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Little Nightmares Switch Review – More Than Just A Horror Game

Little Nightmares Switch Review – More Than Just A Horror Game

I don’t play a lot of horror games. Mostly, I like to spend my time on cute, wholesome indies with a sweet art style, so Little Nightmares stood out in quite stark contrast to my usual type. However, being such a popular and highly praised indie game, I couldn’t resist giving it a shot, and honestly I am not disappointed. Although Little Nightmares is undoubtedly a creepy and at some moments just straight up unsettling, it soars far beyond what I believe many of us expect from the genre.

Rather than focusing purely on making the player scared, it also delves into fantastic depths with its lore, character creation, and consistently breathtaking art style, which is presented on such a large and astounding scale, I often had to stop and take a screenshot, occasionally causing me to die in the process. 

So is Little Nightmares worth the scare? Absolutely. But let me tell you why!

little nightmares

In Little Nightmares, you play as Six, a small girl in a yellow rain coat. The game begins with you waking up in a suitcase deep inside a gigantic ship called The Maw, with no explanation of where you came from or what your intentions are. As Six, you can run, jump, grab things, and use a small candle to illuminate the dimly lit interior of the ship. Although these seem like simple controls and concepts you’d be bored of within five minutes, the game never ceases to impress with the shear brilliance of its puzzles and platforming as means of exploring and moving your way round The Maw. 

The gameplay of Little Nightmares is divided into sections based on the boss you’ll be facing, each of which have their own haunting design and unique way of destroying you. Since Six has no way of fighting, you’ll have to find alternative ways to constantly evade a dark death at the hands of one of the monsters. Basically, you’ll be exploring the ship evading the boss’ capture until you either manage to outwit them in one final puzzle or outrun them in one final chase scene. For the most part, these puzzles and chases were a perfect level of challenge, never seaming impossible but still being hard enough for you to shout at the TV every now and then.

The only exception I found was the very last boss fight, where the way of defeating them is a bit absurd. Even though you’re never physically attacking them with swords or besting them with spells, I always felt a massive sense of achievement upon finally outwitting the monsters and being able to progress into a brand new part of the game. 

little nightmares

One thing I will say is that I occasionally struggled with the controls. Although they’re all set to simple standard buttons and are easy to use, they could occasionally be unresponsive. Knowing that dying wasn’t your fault is always so annoying in games, and it’s not aided by the annoyingly long time Little Nightmares takes to reload after you’ve died on the Switch.

From simply looking through pictures and clips of the game, it might seem that the interior of The Maw doesn’t change much throughout the game’s various sections, it always presents as the same murky slightly brownish grey. But actually on closer inspection, each area has distinct differences that really assist the exploration elements of the experience. From a filthy and terrifying room filled with beds to a great hall with the resemblance of a Japanese restaurant, I loved picking up the tiny details in the background and what they had to offer.

In Little Nightmares, your character is small, really small. You spend your whole adventure being dwarfed by both the terrifying beasts and the ship itself, which presents almost as it sown living, breathing life form. The sheer size of everything massively helps the idea that the game’s world exists outside of simply your character, further thickening the amazing lore. 

little nightmares

Little Nightmares‘ character design is always tip top and absolutely delivers the idea of a typical monster you’d be scared of as a child. Each one almost looks as if it’s made out of plaster scene and pops out from the gloomy dark backgrounds wonderfully. The absolute best showcase of the art is when the camera pans out, usually when you’re moving from one section to another, and you get an amazing idea of just how giant The Maw really is and how terrifyingly tiny you really are.

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Perhaps the only thing in Little Nightmares better than its art is the lore, which is some of the most fascinating and complex story-telling I’ve seen in any game I’ve ever played. With two other games in the series (Very Little Nightmares, 2019, and Little Nightmares 2, 2021), which are both confirmed to be prequels aiding the story even further, I’d still say it’s best to play this Little Nightmares before the second one.

From carvings scratched into the wall and brief reflections in mirrors to the ominous logo of the eye that seems to follow you everywhere you go, each moment is packed with complex world building for the player to unpack.

little nightmares

Little Nightmares is a horror game but also so much more. Infused with top notch art, lore, and characters, I was always more than ready to guide Six on our next journey ever deeper into the haunting Maw, no matter what dangers lay ahead.

The game is short, taking no more than five or six hours to complete, so it’s an experience well worth playing over, especially once you know more about the lore. Yes, there are a couple of issues with control’s responses and the final boss is a bit trial-and-error, but that can easily be looked past for the benefits of the dark and beautiful atmosphere Little Nightmares never fails to offer.

Little Nightmares Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Release Date: April 28th, 2017
Price: $29.99 , £29.99, €34.99
Game Size: 3140 MB


Beautiful art style

Wonderfully creepy characters

Interesting world-building

Fantastic ambiance


Occasional control issues

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