Little Nightmares – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, puzzle
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Little Nightmares – Review

Site Score
Good: Great gameplay mechanics, the game will blow your mind, cute and horrifying.
Bad: Many questions remain unanswered
User Score
(7 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (7 votes cast)

Our childhood was probably one of our most memorable moments in life. It’s the time where you start to discover the little things that are out there in this big world. It is also mentionable that these where the days in which we had the most fears, scared from the things we did not know, wanting to remain in our safe space. Little Nightmares plays on this feeling by throwing us back into the shoes of a young child that is trapped in an unknown place that is a true nightmare.  



As far as you know you are a little child that wakes up in a damp, dark and wet room. With only a lighter to give you some light and your raincoat to keep you dry your adventure starts. The game starts all dark and mysterious but as the story progresses some details gets filled in slowly, yet the big questions remain unanswered. It all boils down to that you are trapped in a large vessel called the Maw and it’s a popular resort for certain entities. Located somewhere on the sea it does make us wonder where they keep getting their food from. We have seen this style of deep mystery gain popularity the last couple of years and this keeps us interested for further developments of this story. This means that the developers basically have a ‘carte blanche’ for further expansions in the Maw.


Little Nightmares has a real unique graphical style, with a mix of various designs such as retro cartoon scenery and Japanese movies. While emitting a cute yet creepy aura it will let our emotions dangle in-between safe and danger. Some parts can be really scary and will strangely turn friendly or playful just because you spend enough time there and this is what gives the game such an unique feel to it. While most horror games keep you on the tips of your toes because you are weary of your surroundings, Little Nightmares will slowly but surely make you feel more and more at home, and this is the scariest thing about the game since this is the last place on Earth that you want to be.

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The soundtrack plays a big role in the game, just like the graphics that make you float between good and evil, the music does the same. Sometimes a calming charming song is played to get the impression that it is safe to look around but when it goes silent you are left in the dark gruesome world, that is horrifying and it makes you remember that you are vulnerable. When throwing around objects they will sound like the real deal, metal clings and clangs with a deep tone to it. Enemies give off this lively vibe with breathing and sniffing around when coming near. This is the trigger that they have spotted something that does not belong there and as your hearth races when they get close, it is a moment that gets the adrenaline pumping. Together with the graphics, the tone is set by it’s perfectly mood altering music.


Little Nightmares is a puzzle game in which you are dropped into without any clue. As you need to get to know the controls for yourself,  a narrator will help you out in some points for when it all is too much. Combining many elements to make a perfect game is thanks to getting fun platforming gameplay together with interesting puzzles and serious stealth based sequences like the SNES game Clock Tower. When spotted by an enemy you can get away if you are fast enough and in the right spot but mostly it ends up with you getting caught. Do not worry though since the game has many checkpoints so you don’t need to replay long sequences over and over again. Since you play as a little child this means that many object are as big as yourself and the world turns into a massive playground. Bigger objects can take a while to move and you will need to figure out how to combine the scenery to proceed. These mechanics are so well made that the whole gameplay feels perfectly aligned and tuned to precision. There are only a few cases of a wonky camera that will hinder you for a short while, but nine times out of ten you will feel that your character reacts immediately towards your commands.

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The story is divided into five chapters and each stage has its own special elements. For instance the first episode is more a tutorial where you get the hang of the many mechanics and elements of the game, while other chapters consist mainly out of stealth or escaping from enemies. Due to the short nature of Little Nightmares it does mean that gameplay is on average around six to eight hours until completion. While the charm of the game keeps us coming back for more we do think that the replay value is there for those who enjoy a good puzzle platformer. With two types of collectibles to be found it is sure worth to give the game another run when you are finished.

Controls are very quick to be picked up which is a key element for a platformer, the one thing that is unique about the controls is that the action button needs to be held for many things such as climbing, carrying a key, grabbing onto a ledge after a jump and many more. Another important feature that you need to make great use of is to look around the scenery, it is not straight from left to right running since progress needs to be made by noticing your environment and looking for a way out, albeit above or below you.

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Little Nightmares is a game that might not be in the spotlight since it’s a ‘budget’ title, it did take over our hearts with its intriguing and dark story, rigid gameplay and wonderful scenery. The Japanese and retro cartoon styles are perfectly combined and gives a unique feel to the game with cute and horror switching back and forth. Even though the game has a short lifespan you do want to replay it for either the challenge or just the atmosphere.

little nightmares

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (7 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Little Nightmares - Review, 9.9 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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