By Nickolas Brooks
Captured Images by Nickolas Brooks
(SPOILER WARNING! Do not read this review if you are interested in playing these games for yourself!)
Little Nightmares is a puzzle-platformer, horror-adventure game created by a Swedish game company called Tarsier Studios, who have also developed Little Nightmares 2 and The Stretchers. Tarsier Studios also assisted with DLC for Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet 1, 2, Vita and 3 and have co-developed with them on the game Tearaway Unfolded. They are also co-developers with Qi Studios on the game Rag Doll Kung Fu.
The game was published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, a company best known for their owned licenses brought into the world of video games such as Sword Art Online, Kamen Rider, the Ultraman series, Sailor Moon and Shonen Jump titles such as Dragon Ball, Naruto and One Piece. They have also developed and published several titles and series such as Pac-Man, Ace Combat, Tekken, Dark Souls, God Eater, .hack and Soulcalibur.
Little Nightmares was released on April 28, 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game was then released a year later on May 18 for the Nintendo Switch and two years later, on June 1, for Stadia.
The game was received with positive reviews from fans and critics alike for atmosphere, graphics and sound, but the length of the game and its savepoints were criticized.
Little Nightmares in an underwater-type resort called The Maw, where the character, Six, awakens. Only having a lighter with her, she explores the place, discovering a prison, a library, a kitchen and, eventually, that there’s a line of people coming onto the Maw to eat a lot of food. All of the resort is being watched by a mysterious geisha lady.
Little Nightmares’ gameplay blew me away. I enjoy playing video games like Limbo and Inside. If you enjoy puzzle games with a suspenseful or nerve-wrecking atmosphere, then this one’s for you. At times, I wasn’t sure what I had to do next until I learned something in the game. For example, in the beginning, I had no idea that I had to open a fridge door to climb up so I could continue my journey.
Throughout the game, Six encounters these creatures called Nomes. When she hugs one, they would appear at the very end of the game when Six escapes the Maw. Although, I was not a fan of the anonymous checkpoints in certain parts of the game. Some make me feel like I have to finish a puzzle all over again, while others just feel slightly out of place.
The atmosphere of the game is my favorite aspect. It gives me a vibe that I’m walking down some abandoned hospital with a flashlight and having no clue on how to get home. Or, it feels like I am dreaming, just like Six was. But, instead of trying to escape a resort, it feels like I’m always sprinting away from whatever was chasing me. And the graphics make me feel like I’m playing a game Tim Burton had made.
The way the monsters in the game are designed make me cringe and feel nervous, but in a good way, because I was able to tell what the developers were going for.
I’m all about soundtracks for horror movies and games. The soundtrack for this game fits perfectly in the genre. I had mentioned in “Graphics/Atmosphere” about how the graphics make me feel like I’m playing a Tim Burton game; the soundtrack only adds to it. It reminds me a lot of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which only made me more interested while playing it.
I’m going to give Little Nightmares an 8.5/10. When you can make a horror game that will make you feel pure dread and can make you nervous as ever, then you’re doing your job right. It’s not like a Five Nights at Freddy’s or some .EXE Creepypasta game you find on the Internet, it’s something that will do its job by properly scaring you. You can check out Little Nightmares right now on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, Steam or Stadia.