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83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Summary: Immerse yourself in Little Nightmares, a dark whimsical tale that will confront you with your childhood fears. Help Six escape The Maw – a vast, mysterious vessel inhabited by corrupted souls looking for their next meal.
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Little Nightmares - Launch Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. May 5, 2017
    100
    Little Nightmares is dark, eerie, startling, gross and sinister – all without resorting to M-rated content or a first-person camera. It's a great puzzle-platformer that is amazingly atmospheric, where the scariest parts are a fun gameplay experience rather than a game-halting fright. In many ways, it reminded me of Inside, but I have, to be honest: despite being a little more rough around the edges, I like Little Nightmares more.
  2. May 1, 2017
    90
    Little Nightmares is a beautiful, clever, and at some points breathtaking game, that is only let down by a few minor frustrations.
  3. May 7, 2017
    90
    Little Nightmares is a well created, superbly executed affair. I’d prefer it to be longer and I have to admit to not only being disappointed, but also shocked, at its short length. In fact, unless you’re going back through things for a second, third or fourth time, just in order to pick up all the collectibles, then chances are you’ll be done with the five chapters and then everything Bandai Namco and the development team at Tarsier Studios have given you in no more than a few quick hours. I guess the price reflects that though and when something is so good, perhaps it’s best to keep it at an enjoyable length. If you’re after a tense game that will have you questioning every little moment from start to finish, then Little Nightmares is most definitely for you.
  4. Apr 27, 2017
    80
    At times mechanically clumsy, but artistically sound, Little Nightmares might get on your nerves every once in awhile, but its imagery will burrow into your brain and never leave.
  5. Official Xbox Magazine UK
    Jun 18, 2017
    80
    A carnival of grotesque and gothic fancies makes up for the finicky platforming. [July 2017, p.87]
  6. Apr 28, 2017
    80
    In all seriousness, Little Nightmares does a fantastic job of pulling off “childish horror”. It strikes a good balance in introducing horror without ever being too scary; anyone who loves a little bit of the macabre without the intense dread of true terror will love this indie title. It is a bit on the short side, taking me only a little over four hours to beat – and that was with me getting stuck twice – but what it lacks in length in makes up for in brilliant content. If you enjoyed the likes of Limbo or Inside, you’ll be sure to fall in love with the world featured in Little Nightmares. With its brilliant setting, wonderfully whimsical characters and clever puzzles, it’s hard not to recommend it as yet another essential title from what’s shaping up to be an incredibly stellar year of gaming.
  7. CD-Action
    Jun 30, 2017
    50
    Unique Burtonesque art direction could not avert my attention from the fact that Little Nightmares is one of the poorest platformers I’ve played in years. [07/2017, p.43]

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Apr 30, 2017
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Before I begin this semi-review, semi-not-a-review post in earnest, allow me to state the obvious: you’re undoubtedly going to hear Little Nightmares in the same conversations you hear about Limbo and Inside in some ways. Ignore that chatter. Little Nightmares my strike some similar chords to what Playdead has done with their past titles, however it is in no way striking the same tone or note in what experiences it attempts to convey.

    Yes, there are the similar tropes that come with dark games and brooding environments featuring dire and grotesque consequences for any unwary and unwelcome traveler. There are ultimately gruesome ends your adorable character can meet and plenty of equally gruesome foes to send her there. Environmental hazards and puzzles come in equal numbers and the mere use of light and darkness is more than enough to set the tone for each stage of the short yet endearing exploration.

    If you’re into platforming puzzle titles that also feature palpable amounts of ambiance and relevant horrors and low-key fears that will probably make you cringe once you realize the extent of their depth and attention to detail, then Little Nightmares will rock your socks off. Or knock them off and freeze you with fear. Perhaps the most exciting component in the game is that it leaves pretty much everything except what you see with your own eyes quite ambiguous in an almost ‘Souls’ sort of way (of handling lore)- minus the bloody scratch marks on the ground everywhere.

    Ambiguity permeates the entire experience and makes it a more convincing and exceptionally interesting one for that matter. You aren’t even given so much as maybe the occasional hint to rotate the camera around if you get stuck, however the rest of the controls are never exactly specified and so it’s up to you to learn the ropes. The experience perfectly meshes both two-dimensional and three-dimensional perspective into a very well thought out 2.5D platforming puzzler.

    Although you are very definitely little and dwarfed by the surroundings you will encounter, there is nothing little at all about the immense nightmarish rogues you will inevitably face or flee. Because you cannot fight back in most cases, there is always an air of tension and terror whenever these foes enter the picture and you must fly through some puzzle or another and make it to the next area. I’m still quite shocked at how well thought out each room is and how each area ratchets up the tension and the screen literally crawls with the sound effects and slight background happenings as well.

    Little Nightmares is a game that will easily catch you if you pay too much attention to your surroundings, but will ironically let you escape its clutches time and time again should you not find yourself entirely caught up in the warped reality it presents. For the most part the puzzle and platform gameplay never gets too difficult and so the entire experience is perfectly accessible, enjoyable, and entirely worthwhile in my opinion. The presentation itself will pique your curiosity and then the events themselves, as they unfold, should firmly grasp it and drag you into the experience.

    The vivid imagery and scenes steal the show almost when coupled with the eerie and daunting soundtrack accompaniment. Oftentimes you may stumble onto a new area and not even notice the body dangling from a rope overhead with its feet just barely visible or the faint outline of a shadow shuffling hurriedly in the background. It’s the moments like that that add to the feeling that someone is always watching and that every skittering motion on screen is some new devilish foe come to rend your flesh or curdle your blood.

    Needless to say, Little Nightmares isn’t your typical horror game and it’s much better for that fact. Ambiguity is the name of the game and the game itself will wear you out each and every time you think you’ve understood its nature- right up until the very end. You can feel free to stop and stare at the beautiful surroundings any time, however it still has a relatively run time and as such is a compact and entirely artistic and expressive experience.

    If I were to apply my typical review material and run down the brief checklist of everything I tend to go through in those lengthy posts, Little Nightmares would be getting no less than a 9.5 out of 10 from me. It’s entirely deserving of that and a highly replayable experience if only to see the little touches that you’ll pick up with each runthrough here and there.
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  2. Sep 28, 2017
    9
    At first glance, Little Nightmares appears to be nothing more than a cutesy horror game aimed at the Nightmare Before Christmas crowd. PartAt first glance, Little Nightmares appears to be nothing more than a cutesy horror game aimed at the Nightmare Before Christmas crowd. Part Tim Burton, part City of Lost Children, with some Silent Hill and Limbo mixed in for good measure, Little Nightmares puts its influences center stage and it works. Tarsier Studios managed to combine them into an impressive, yet small package that left me yearning for more.

    You begin the game as Six, a small, humanlike creature equipped with nothing but a bright yellow rain coat in a world that while not outright terrifying, you can tell from the minute you start, something is off. The entirety of the game is spent on a hulking ship only known as the Maw. What is it? Where is it going? Where did it come from? Why does almost everyone on the ship want to murder you? These questions are never answered, but I don’t really care and neither should you. Much like Limbo, you are left alone with your wits, with very little direction for most of the game. While this may make it seem inaccessible, I only ran into issues when in an extremely dark area; I kept falling victim to cheap deaths caused by the game not telling me I had a lighter to make the pitch black area less deadly.

    The Maw is hands down the most detailed landscape I’ve seen in this gaming generation. The water and lighting effects are not only amazing, they are almost photorealistic. My one complaint about the visuals is that many of the areas are too dark. I not only had to turn the brightness all the way up, I had to adjust my TV’s brightness. This did lead to a few cheap deaths which were partly due to the lighter not being explained at the early stage of the game. The controls are fairly simple and very straightforward, but the addition of a tutorial may have made the beginning less frustrating.

    Tarsier put just as much love and attention into the sound effects. Long periods of silence will be broken up by torturous screams let out by unseen passengers, the creaking of the ship settling, and drips of leaky pipes. Again, nothing terrifying, but it just intensifies the feeling that something is waiting in the shadows to pop out and grab you at any moment.

    You will spend your time in the Maw evading a small number of enemies, most of which are the bosses of the game, many of which feature distorted features inspired by The City of Lost Children or Tim Burton. While like the setting, these are unsettling, they are not outright terrifying. These enemies will chase you multiple times throughout their designated level. These chases are a highlight of the game, although dark corridors leave little room for error; one misstep and you will have to begin the chase from scratch. While many levels will result in needing a few attempts, a perfect run gave me a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t gotten from a game in a while. These will eventually lead up to a whopping two boss fights. These are the only two instances of any sort of combat you will experience, both of which are mind benders and do offer a change of pace from the puzzles and chases you encounter. The enemy with freakishly long arms will likely be the most frustrating confrontation of the year.

    The only other inhabitants of the Maw that do not try to kill you are small creatures reminiscent of a baby Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, which you can occasionally rescue or help in some way. These act as one of the collectibles of the game, which you must hug to claim. Doing so causes a tone ripped straight from Silent Hill, and shortly thereafter they disappear. Additionally, there are some other collectibles in the form of small pots that can be broken, and lamps or candles that can be lit. These do not add to the game in any obvious way aside from the associated achievements/trophies.

    Unfortunately, these collectibles are the extent of replayability, beyond those who wish to complete the games vague list of achievements/trophies. Little Nightmares does run a little short on content for the $19.99 price of admission, with my first playthrough clocking in at a little over 4 hours. My wife managed to complete the game in an hour less. Despite this shortcoming, I would recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of its influences or horror games in general. I would not be surprised to see Little Nightmares on many gamers’ Game of the Year list, including my own.
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  3. May 1, 2018
    9
    I loved Little Nightmares. The detail and intractability of the game's beautiful environment is its most impressive feature. The charactersI loved Little Nightmares. The detail and intractability of the game's beautiful environment is its most impressive feature. The characters act also, alongside this environment, to maintain the game's theme, utilising provocative symbolism, and blurring the line between realism and artificial to create an eerie atmosphere that is maintained throughout. The gameplay is simple but engaging, varying the pacing of the challenges you encounter. Its maybe not as polished as 'Inside', to use an example, and I would criticise the button mapping that always felt awkward, but its a unique and bold experience, providing a harrowing look at greed and consumption. Aesthetically, it may be favourite game of all time. Expand
  4. May 5, 2017
    7
    Il gioco è bello e l'atmosfera e lo stile "Timburtoniano" dai tratti lugubri sono originali e colpiscono nel segno, tuttavia le meccaniche diIl gioco è bello e l'atmosfera e lo stile "Timburtoniano" dai tratti lugubri sono originali e colpiscono nel segno, tuttavia le meccaniche di gioco sono forse un pò troppo semplicistiche e inoltre la longevità è davvero esigua...ho finito il gioco in 4 ore giocando con molta calma e cercando tutti i collezionabili...un pò troppo poco per il costo della limited "Six Edition" di 35 euro. Anche 20 euro per la versione digitale li ritengo eccessivi per ciò che viene proposto...Consigliato ma ad un taglio di prezzo (10/15 euro).
    Premiato per l'atmosfera e la colonna sonora, discreto come gameplay, insufficiente per la longevità.
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  5. May 16, 2017
    7
    This game betters Inside by actually providing some concept to what's going on "it's a nightmare", but in every other way it's not as good.This game betters Inside by actually providing some concept to what's going on "it's a nightmare", but in every other way it's not as good. The controls are ever so slightly annoying by not jumping when you press jump or being so sensitive to an up or down direction that you fall down a hole. This in itself in then made worse by the loading times. In fact everything about the game is made worse by the loading times. In a game where failure to solve a puzzle often means death and death means a loading screen this makes the difference between it being fun and just a bit tedious. Initially I though I had played this longer than Inside and that it was a much longer game, checking my play time though I now realise I've only been playing 2 hours but the lack of enjoyment makes it feel like 6. Expand
  6. May 2, 2017
    6
    Clever and engaging gameplay that can be challenging in parts as well as creepy heart thumping chases, set in a beautifully grim and darkClever and engaging gameplay that can be challenging in parts as well as creepy heart thumping chases, set in a beautifully grim and dark landscape. However when you start to factor-in the non existent/unexplained story coupled with the fact it only lasts for about 3-4hr playing time, it's not a must play experience.

    If you buy this game you will have a blast while it lasts but then soon after completing the question; "what was all that about?" sets in and you realise that it has 0 replay-ability there soon-after.
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  7. May 15, 2017
    3
    When I first saw an achievement for completing the game in an hour I didn't expect it to be terribly long. I did expect to be entertained inWhen I first saw an achievement for completing the game in an hour I didn't expect it to be terribly long. I did expect to be entertained in that short time though... I was not. The game simply isn't challenging. The bulk of the game involves running away from someone/something with a few mundane jump puzzles thrown in. The game is no more "freaky/scarey" than the stop-motion flicks made by Tim Burton. There is no real story, not even a real driving factor to move your character to the left. After playing you are just left with the empty feeling of having wasted time and money. For those who enjoy dark/strange caricatures but aren't expecting much from a game, Little Nightmares might be a perfect addition to your game collection... but only after a deep, deep discount. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews