WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Night in the Woods is a little indie game, first released early last year, that's gained quite a bit of interest and praise. And since it was just released for the Nintendo Switch console as well, it seems the perfect time for us to talk about it—especially since, at first glance, it sure looks like a kid-friendly, children's storybook-style game.

This side-scrolling, interactive-narrative title features adorable anthropomorphized animal characters that look like 2D construction-paper cutouts walking around in a cartoonish virtual town called Possum Springs.

But for all of its paper-and-scissors kiddish appeal, the central story here is waaay past grade school.

Mae B. Not

The game's hero is a large-eyed, unruly little cat named Mae Borowski. She's a twentysomething college drop-out who's returning home because, well, she just might be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She flops back into her disheveled bedroom in her parents' attic and then proceeds to spend the next several weeks shuffling around town reconnecting with old friends who haven't gotten out, and chewing the fat with old neighbors who are barely hanging on.

Mae, we find out, is a former delinquent of sorts who has long suffered from some sort of dissociative emotional disorder. And ever since she beat up a local kid with a baseball bat and sent him to the hospital, she's been barely coping with even the average stuff of daily life.

And for all of its colorful falling leaves and cute scampering squirrels, Possum Springs has been wrestling with its share of issues, too. It's a struggling, Middle America mining town that seems to be dying out, one business and one bailing family at a time. The economy is horrible, jobs are scarce, people are mysteriously going missing and, well, small-town life as a whole is pretty much in the doldrums.

Angst in the Heartland

That's really what this interactive game seeks to explore, and what some critics have praised about it: Night in the Woods is all about the angst and confusion of being a young adult trying to find his or her place in a troubled, beleaguered world. If that sounds a bit melancholy, well, yeah it kinda can be. The game's redeeming aspect is that amid all that anxiety, the story interactions also explore the virtues of good friends, as well as the benefits of humor and solid family relationships.

That said, there's still a lot here that Mom and Dad should be aware of before any of the kiddos dive in. This may be a T-rated title, but as Mae connects with old buds—a whacky guy named Gregg and his live-in boyfriend Angus, and a chain-smoking crocodile girl named Bea—they chat about sex, pornography, psychological anguish, financial stress, the joys of crime, their disregard for police and other mature subjects. (The narrative stops short of actually showing anything explicit; but it's not rainbows and lollipops, either.)

These friends also go out drinking and smoking in the woods with other local teens, where Mae gets riotously drunk. Mae and Gregg play a knife game where they stab each other's hands. Some conversations wander into spiritual subjects. However, these are mostly dark discussions that swirl around evil local happenings, namely a cult and evidence of human sacrifices.

Add in nasty language—including s-words, uses of "a--," "h---," "d--mit," misuses of God's name and f-bomb shorthand such as "Eff the cops"—and you've got a game that goes to places you might never expect.

Yep, there are indeed lots of cutesy, colorful visuals in Night in the Woods. We get a dash of mini-game platforming fun. And the dialogue can be compelling, too.

But "kid-friendly" ain't a phrase you'd ever use to describe life in Possum Springs.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Publisher

Finji

Released

February 1, 2018

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!