Little Nightmares Complete Edition Xbox One Review

February 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Game: Little Nightmares Publisher: Bandai Namco  Developer: Tarsier Studios 

Genre: Puzzle Platformer/Horror Players: 1  Age Rating: 16+

Other console/handheld formats: PS4, Switch  Related sites: Bandai Namco, Little Nightmares

I really had no idea what was going on when I was playing Little Nightmares, but it intrigued me all the same, and the bizarreness of it all, the splendid visuals and the creepy atmosphere continued to draw me into its beautifully twisted world, pushing me on to see if I could make any more sense of it. 

You take control of a 9-year-old hooded girl called Six, who is onboard a ship known as The Maw, and her task is to escape from its bowels. There’s no dialogue, so any form of story is through imagery, and it’s all very, very weird, with Six often being pursued by giant freaks.  

These freaks are ugly personified, with one being blind with long arms and hands that are very touchy, feely, while another is a portly chef with flappy flesh and monstrous features. Six cannot fight back, so encounters with these freaks are all about hiding and running away, and they’re easily some of the most memorable sections in the game. 

Little Nightmares

Visual design is outstanding, and makes things feel even more unsettling.

Opposite to the freaks are the weirdly charming Nomes – these skitter around the place and you are able to chase after them to give them a hug, taming them in the process. They are basically collectibles in the main game, but serve a lot more purpose in The Secrets of the Maw DLC, but more about this later in the review. 

Little Nightmares has a number of puzzles, but most of these are of the basic variety, and if you find yourself not knowing what to do, it may be that you have just missed something important in the environment. Puzzles often make use of objects, and Six’s size is taken into consideration with objects often being out of reach due to her short legs. Despite the basicness of these puzzles, the game feels perfectly paced, with each of the five chapters being nicely stitched together and all having their memorable moments, but being different enough from one another to standout.  

The dark environments of The Maw also add plenty of atmosphere to the game, and you’ll be passing through everything from a library to a kitchen, with dark visual and creepy sound design. The game has a side on view, but it’s possible to also move into the foreground, making the levels feel more layered, although it does lead to some depth perception issues on occasion. 

As a platformer, the jumping also feels a bit floaty, although this is nothing to complain about to a major extent. The worst thing about the game is definitely its brief 3-4 hour run time, and I really wanted more of it, as it definitely feels disappointedly short. Hopefully the upcoming sequel will give us a bit more playing time. 

Little Nightmares

Even when things are quiet, there’s a creepiness surrounding every location in the main game as well as the DLC.

As this is the Complete edition of the game I am reviewing though, it does include the Secrets of the Maw DLC. Comprised of three chapters, you take control of a character simply known as the Kid, whom is attempting to escape The Maw. Each of the three chapters are distinct, with chapter one having you being stalked by a bizarre sea creature, chapter two has a strong focus on the Nomes, while chapter three has slightly more intricate puzzles. 

Secrets of the Maw is fantastic DLC, offering more of the same unsettling atmosphere of the main game while also presenting something a bit different as well. The addition of the DLC makes for an extra special package, and one that adds a few more playing hours as well as good reason to stay in its dark and fascinating universe. 

Little Nightmares is definitely a game that I would recommend you playing, as there’s plenty of reasons to do so, and the same goes for the Secrets of the Maw DLC as well. While there’s a few minor flaws here and there, the visual design, haunting atmosphere, level design and pacing are all top notch, while there’s also plenty of memorable moments to be found in Six’s odd and brief adventure as well as that of The Kid’s as well.