar classic, and one that will impress any retro player who grew up with the greats.
Graham’s night begins in a hurried huff — he’s just run away from a family of wolves, and the forest unfolding in front of him is dark and unnerving. With no other options, he presses forward, only to stumble upon a dimly lit cabin in the middle of a clearing. Thinking he’s found a hint of humanity, he stumbles inside, only to stare down the end of a barrel. A little girl stands armed and firm, protecting her home from monsters while her mother is out fixing the generator.
Graham realizes he hasn’t seen anyone in the woods and fears the worst for the missing woman, promising the young girl that he’ll fix the generator for them. Upon his return, he convinces the girl that her mother has surely gone to visit family and promises to take her there as well. Leaving the unsafe area, the pair venture forth to the other end of the woods, away from the wolves that would do them harm.
The Night is Grey is a point and click, so hunting for items is par for the course. What I appreciate about item hunting this time from a storytelling perspective is that items can’t be collected unless there’s a purpose to them. This means that you might stumble upon an item you’ll need later, but since you don’t know the appropriate use for them now, it’s perceived as useless and therefore not collected. For example, there’s a stuffed animal Graham skips over at first, but the little girl demands you take once she sees it later on. Too few point and clicks do this, so I tremendously appreciated the use of character logic for once.
When it comes to aesthetics, The Night is Grey went above and beyond the call of duty. Those digitally painted backgrounds are beautiful, a veritable feast for the eyes with each new scene. And the hand drawn characters have a wide range of actions (70 in all!), like walking, bending over, skipping, swinging legs, etc., that make you really feel like you’re playing a cartoon. Complete with eerie sound effects and a matching score, The Night is Grey is both ambient and full of action, a really interesting combination for a hand drawn/animated game.
The Night is Grey’s Steam page notes that, while there are no graphic depictions of violence in the game, there are references to it, as well as some pretty freaky shit going on with the wolves (as seen at the end of the trailer). But as far as the demo is concerned, no weird stuff or jumpscares or anything like that occurred, so if you’re interested in giving it a go for yourself, feel free to download it on Steam. The demo doesn’t yield the meat of the story or game, but it definitely gives a taste of what’s to come. And since it only takes approximately 30 – 40 minutes to complete in its entirety, there’s really no reason not to give The Night is Grey demo a go if you’re interested.
Be sure to check out The Night is Grey on Steam today, and keep an eye out for a Switch release in the near future!