Little Nightmares is a welcome change from the typical puzzle-platformer; it's a dark, twisted tale that's riddled with questions from start to finish, playing upon the whimsical nature of childhood all the while. Unfortunately, it's also a game that's marginally let down by its lacklustre length.
You're encouraged to interact with your environment in Little Nightmares, leading to some bizarre and inventive exploration.
Being unable to take these creatures on toe-to-toe means resorting to stealth, resulting in hurried attempts to scurry under furniture for cover, or to reach the safe embrace of a cramped vent to gain a moment to catch your breath. It's exhilarating stuff, made even more pulse-pounding by the faint flicker of heartbeats that are introduced and become progressively louder the closer you get in proximity to an enemy. This strategic use of sound enforces a sense of imbalance at pivotal moments, further complemented by the likes of The Janitor's clawing swipes. The more you play, the less effect it'll have, however, as strictly scripted enemy behaviour starts to make their pathing predictable.
You're encouraged to interact with your environment in Little Nightmares, leading to some bizarre and inventive exploration. Be it clambering on top of toilet paper to reach a switch, climbing up bookshelves, or creating a string of sausages to use as a swing, these child-like solutions are fantastic at creating a playfully absurd environment. With new and imaginative ways to progress to the next level, there's barely ever a dull moment, despite the oppressive nature of The Maw.
Little Nightmares has combined elements of the survival horror and puzzle-platformer genres into one enticing and inventive package. With a story that gets progressively more malevolent, and an impressively eerie soundtrack to match, the game's lacking three-hour runtime never fully manages to explore the bizarre world in its entirety, however. Despite that, Little Nightmares takes a bold step in a satisfyingly fresh direction, making it an easy recommendation for fans of horror and/or puzzle-platformers.