This story was originally published in the fifth edition of The Lion’s Tale (March 26, 2021).
After the gut-wrenching success of 2017’s Little Nightmares, – a puzzle-platform horror and adventure game which follows a small girl named Six as she traverses the bowels of an enormous vessel known only as ‘The Maw’ – Tarsier Studios returns to their aptly nightmarish world for the prequel.
Now following a boy named Mono, – armed with nothing but the clothes on his back and a paper bag over his head – players are left to explore the literally twisted ‘Pale City’, teaming up with pre-raincoat cladded Six as they attempt to run and hide from a variety of malicious and deformed foes. After dodging several bullets with a bloodthirsty Hunter, breakneck encounters with an omnipresent Teacher, and being chased down by an obese Doctor and his frankenstein Patients, Mono and Six find themselves face to face with the daunting ‘Thin Man’, capable of transmitting himself through the various television sets littering the rain-soaked city.
Little Nightmares II is everything horrifically beautiful from the first installment, and even more. Dialing up the dark atmosphere- showcasing Tarsier Studios’ mastery over visual storytelling – and polishing up the game-play, Little Nightmares II perfects what made the first game so compelling to so many types of players.
“I really, highly enjoyed that. That was phenomenal.” gaming YouTuber ‘Jacksepticeye’ exclaimed after finishing the game in his five part Let’s Play. “I- I just love the mystery to it all.”
But along with all of the refined controls and the enhanced production, the game’s most predominant element – the horror – absolutely out-shines it’s predecessor. From character design, to the pacing between puzzle sections and chase sequences, the scare factor of this installment has been amped up without the cheapness of jumpscares. The world itself is eerie and cold, little details and knickknacks holding some of the most horrifying implications over the grotesque monsters or grim environments.
Little Nightmares II, and it’s precursor, are titles definitely worth the time to both play and explore; a morbidly gorgeous – and quite appropriately deemed – nightmare you might not want to wake up from.