Little Nightmares starts off with very little background. After a brief and eerie opening clip of a woman dressed as a Geisha Girl, our main character Six wakes up abruptly from a nightmare. Armed only with a yellow rain coat, a lighter, and her wit, Six makes her way though the depths of the horrifying ship that is The Maw.
Little Nightmares is a unique but familiar 2D side-scrolling adventure that follows Six’s escape from The Maw. Challenging puzzles and creepy enemies wait throughout the ship while adding clues to the mysterious story that is taking place.
The game’s controls are easy to grasp once you start playing. You will sprint, slide, crouch, and jump while avoiding enemies and solving puzzles. Pushing and pulling objects as well as doors will allow you to manipulate the environment and find secrets as you progress through each room. Six’s lighter allows her to see in dark areas as well as light lanterns which serve as checkpoints.
The game is broken up into five main areas: The Prison, The Lair, The Kitchen, The Guest Area, and finally The Lady’s Quarters. The use of sneaking and hiding may be the perfect solution to advance through one area, while sprinting through another room to avoid getting caught may provide another solution. Throwing objects to cause a distraction, then sneaking past an enemy, followed with running as fast as possible usually proved to be quite effective.
Little Nightmares uses its visuals and sound to truly give the game an uneasy tone. The lack of music adds a certain level of creepiness to the game and also helps the player focus on the sounds happening around them. Footsteps, dripping water, creaking floors, and that disturbing sound the grotesque people-like creatures make when they spot you. Each individual sound helps the game and the player’s experience immensely. When the music does play, the player gets a feeling of suspense that increases dramatically.
The game offers collectibles, which can be found throughout each level. You are allowed to go back and replay levels if you can not find them all the first play through. Finding and hugging (yes hugging) all the Nomes in the game, as well as smashing statues is a tedious task, but worth the reward if you want to beat Little Nightmares completely.
An expansion for Little Nightmares titled Secrets of The Maw has been planned. This three part DLC pack gives the player access to a new protagonist as he must venture through the flooded depths of The Maw. The first part of the expansion is available now! The second part will not be available until November, and the third in January 2018.
Personally speaking, I am not a huge fan of creepy games or the recent platformers that have come out. Little Nightmares was the exception for me and peaked my interest in both genres. The suspenseful game play kept me on edge but did not reach a level of horror (which was fine by me). The platform style of game play was challenging but not frustrating, and although the story was vague this left a lot open for the player to think of theories on to what is actually going on within The Maw.
+ Creative Graphics
+ Mysterious Story
+ Downloadable Content
– Load Times
– Game Length
Are you excited for the DLC? What are your theories for this game? Let me know in the comments below what you thought of Little Nightmares!
Tom Kolbert loves video games and movies; they have always been a major part of his life and have become something he is passionate about.
Little Nightmares was reviewed on PS4 and is also available on Xbox One and PC. All pictures taken using the PS4’s screenshot functionality.
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