Little Nightmares II game review (2021)

Little Nightmares II is an incredibly engaging horror game, which is shrouded in mystery. It’s insanely creepy, fun to play, full of interesting themes, and the game will be open to interpretation for years to come.

I wasn’t planning on playing through Little Nightmares II. I knew the first game is critically acclaimed and widely considered one of the best games to release in 2017. But, there really isn’t a particular reason as to why I wasn’t going to play it. However, after a recommendation, I decided to pull the trigger and see what it’s about. I’m extremely glad I did since it might end up being one of my favorite games of the year. I can honestly say it’s one of the best horror games I’ve ever experienced. My horror game catalog isn’t very extensive, but based on the ones I have played, Little Nightmares II is up there.

In Little Nightmares II, you play as Mono who seems to be trapped in a place known as Pale City. Early on, you rescue Six, who now joins you on your journey as your companion as you try to make it to the Signal Tower.

There are few games I play where I’m immediately hooked from the start. There’s something about the introduction of this game that complete reels you in. It’s incredibly atmospheric and there’s a sense of calmness that’s very soothing in the moment. But, you know the calmness won’t last very long. It sort of gives you a false sense of hope and security right before it throws you into something you know is bound to go bad.

First of all, as Mono, you know he isn’t very strong and your actions are limited to what the game allows you to do. So, you always feel vulnerable to certain things around you. I mean, yes, he’s gifted and brave, but there’s only so much he can do in certain situations and, as a player, it’s a pretty terrible feeling knowing you have to complete a specific task a certain way or you’ll end up dying and having to start over, time and time again. Once you do get past the grueling task, it’s very satisfying and fulfilling. However, in the meantime, it’s a thrilling and sometimes anxious experience.

Things do get a bit better once you rescue Six. She’s actually very helpful as a companion, which is good to see, considering I’ve played various games where some companions are useless. There are obviously some situations where I expect her to do something and she just stands around. But, there are ways around it, you just have to figure it out for yourself and you’ll eventually be able to move forward.

The gameplay is pretty simple and straight-forward, but it’s also clever. For the majority of the time, you’re solving puzzles, back-tracking to find different routes forward, finding items, running away from dangerous foes, and even bashing heads in. As mentioned, the gameplay is very rudimentary and it isn’t difficult to learn. At the same time though, it’s also very detailed and creative. For example, close to the start of the game, you’re tasked with running away from a large man with a shotgun. You have to be sneaky and stealthy in order to get passed him, but you can also abandon that playstyle and try to rush your way through it. It’s really up to you, as long as you make it to the next part of the game. The most satisfying part there is blasting him with a gun of your own.

You’ll find yourself in many situations like this, that is trying to not be captured by these large beings. In another stage in the game, you run into an extremely creepy lady who has an outrageously large neck. You would think she has a limit to how far she can stretch out that neck, but nope. This was probably the most anxiety-inducing part of the game. It’s not the only part of the game which delivers similar feelings like this either. You’re always on your toes as you traverse through this bleak and dark world, and you know something else is around the corner to freak you out once again.

What sticks with you the most is the story. The story is told a bit differently, of course, since you do have to put all the pieces together. Then again, it’s one of those games you’ll be forced to think about, which will lead to a number of theories and possible reasons as to why this or that happened. The ending definitely caught me off guard and it’s one I’m still thinking about since completing the game. It’s open for interpretation and I’ve even skimmed through some forums to see what other people think. The great aspect is there’s no right answer. Although there’s a clear idea of what exactly happened, no one really knows, and that’s the beauty of it. I believe this game brought a community of players together in a special way to discuss it and I truly hope this isn’t the last time we see either of these characters.

I’m eternally glad I was able to experience this game. If I’m being honest, I don’t really gravitate to a lot of indie titles, even though I know they’re great games. After playing this though, I think I’ll make a conscious effort moving forward to play them as much as I can. Small developers like Tarsier Studios end up creating some of the most incredible games ever, and I wholeheartedly believe Little Nightmares II is one of those games. It may end up being one of my favorite games of the year, if not my favorite, although it’s still early on so let’s see where it stacks up when it’s all said and done. The only flaw I can think of is its length, but that’s just me being spoiled. Seriously, play this game if you haven’t.

Score: A

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