Games of the Year

Through the Woods

Through the Woods Screenshot 1
Through the Woods Screenshot 2
Through the Woods Screenshot 3
Through the Woods Screenshot 4
Through the Woods Screenshot 5
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Through the Woods is a third-person Norse horror adventure set in a forest on the western shores of Norway that tells the story of a mother and her missing son. Through reactive narration, the player experiences the mother’s re-telling of the events surrounding her son’s disappearance. Players follow the path of a terrified woman who has forced herself to enter this terrible place for the sole purpose of finding her son, in a setting heavily influenced by Norse mythology and Norwegian folk tales. With Through the Woods, Antagonist have captured the feeling of the forest as they saw it as children, with all the fear and mystery that comes from roaming through it alone. This is coupled with a powerful story and high quality sound design, which in the darkness of the forest becomes a core mechanic. Through the Woods is a profound experience that directly delivers the feelings of loneliness and loss in a terrifying place...
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

A short adventure in the Norse Mythology.
Sum-Up
In-depth analysis further down.
🟩 Pros
🟥 Cons

• A great and unique story of a mother trying to save her son.
• Despite the fact that the game having a few outdated and not so
pleasant characters to look at, the world and the creatures are extremely well done.
• Voice acting is well done in English.
• Creepy and high-quality sound effects. Really set the atmosphere.

• Quite simple mechanics, except using a flashlight and in some instances a torch, there's not much to do.
• Walking/running simulator at its finest.
• Cinematics and camera movements aren't the best.
🟨 Bugs & Issues‎‎
🔧 Specs
⚙ Settings & FPS

🔲 Never had any.
🔲 Hanging, Freezing, or
Crashing.
☑️ Graphics Glitch.
🔲 Gameplay Defect.
🔲 In-game Purchase.
🔲 Audio Problem.
🔲 Text Problem.
🔲 Save Glitch.

• CPU: i7-12700K
• RAM: 32GB DDR4
• GPU: 1060 6GB
• SD: SSD
• RES: 1440p

Settings: Ultra - High
FPS: 60+
🌌 Content & Replay Value
To complete this game it took me about 7 and a half hours. One playthrough with careful guide can get you all the achievements to 100%. Unless you've missed something, you may need to repeat some chapters. Other than that, I can't say it’s worth it.
💵 Is it worth buying?
Considering the fact that there was a lot of effort put into making this game, although there are some issues with this game I'm having a hard time recommending this game at full price. I do think it's worth getting it at a $10/£10 price point. It's quite a nice game, but it lacks polishing.
🎮 Steam Deck Compatibility
Played this game both on PC and on Steam Deck. The game shows at the time of review as Unverified, but the game ran 100% without a problem or a tweak. I had no issue playing it Decked. I recommend it if you're looking to play it that way.
🧾 Verdict: Good
Rating Chart Here
Through the Woods is a good story-driven dark and sad story that is worth experiencing. The Norse mythology and creatures that you'll encounter in the game make it for a pleasant experience and it was honestly a pleasure playing this game, despite its flaws.
Through the Woods is a third-person Norse creepy adventure set in a forest on the western shores of Norway that tells the story of Karen, a mother and her missing son, Espen, who is taken away by a mysterious man and you seek to find him. Through reactive narration, the player experiences the mother's retelling of the events surrounding her son's disappearance.
⚔ Gameplay:
Rate: ★★☆☆☆
The game offers little gameplay along the running, pointing your flashlight in the direction you want to see and trying to find hidden pages, doors and objects around the linear, but rather vast feeling world.
Your whole journey from start to finish is a walking/running simulator, but despite that being an issue for many, I found that the strongest point was the story, which I'll go into later on.
😄 Fun:
Rate: ★★★☆☆
Right from the get-go I got invested in knowing the characters and the lore behind the world. I had quite a bit of fun and was fascinated about the creatures and the setting I had to go through. The story was what kept the game rolling quite well.
🏞 Visuals:
Rate: ★★★☆☆
This game offers a visually pleasant, but not outstanding character design. Now the world is what really makes this game stand out and there's a lot of detail to it and the clothing. The characters unfortunately look quite ugly, but I can't say the same about the monsters. They are interestingly well-made and the lightning and the overall journey is rather magical. I really liked the effort put into the world. In the beginning section of the game, it really felt like you were walking to the Western woods of Norway. I've been there for 3 months in Bergen and they have nailed it very well. I don't think there's any other game that I've seen having so much detail to the world, despite the fact that this game isn't up to the AAA games in quality, I can see the effort.
🔊 Sound:
Rate: ★★★★★
The music and the sound effects are really well made. I like the attention to detail for Karen, the protagonist, as she breathes and make other mouth noises.
Voice overs are also well made and well performed by the voice actors. I think it was a plus when it comes to telling the story.
📖 Story:
Rate: ★★★☆☆
Although the story was unique and quite sad, I've struggled to fully connect with it due to poor quality when it comes to cinematics. I really wish more effort was put in this area as I would have loved to see the potential.
The story is about a mother failing at her parenting and in the process, she loses her only son to a mysterious man, whom she tries to recover. Her journey, through the woods, as the name of the game is quite accurate, but you also travel through some magical and mysterious places of Norway filled with Mythological lore and scary creatures.
🧵 Length:
☑️ Short
🔲 Average
🔲 Long
🔲 Unlimited
The game is rather short and unless you're not rushing, you can finish this game in about 5 hours or so. If you sprint through some areas and ignore a lot of interactions, you'll discover the game is a lot shorter.
🧩 Difficulty:
☑️ Easy
🔲 Normal
🔲 Hard
🔲 Brutally Hard
🔲 Impossible
The game is rather easy and offers little difficulty to new beginners in gaming. You're able to avoid confrontations by running away from enemies and by using your flashlight against some to make them run away from you. There are no puzzles or difficult areas to get through, so except for trying to 100% the game by following a guide for all the collectibles, I don't see this game being a challenge.
⭕Conclusion:
Through the Woods has been an interesting and unique story-driven game that can be done in maybe one sitting. The story and the characters are interesting and the voice-over is quite well performed by the actors, making the flow of the narration interesting. I found myself oftentimes lost in the details put in the world and interesting, yet creepy creatures you have to encounter. The game does lack a bit of polishing in some areas, but if you can ignore those, you'll have a pleasant experience.
All in all, it was a great experience, leaving me wanting more.
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Review from Steam

Based on Norse mythology and folklore, Through the Woods is an exploration heavy horror narrative experience about a mother searching for her lost son after he is spirited away to a forest full of seemingly abandoned villages.
The opening chapter was shaky, the biggest off put was how bad the water looks - a glowing white lake was later discovered, which sprouted some immature but unfortunately accurate remarks. Reading the Steam forums it seems this is a bug turned up in an update (possibly some point during 2017) and will never be fixed as the development team dissolved, it’s a real shame because further in the game there are some wonderfully designed areas full of creativity.
Through the Woods is very close to being a walking simulator but there is some gameplay with a little bit of challenge, mostly in the form of basic stealth but also some torch aiming ‘combat’. There are no jumpscares at any point, the game relies on building suspense. Stilted on occasion, there is also some fantastic voice acting and sound design - I especially loved the wolves.
The maps are detailed and open, and can feel very claustrophobic. It is easy to become disoriented and lost, which adds to the tension when navigating the dangers. You are rewarded for exploration with collectables and information about where you are, with the excellent chapter/checkpoint selection from the main menu - going back for missed objects was easy.
Unfortunately I do have to mention that the water wasn’t the only bug I experienced - notably I fell through a ceiling after picking up a collectible, there was a very trippy moment in a cave and at one point the game froze. Despite this, I still recommend the game for the atmosphere and worldbuilding, maybe wait for a decent discount first though.

Review from Steam

This is a nice, heavily based on Scandinavian mythology horror game, which is mostly a walking simulator gameplay-wise.
It has some moments where it really shines, but it's really rough at the corners. Facial animations are very bad, but I understand that it's a small indie project. Same if not worth problem is with water and lightning in particular scenes. Voice acting in English is horrible, so I really recommend switching language to the original one - Norwegian, while leaving subtitles in the language you need. Sound in general is perfect and it all gets very immersive as long as it's not broken by the issues I've described above.
Overall, it's a good story, especially if you are interested in Nordic folklore, but don't expect too much gameplay and be ready for graphical issues every now and then. Recommended under big discount or when part of a bundle.

Review from Steam

It's more of walking simulator than a horror game but still fun to roam around and let the atmosphere sink in.
The story is short and quite depressing, nothing special, however, it'll keep you engaged in the events that unfold. There is not much you can do besides following the story and every once in a while going off the beaten path to explore a few hidden places.
I recommend this game to everybody who wants to relax (sounds kinda strange since it's supposed to be a horror game; it is what it is) and enjoy finishing a game in one sitting.

Review from Steam

Through the Woods is neither a pure walking sim nor a horror game, but rather an adventure with horror elements.
You can beeline to the end and it will take you about 2-3 hours, but honestly if you do that you won't enjoy much. Take your time to explore and read about the Norse lore that's in the game, it will be a much more meaningful experience. If you don't rush through it, you should be able to finish it within 4-6 hours. Although you can't really deviate from the game's linear path, you do get the chance to explore a bit and read lots of interesting lore and pieces of the story.
There is a sprint option which helps, and although you can't save manually, there are many checkpoints throughout the game, some of them right before a sequence that might result in death if you're a first timer and don't really know what you're doing. Yes you can die multiple times, but you can continue from the last checkpoint, so no biggie. Also, you have to die by each enemy at least once to get achievements :D There are enemies, but they are few and far between, plus it won't be difficult to avoid them or fend them off (you can't kill them). They aren't there to increase the difficulty level, but merely to add to the spooky/horror experience.
Considering this was made by a very small team and the game basically started out as an experiment, you shouldn't expect to be blown away by the graphics. That said, the environment is generally beautiful to look at, although the walking animations and face modelling are mediocre. I found the English voice acting pretty decent, but according to many other reviews it seems that the Norwegian voice acting (with English subs so that you know what's being said) is the best choice.
The atmosphere, story and music are the game's strong points. Like I said earlier, it isn't a horror game, but it is definitely atmospheric and spooky. The background music and the general audio is very good, and you also get to enjoy a nice story.
Overall, a pretty good game for what it is. If you're into walking sims/adventures with great atmosphere and horror elements and won't mind the lack of action/fighting sequences, you should definitely get this game. I thoroughly enjoyed it. That said, considering the game length and mediocre graphics, the asking price of $20 is too high. Wait for a sale, but don't miss it!

Review from Steam

Nøk Nøk Nøkken on heavens door!
Starts out a little bit poor if I'm honest, felt a little tacky, but soon get's going and ends up feeling like a cross between Alan Wake and Northern Journey. Full of Skandinavian folklore and mythology. I sort of guessed Nøkken would be somewhere, I wasn't disappointed! Also has some creepy trolls and a cool witch.
There's a weird glitch in Red Riding Hood location and the sea could do with a polish, from a distance it's just totally white with no texture. Like Northern Journey, you're going to know straight away whether you'd like it or not from the screenshots. Sells for around £15, I think that's just about fair but I'd wait for a sale if it's something you're only going to play the once.

Review from Steam

I would absolutely recommend this game to anyone that loves spooky games with a rich story. The lore through out the game was beautifully sprinkled in and helps immerse the player into the life of the mother trying to find her stolen son. You feel the mother's pain, and empathize with her as the game progresses, but the ending and mysterious family past was a twist I was not expecting and left me utterly speechless once it was revealed. I would highly recommend if you have a few hours to spare and want to have your heart ripped out of you for the day. 10/10 would play again.

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