With 2017 being one of the BIGGEST years in videogame history, dominated by major releases such as Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Mario Odyssey, and so many others, far too many incredible games flew under the radar. Tarsier Studios has brought us a concoction of oxymorons in the form of Little Nightmares. So few games can be disgusting and vile, yet beautiful and captivating all at the same time, but Little Nightmares does so in spades.
Little Nightmares is categorized as a horror based puzzle platformer in the form of what I would call a 2.5D playstyle. Much of the game is spent as the character Six equipped on with an adorable little lighter, side scrolling left or right through 2.5-3 dimensional rooms in order sneak past lumbering grotesque creatures, solve several puzzles and escape captivity. Let me start off by saying that there are no actual lines of dialogue anywhere in Little Nightmares. It is a tale told solely by environment and outside lore, so much so that there is even a comic book series based on the world created around Little Nightmares to help deliver some more backstory, which is left pretty open ended. Very little is ever set in stone, with a dailogueless narrative up for speculation and interpretation.
I don’t want to get into any spoilers whatsoever, but the setting is morose but beautifully crafted. The gameplay is simplistic in concept but fullfilling in execution. There are only a handful of things you can actually do as Six, including sprinting, jumping, climbing, as well as grabbing and throwing objects which are all combined to navigate this world an solve the mysteries and puzzle within it. As stated earlier, dialogue is non existent, however, the audio is subtle but effective at setting the eerie tone. In my opinion the most interesting part about the entirety of Little Nightmares is the ambiguity and mystery surrounding it all. Escaping the clutches of the creature in each section left more and more questions unanswered, driving the desire to continue exploring deeper and deeper into this world, to a point where I am contemplating ordering the comic book series and purchasing the 3 additional DLC chapters. All in all, Little Nightmares is an incredibly dark and thought provoking game delivered to us by the minds over at Tarsier Studios, and I cannot wait to see what else they have in store for the future.
4 Adorable Tiny Lighters out of 5