Developer: Tarsier Studios
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Little Nightmares is a dark and eerie atmospheric puzzle-platforming adventure with some stealth elements.
You play as a young child who is trying to escape. It’s unclear exactly who you are, where you are, or why you’re there. The story seems to take an artistic standpoint, and let’s the player draw some of their own conclusions. There does appear to be deeper meaning to the story than what you initially see up front. I wasn’t all that enthused by the story in the end, but that’s partially because I prefer being told the story, instead of having to figure it out.
As far as the gameplay goes, there are some environmental puzzles, but they are so simplistic that I hesitate to even call them puzzles in the first place. Whether it be moving an object to climb up, or finding a key to unlock a door, it was usually quite easy to figure out what to do, and where to go. There are collectibles and secrets to find, but other than that, I can’t see wanting to replay it.
There are enemies in some of the areas, and you will need to make your waypast them without drawing their ire. Sneaking around, hiding under cover, or making use of noise distractions is sometimes essential at times. As long as you take your time, it’s fairly easy to be stealthy. With that being said, there will still be times where you will die while running away from enemies. There are a fair amount of chase sequences, and many of my deaths simply took me by surprise.
- intriguing story, that seems to have some deeper meaning
- for the most part, the platforming feels good, and it is enjoyable overall
- fantastic environments, and the fact that your character is so much smaller than all the furniture and enemies makes you feel vulnerable, and intimidated by the world around you
- excellent character design, especially the enemies – they are so ugly, and daunting
- ambience, music, and sound effects are all of the utmost quality, and implemented really well into the game to create a creepy atmosphere that persists throughout
- keyboard and mouse controls are fully customizable, and there is full controller support (I found it easier to play with a controller)
- intentionally vague story, and ending (there is no dialog or text to explain what exactly is going on – some will love this aspect, some will not)
- the game is extremely short and feels like it’s lacking content (it took me roughly 3 hours while taking my time, and trying to explore)
- (nitpick) ‘puzzles’ are much too easy, and lack any sort of complexity
- (nitpick) bumping into walls/obstacles when trying to slide through openings to flee enemies happens more than you’d like
- (nitpick) the mouse cursor sometimes stays on screen even when you are using a controller, and it’s a little annoying
Little Nightmares is a well crafted interactive experience, but it also feels like it’s lacking content. I wish it had been longer, and I would have liked there to have been more to the story. I expect that those who enjoyed games like Limbo or INSIDE will also enjoy Little Nightmares, but I highly recommend waiting for a sale price.