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Little Nightmares – Review

Put on your yellow raincoat and hold tight onto your little lighter, because you will certainly need it in Little Nightmares… and probably a change of pants, because the horror and creepiness in this little indie title are nothing to be laughed at.

Okay, first things first: I love watching walk-throughs of horror games, because I’m too much of a chicken to play them myself. I did not expect that Little Nightmares threw me straight into the deep end of horror and creepiness. And yes, that led to me screaming at certain points. I happily admit to that. I started to play the game, not even remotely knowing what was waiting for me as I only had seen the initial trailer of it, but nothing afterwards as I wanted to experience it with as little information on it as possible. So there I was, thinking it’s a beautifully made game and very Tim Burton-esque. Little did I know the extend of the creepiness of this game and it certainly delivered on the suspense that you find in horror games and movies. My tip: Don’t play it at night, especially before bed!

You play as yellow raincoat-wearing Six who appears to be trapped on a ship of unknown destination. The whole time you will have to navigate through platforms and puzzles which are akin to Limbo and Unravel. The puzzles themselves are not all too difficult and fairly easy to figure out after a couple of tries, if not even on the first try. What it really sets it off is the atmosphere in the game. From the pitter-patter sound of Six’ footsteps to the thumping sounds of background music. The game oozes with atmosphere and that sense of dread which are its selling points along with its art style. In each section, there is a different antagonist from whom you must escape, i.e. the long armed janitor who has a penchant for collecting dolls and figures or the two twin cooks who you can see go about their routine of cooking. Though it’s debatable if you could call what they are doing ‘cooking’…

Despite the well designed characters and levels, and amazing soundtrack, there were a couple of issues with Little Nightmares: For one, it is incredibly short compared to other puzzle platformers, but that would explain the price the standard edition is being sold at. The other issue is with the fiddly control moments the game can have where at times you’re required to use 3 buttons (I played it on the PS4) at the same time in order to do something. If you add on top of that being chased the whole time, it becomes a little bit frustrating at times.

Little Nightmares is perfect for anyone who enjoys creepy horror stories combined with a Burton-esque art style. The design of Six being unable to fight back is a smart choice to give the player that sense of helplessness. If you could fight back, it would diminish the horror which is well preserved throughout the game. Even if you’re not a fan of horror, it’s a wonderful little game that can be picked up by anyone. Just have videos of cute puppies and/or kittens ready whenever you stop playing, because boy did I need them…

 

Developed by Tarsier Studios and published by Namco Bandai Entertainment, Little Nightmares is out now on PS4, XB1 and Steam.
Screenshots/images © Tarsier Studios; taken during personal gameplay.

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