review
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POSTED 17/5/17


LITTLE NIGHTMARES

Tarsier Studios/Bandai Namco



Don’t you go out in the rain, don’t go out in the pouring rain. If you go out in the rain, we’ll never have that time again...

You’re a hungry young child named Six. You’re possibly Eleven’s younger sister. Or Eleven five years ago. Or maybe, just maybe, Stranger Things has stuff all to do with anything here.

Still, comparisons could be drawn, as things certainly aren’t quite right in the eerie dream world in which this yellow raincoat-clad little girl faces all manner of challenges.

At this juncture, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Playdead’s gaming legacy, or, more specifically, Limbo and Inside. Little Nightmares owes a debt to both – especially the latter. But it also makes its own uncomfy place in the pantheon of kids-stuck-in-nightmare-worlds games.

Somehow you’re trapped within ‘The Maw’. Your tummy’s rumbling – sometimes to the point of being unable to continue - and save for all manner of peculiar creatures from giants to icky leeches and eminently huggable ‘nomes’ you’re alone. But not nome alone, for that would be horrendously horrific wordplay.

Rather than just accepting some form of awful fate, Six uses her admirable smarts to solve numerous puzzles so as to progress through this ultra-creepy place. She’ll squeeze through vents, and shimmy up ropes, then she’ll bounce on beds and smash little statues. Hey, she is only Six!

Most importantly, assuming that you’re not some sort of sadistic child killer she’ll eventually make her way out of this hellhole unscathed. Well, physically at least.

Control’s smooth without being perfect – you’ll sometimes get stuck on something at the most opportune time, and some respawn points are, well, pointless. Why make players schlep across multiple action-free screens to return to where they failed?

We’d say it’s mysterious and spooky and altogether ooky, but that’d lack originality. Then again, Little Nightmares isn’t particularly original either. But it’s arch in its pilfering, ultimately delivering a fabulous adventure with some genuine creepiness.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.