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Little Nightmares

27 April 2017
Little Nightmares - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.49 / 5.0
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591 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#1,050 All-time
#43 for 2017
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2017 Tarsier Bandai Namco  
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Little Nightmares Complete Edition
2018 Tarsier Bandai Namco  
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Little Nightmares Complete Edition
2018 Tarsier Engine  
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Little Nightmares Complete Edition
2018 Tarsier Bandai Namco  
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GB 3 391892 001655 CUSA 05952
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Title
Creepy and cute mix in a literal larger-than-life journey
(written may 17, 2017)

The scariest things in life are the unknown, and when you’re young, there’s more than enough unknown things to be scared of. Adults are grotesque colossuses, cabinets are mile-high ladders, every sound is a creaky warning from beyond. We think we’ve grown up, but Little Nightmares is here to tuck us back in and scare us once more.

Players control Six, a young girl donning a cartoonishly-shaped raincoat. She awakens in a tall, dull room, illuminated with only a hint of sunlight and Six’s lighter. Faroff groans and creaks tell us we’re at sea (the game’s description says we’re aboard “The Maw”). Six can tiptoe, walk and run in 3D space, viewed through a 2D camera, as if we’re peeking at her deepest fears.

Well, it might not be her deepest fears we’re seeing, but Little Nightmares is home to some of the worst colloquialisms of childhood paranoia. Six’s first encounter is with the janitor of the ship; a man with a large head, stubby legs, and horrifyingly long arms. He tricks Six by placing a slab of meat in a child-sized cage, and, unable to resist her crippling hunger, she plays the fool. Shortly after, our first glimpse of the man reveals his mile-long limbs, sloppily dragging another cage that holds another child. Bloodstains seep in it’s place.

We now know that Six is not alone; the ship hosts sleazy employees in the barracks, while passengers indulge themselves in food and orgies. The atmosphere becomes uglier, more hostile with each step Six takes, the danger increasing. Six must cower on top of drawers and behind boxes that aren’t just tall from her perspective; almost all the environments are goofy in their proportions, making the platforming a joy to play.

This is where the genius of Six’s character comes in; everything about her, from her porcelain doll appearance to the cute squeaks of her raincoat, presents innocence. The player latches onto this innocence, not just to garner sympathy for Six, but to distract us. We use Six as a way to comfort ourselves in the unfamiliar grubbiness of The Maw, making the moments she suffers all the more terrifying.

The game creates a perpetually tense atmosphere, maintained by its 3D platforming, but there’s some conveyance issues at the start. If you can’t figure out the fairly specific controls, the game waits three or four minutes while you fumble around before telling you what to do. Moments where Six is balancing on ceiling beams and jumping across chasms makes the player fear the level design as much as the aesthetics, for better or worse; but for a 3 hour game, the player adapts quickly.

Little Nightmares aims for a charming type of horror; that one scene in your favorite TV show as a kid that always creeped you out. There’s a sense of adventure, a sense of goofiness, but the reality of it all strikes the player, and strongly in the shoes of Six. The mystery of the world gets a bit muddled with the mystery of the narrative, but it’s a wonderful example of how horror games can scare you and stick.
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keublitz 2022-12-10T05:08:30Z
2022-12-10T05:08:30Z
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Needed More
The atmosphere and aesthetic was what I enjoyed the most. Great sound design. I am a big lover of Limbo and this gave me similar feelings. I just can't help but feel they could have done more with the puzzles or mechanics. Still had a wonderful time.
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Fascinating concept and art direction, but not as captivating gameplay-wise. Both the puzzle and platformer mechanics are way too basic and repetitive. The difficulty is pretty low, but the clunky control system and unintuitive level design make things more complicated than they were supposed to be.
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manicure 2021-08-07T02:35:47Z
2021-08-07T02:35:47Z
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Great game - manages to be cute and creepy at the same time. Love the atmosphere and mystery around the world slowly unravelling as you make your way through the story, and still leaving you with questions. Short playtime, but good that it doesn't overstay its welcome. Highly recommended.
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jerseyscribe 2021-07-15T16:24:42Z
2021-07-15T16:24:42Z
4.0
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I went in expecting mediocrity, but instead was given an indie horror masterpiece.
I've never been one to go out of my way to play "fad" games, or indie games that just get popular through the gaming youtube circlejerk and just end up coming and going. But, when I saw this game on sale, I decided it couldn't hurt to give it a shot, and boy was I wrong to have said prejudice.

This game is so creative in its isometric and cartoonishly creepy design. I love the way the story is told entirely through visuals you have to connect the dots between. I love the way the puzzles revolve around escaping your pursuers in slapstick, "Tom and Jerry" like antics. And I love how this game manages to be genuinely unnerving despite the cartoonish art style reminiscent of Courage the Cowardly Dog.

It is short, so get it while it's on sale, maybe, but it's something I'd recommend to anyone wanting a short but sweet survival horror experience.
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Wayoftheredpanda 2021-06-14T21:02:18Z
2021-06-14T21:02:18Z
4.5
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This is a pretty cool Indiesque platformer, and it does have an interesting style and story. Actually the style reminds me a little of Tim Burton, its a very dark game with distorted looking monsters and the game is essentially running away from and escaping disfigured monsters while solving basic puzzles and platforming segments. Its sort of plays like Inside or Limbo a little, and the puzzles feel similar where they are pretty simple yet fun to solve. The best things the game has going for it are atmosphere and style, and the game looks amazing, the graphics, lighting, and level design all feels really well done. On the other hand you have some major flaws too, the major one being the camera which sometimes pans in a weird way where you can't see where you're going so there are several times I fell off a ledge and died because the camera just didn't show my character properly, the other is the platforming is very hit or miss. There are times where I missed jumps and ledge grabs because the platforming just feels awkward and rough at times. There are a few trial and error moments as well but for the most part these aren't horrible and most of the trial and error segments at least offer decent checkpoints. Some checkpoints in this game are pretty bad while others are super lenient, and the bad ones tend to be long platforming segments where one mistimed jump can cost you several minutes. Either way though its a short game and only clocks in at about 3-4 hours total, and it has a unique enough style and atmosphere where it did have some moments that were really cool. Still the bad does sometimes get more annoying and it did make some of the more intense segments of the game frustrating. The other thing is the game has practically no replay and is really not a game that lends itself to multiple playthroughs so after one time there is no reason to ever play this again. If this game was expanded on, had the platforming and camera issues smoothed out, and had less linear design it could actually make a really solid retail game, but at best this is a cool $5-10 game at best.
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jweber14 2017-12-12T19:53:55Z
2017-12-12T19:53:55Z
3.5
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Catalog

kietasrokas Little Nightmares 2023-03-26T11:20:01Z
2023-03-26T11:20:01Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
don_weasle Little Nightmares 2023-03-26T11:14:37Z
2023-03-26T11:14:37Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jojobobee Little Nightmares 2023-03-20T19:29:34Z
2023-03-20T19:29:34Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ThiagOwO Little Nightmares 2023-03-20T18:18:11Z
2023-03-20T18:18:11Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PugslyK Little Nightmares 2023-03-19T11:26:44Z
2023-03-19T11:26:44Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JNoeste Little Nightmares 2023-03-18T11:34:13Z
2023-03-18T11:34:13Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
habobo Little Nightmares 2023-03-18T03:25:38Z
2023-03-18T03:25:38Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
feudhi Little Nightmares 2023-03-17T09:59:23Z
2023-03-17T09:59:23Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
NightOwl1012 Little Nightmares 2023-03-17T00:52:11Z
2023-03-17T00:52:11Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
_nikonoff_ Little Nightmares 2023-03-14T12:46:07Z
2023-03-14T12:46:07Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
noojas Little Nightmares 2023-03-11T19:30:18Z
2023-03-11T19:30:18Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ethan2119 Little Nightmares 2023-03-11T04:55:39Z
2023-03-11T04:55:39Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  

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  • Pegarange 2021-07-06 21:01:31.72609+00
    eat the rich
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  • vodsel 2021-07-11 19:05:47.608378+00
    The narrative presentation is really stellar, but the puzzle design may disappoint if you feel already satisfied by Playdead games or are expecting something more than those. This is just much of the same, mechanically speaking.
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  • robosteven25 2021-08-06 02:03:14.455217+00
    The only little nightmare I had was from how boring this is.
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    • to_noid_or_not_to_noid 2021-09-01 23:49:57.150235+00
      The only little nightmare I had was from how boring this is. [2]
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  • alliterativeAlpinist 2021-08-16 08:48:49.668394+00
    I really dig this very specific aesthetic (which I've seen before but don't know what to call it), and the fact that this game uses physically accurate lighting makes it that much more effective
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  • ... 2021-09-17 01:38:01.265408+00
    stellar character design in both games
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