Little Nightmares is a creepy 3D side-scrolling game (review)

Little Nightmares
Little Nightmares is an interesting yet entertaining piece of video game software. The 3D side-scrolling game revolves around a little girl named Six who happens to be trapped in a place called The Maw. As Six, you don’t have access to any weapons, items, or armor. All this game lets you utilize is your wits, a lighter, and luck. That said, let’s take a look at what the game itself has to offer us.

Gameplay

This is the meat of the actual game. As Six, you continually traverse through Little Nightmares while each chapter gets more disturbing and creepier. Each level contained puzzles that you encounter, however, they’re not that challenging. This was a little bit of a disappointment for me since I’m used to beating my brain to the point of frustration when it comes to puzzles. You take about a minute or two then figure out the puzzle in no time flat.

There are also collectible porcelain dolls that you break along with catching tiny gnomes that run around in the darkness. Six is a child already, but the gnomes are smaller than her. I guess they added these things to add a bit of replay value. That’s if you want to collect them all like Pokemon.

I stated earlier that the side view was a bit of a hindrance. When jumping from background to the foreground, it’s easy to miscalculate it and fall to your doom in some areas. This also annoyed me from time to time as I wish I had a better 3D view of swiveling the camera around. There are a couple of levels where these large nightmarish people are chasing you. And while your heart is pumping, you tend to mistake jumps and land into their hands because of the point of view of the camera. If there’s a part two to this game, I hope they change this.

Controls

I utilized my PS4 controller on Steam since I felt it would be best for this platformer. The control scheme of Little Nightmares is pretty simple. You sprint, jump, crouch/sneak and also grab a hold of items to solve puzzles. While the control scheme is simple, it did sometimes get awkward. I didn’t understand why there were two buttons to access the lighter. This would sometimes cause me to press the R3 button on accident which led me to turn the lighter on at random occasions. Perhaps this could be just me pressing the R3 button down incorrectly, but still, that irked me from time to time.

They could also fix the grab button, especially on ladders. I’d end up letting go of the grab button then fall down ladders on accident. This didn’t happen often, but I’d do this to notice it as an annoyance. Other than these situations, the controls were fairly receptive to my movements as I ran for my life is certain situations of the game.

Graphics

My computer rig runs on a GeForce 980 GTX, so I had everything set to maximum for Little Nightmares. The graphics had top-notch atmosphere and lighting. As I traversed through The Maw and all of its stages, I’d have to say that each level immersed me in its gloomy Tim Burton-style darkness. The graphics really plays well into the use of lighting and shadow. The surreal style of the characters and the nightmarish people you encounter looked fairly disturbing. I especially loved how the chefs were rendered in the kitchen level. They really did look like giant slobs as their clothes were dirty and the meat they were chopping looked gross at the same time.

Every single area that you walk into was beautifully rendered. Books that you walk over or cabinets that you open and close, really look amazing. I didn’t like the point of view from the side at times, but I believe they were going for a dollhouse look to the game. All in all, the texturing, environment, and level design were A+

Little Nightmares’ Final Reaction

Little Nightmares delivers a fun platforming game that immerses you in a very creepy world. It’s stated that the game has a finite set location, but I feel this game is more of an artistic representation of our current world. There are giants constantly stuffing their faces full of meat and still wanting to eat Six. I think this is us as humans overindulging on everything we get our hands on, be it natural resources, money, power, ego, etc. It’s rather deep – to me at the least.

If you decide to pick up this game, you will be surprised by everything it has to offer. There are minor gripes including what I’ve stated and the fact that the game is very very short, especially compared to today’s game standards. If that steers you clear, I’d suggest waiting until it lowers in price. It’s still a fun experience!

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

About author

Alger Alama
Alger Alama 316 posts

Highly sociable and having been entrenched in Nerd\Geekdom since he was a kid, Alger has seen it all. During his spare time he loves to go out clubbing, sing karaoke, and attend parties. This Nerd is no wallflower. He'll always greet you with a warm smile and a drink in hand.