ferry;;sadhonker;;adams;;little nightmares;;platform;;horror;;puzzle;;tarsier;;bandai namco Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams

LITTLE NIGHTMARES

By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on April 25, 2017

I'm sure we all had nightmares as a kid. Hell, some (if not most) of us still do from time to time! For Six, a hungry little girl of only nine years old, the nightmares are all too real and, even worse, hell-bent on getting their grubby, creepy, long-fingered hands on her! Join us as we descend into the Maw; a truly creepy, over-sized looking place, inhabited by quite a few twisted, nightmarish individuals.

In Little Nightmares, we assume control of this little girl named Six and help her escape the surreal land of terror she currently finds herself in. Six can walk, run, jump, climb, crawl through tight spaces and even perform a slide to quickly duck under low obstacles. She can also manipulate or carry certain items in the environment. And trust me when I say that you'll need all of these abilities to make your escape from the Maw.


At the start of the game, Six finds herself in what looks like a prison of sorts. Only equipped with a lighter, she must find her way through this spooky place and avoid the dangers that lurk within. As you start, there are not a lot of things after you, so you can easily get the hang of the controls. As you make your way through the first few rooms, sometimes control-related tips will appear on screen, teaching you the basics of controlling Six on her, what soon turns out to be very perilous, journey.

Six's lighter is the main source of illumination in the game. While some rooms are dimly lit, others are pitch black and you will definitely need your lighter to find your way out! Six can also light candles and lanterns she finds along the way to illuminate a certain area without having to use your lighter. I just have to tell you that the lighting of the game looks absolutely gorgeous! Your circle of light coming from your lighter, casts ever-changing shadows in the environment and makes the game look even more awesome than it already does!

Being a nine year-old girl, Six can't actually fight any of the enemies she'll encounter during travels through the nightmarish but beautifully crafted environments. Instead of picking a fight, Six can only run as fast as her little legs can carry her and try to evade the claws of the horrific individuals that are out to get her. This is where ducking and sliding comes in really, really, REALLY handy. If Six is being chased by one of the twisted freaks in the game, she can duck under low obstacles to hide, or she can crawl or slide through small spaces and escape to the next room, leaving her enemies behind.


I must say, I had quite some trouble deciding in which category to place Little Nightmares. It is a platforming game with lots and lots of puzzle elements and a truly eerie feel. But, in the end, the constant ominous feel of the environments and the creepy inhabitants made me decide to put it in our Depths of Dread category. The best part of the horror side of Little Nightmares is that it doesn't rely on cheap jump scares to give it that creepy feel you are looking for when playing a game in the horror genre. It's the always present feeling of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat for most of the game. Especially when you are being chased by one of the giant and nightmarish-looking inhabitants of the maw the game succeeds in delivering a sense of uneasiness.

The main character, Six, is exceptionally loveable and looks tiny in her yellow raincoat when she makes her way through the oversized environments. It's this feeling of being tiny and somewhat helpless that enhances the overall experience. Sure, playing a horror game in which you can fight off hordes of undead with an extensive array of weapons is also fun, but only being able to hide or run away works perfectly for Little Nightmares. The minimalistic soundtrack is another thing that immerses you in the dark and frightening world of the game.

Your controller also plays a major part in immersing in the game. When things start to get tense, Six's heartbeat can be felt. And the more tense the situation becomes, the harder her heart will start beating. I personally think this is a neat feature that has a proper function; making you feel Six's fear. As mentioned at the start of this review, Six is also hungry (hence the game's previous working title: Hunger). This becomes apparent at certain points in the game, when her tummy starts rumbling. And again, your controller will enhance this feeling. Not only will Six grab her tummy and start walking more slowly, your controller will emulate the rumbling of said tummy. Personally, I never really cared for force feedback on game controllers, but when playing Little Nightmares, I loved it! Another thing I loved about Six being hungry at times, is the fact that, while at first she'll find regular food to silence the rumbling in her tummy, she will have to resort to more, let's say, creepy methods before long...


Visually, the game looks absolutely stunning. The minimalistic lighting, the ever-changing shadows; Little nightmares looks nothing less than awesome! The surreal art-style ties in with the game's theme perfectly and truly helps shape the overall ominous and creepy feel of the game. The characters in the game are crafted with great attention to detail and manage to blend in with the environment perfectly. The environments themselves are expertly built and painted. If you imagine what a child's nightmare would look like, I'm pretty sure this is it! Everything is somewhat too large for comfort and reflects how a small child might look at the world around her.

I can only say that Little Nightmares is one hell of a game! It is a perfect mix of platform, puzzle and horror games that has certainly managed to captivate my imagination. I loved playing every second of it, also because of the fact that the controls work like a charm and are quite intuitive. I would definitely recommend playing Little Nightmares to everyone who likes a decent platforming-puzzle challenge, as well as the suspense of a horror-themed story. Little Nightmares is a fascinating and very well-made journey that has its dark heart in the right place!


available on:

LITTLE NIGHTMARES
Tarsier Studios & Bandai Namco Entertainment
April 28, 2017