Horror games are something I love just as much as movies, and Little Nightmares is something of a departure fro m the usual in your face scares in that at first glance it looks like some kind of kids platform game. Aw, look at the cute little kid in a yellow raincoat running through the…oh hang on a minute, that’s a meat grinder, and why are those shoes just lying on the ground, who do they belong to? What are the things in the little paper hats and why is there a creepy man with very long arms stalking me?
That’s right, Little Nightmares is a lesson in atmosphere and will raise just as many questions for you to mull over as it answers. In fact, there are rarely any instructions in the game. You’re left to work out how to jump and grab onto things, moving objects about with realistic physics as you solve the simple puzzles to navigate the world and stay alive. Limbo is the game I would compare it to the most. Like that game it has an understated atmosphere that gets under your skin but here, things aren’t silhouetted, they’re in full view as you see the grotesque monsters who are trying to catch you as they also go about their own business cooking food or playing with rusty spoons. Salad Fingers would be proud!
It’s 2.5D, so you can move into the world slightly but mostly, you’ll be moving left to right and sometimes the other way to fetch keys or jump or crawl to safety. This can present instant death problems when you can’t quite see exactly where your feet will land when you jump, and it would be good if loading times were quicker when you do die, which is often as you sometimes have to use trial and error to find out exactly where to run or how to deal with the situation you are in. It’s frustrating at times but intriguing enough for you to want to make it to the end. The game is roughly 5 hours long so it’s a good distraction, and if you want more you can always seek to find all the collectibles such as small ornaments you can break.
If you like your horror to be less overt and more creepy in a Tim Burton kind of way, then you should definitely try Little Nightmares out. It’s like a dolls house but instead of dressing them up, they’re more likely to get butchered. Nice. It gets 8 out of 10.
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New: Buy Little Nightmares from Amazon.com