Almost four years ago, Studio Tarsier surprised everyone with Little Nightmares. This little independent platform game was an unpretentious project that captured our imagination and scared us in ways I didn’t know a controller could. The seductive soundtrack intrigues players with its mystery, keeping them playing, to look in another corner, even when they know things could get worse. Little Nightmares II takes this menacing feeling and overlays it with an uncomfortable level of urgency to make it even better than the first installment.
Little Nightmares II puts the player in the role of Mono, a little boy/small man who wakes up in the middle of the woods, just inches away from a static picture tube TV. In the classic Little Nightmares mod, players embark on a journey without knowing who they are or what they are doing. Before long, the players stumble upon the first of a long series of pathological traps in the form of a bear trap, hidden under the foliage. The first death is hard to avoid because players, especially newcomers to the series, don’t know what to expect. It’s a quick death that appropriately sets the dark tone, though it hardly prepares the player for the darkness that Little Nightmares II can bring.
Some players may be disappointed to hear how often this world will cost them their lives, but they should not despair. Little Nightmares II has regular checkpoints that are never far enough behind to become boring. Even in intentionally difficult moments, when the player dodges one of the adult monsters, checkpoints are usually activated at the beginning of each new play. Pursuits of bosses that pass through multiple rooms are automatically saved at the start of each new room, allowing the player to start over if they inevitably fail. While I wouldn’t call Little Nightmares II a relaxing game, this feature gives the game a more relaxed approach that keeps the player from getting too frustrated, even in the most difficult games.
At the beginning of the game, Mono meets a young girl that the player probably wouldn’t recognize if she wasn’t in the marketing material. If the player finds Six, she’s not exactly the character we know. He seems much more fragile than the players remember, and sits quietly playing with a music box. It’s up to Mono to help him straighten out and get him to safety. Don’t worry, Little Nightmares II is not just another long escort mission. Six is a useful tool that helps Mono move heavy objects and reach high places.
Like the original game, Little Nightmares II features physics-based side-scrolling puzzles. In Mono’s adventures, the emphasis is a little less on meticulous puzzle solving, and a little more on quick escapes and timed battle scenes. I really enjoyed the physics puzzles from the original and was sad to see them disappear. What was once a slower game of contemplation and exploration has become a chase game, quickly overtaking a series of monsters and the Big Man on TV who was chasing them.
At first, I felt like the game had lost much of what had captivated me in the first game. But what Little Nightmares II lost in puzzles, it gained in atmosphere and suspense. Enemies move faster, forcing the player to follow their intuition rather than a carefully plotted course.
The fastest opponents are the smallest. On more than one occasion, Mono has to take on small enemies like him and Six, who move even faster than they do. Unable to escape, Six and Mono must defeat them in a hand-to-hand combat. With items like hammers and axes scattered throughout the environment, Mono can grab them and hurl them at any threat to defend himself. Since all the implements in the world are bigger than the Mono and the Six, pulling a big hammer will only slow them down, which means every shot has to be perfectly timed. Miss and the game is over.
History, like Little Nightmares, has no exposition and leaves it up to the player to interpret events and reconstruct the story themselves. Fortunately, the sequel’s story is a little clearer about what happens, but not necessarily why, leaving the door open for interpretation. The best part of the story is the great twists and surprises, which I can’t give without spoiling them. On the other hand, I can’t say how good this game is and what DLC potential exists, let alone these moments. If you’re not interested in spoilers, click the button below, otherwise scroll down to stay away from spoilers.
|Spoiler of the last chapter
In the final chapter of the game, the Big Man catches up with Six and Mono, catches them and bears them on the other side of the TV. This distracts Mono’s attention from leaving town and saving his friend. The players walk through an area full of people with distorted faces, all hypnotized by the television. Finally, the Big Man opens up, fights the Mono and loses. With all his strength regained, Mono attacks towards the signal tower in the center of the city.
But when Mono turns six, she’ll be something else entirely. He is fat and deformed, just like the other monsters in the series. When we found her, she was bent over a larger version of the mono music box we had found for her, defending it desperately. While trying to free it from transformation and nesting, Mono attacks the music box.
What follows is the famous escape scene, in which Mono hides from Six while he tries to escape from the signal box himself. But before the players can escape, they face Six one last time. This particular encounter is more like a boss fight than anything players have experienced before. Six stood in the middle of the room again, protecting his music box. Mono grabs an axe and uses a series of gates to jump from one side of the room to the other, evading Six’s grasp. After a few blows to the music box, it breaks, releasing Six and returning to its original shape.
The last sequence is the one where everything comes together. When he drops Six, a slimy giant with eyeballs (apparently the eyes we’ve seen throughout the series) pulls Mono and Six out of the tower, which then collapses in on itself. The bridge collapses just before the exit, causing Mono to jump in faith and hope Six catches up with him on the other side. Six grabs Mono, but hesitates to help him up, thinking too long before dropping Mono.
Trapped and alone, Mono sits in what’s left of the tower, waiting; he slowly grows and gets bigger and bigger until we finally recognize him as the Big Man. From the beginning of the game, Mono and Six are on the run from the Big Man, who is stuck in a time loop. Each cycle High Man Six and Mono try to separate, but he is destroyed by the very thing he is trying to save.
When I noticed this, I was reminded of the influence of Little Nightmares. It’s only natural to make connections between the animation style and the work of Henry Selick. But more than that, I couldn’t stop thinking about Roald Dahl. Earlier I mentioned one of the big monsters as an adult, which by the way doesn’t seem particularly interesting until you realize that each of Roald Dahl’s adult characters is either ridiculously stupid or downright cruel. He thinks very little of adults, and since the main characters in this series are all children and the usual little nightmares, I can’t help but think that the creators of the game were inspired by books like The Witches.
Little Nightmares II doesn’t have much replay value. There are a few small challenges that are worth taking on to address all the problems of gambling. If players manage to work through all the glitches, there’s a secret ending that suggests Little Nightmares II is actually a prequel to the original that’s worth unlocking. Otherwise, a return to Mono’s adventures before the inevitable expansions is unlikely for me.
If I may speculate on what the player will experience in future DLC expansions, he will focus on the Six version. Six and Mono got separated a few times before Mono finally came to his rescue. Looking at the end of the game, I think the suddenness was the reason for the finale. I have no doubt that Tarsier Studios has plans for future content, and while I like to be surprised, I’d give a lot to see what happens in these moments of separation.
Whether or not I replay Little Nightmares II, it was one hell of a ride that I won’t soon forget. He captured my attention from start to finish and was perfect the entire time. The atmosphere, the surprises and the suspense kept me up all night, and I don’t regret a minute of it. If Tarsier keeps making content for Little Nightmares, I’ll buy it every time.
|Little Nightmares’ iconic animation style is back in an era where higher framerates and textures only further emphasize the game’s relentless beauty.||Little Nightmares II avoids physical puzzles in favor of intense chases and battles, which only enhances the already great experience.|
|The soundtrack is haunting when you need to be on edge, and full of adrenaline when you need to be off. The theme and pattern of the music box will continue to play in my head.||Even after I finished the story, I was still completely lost in the world of Little Nightmares II. This is by far the best horror movie I’ve played since Resident Evil VII.|
Little Nightmares II is available now for Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Android and PC.
Viewed on PC.
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frequently asked questions
Are Little Nightmares 2 scary?
Little Nightmares II is a hard movie, but that’s really half the fun. In this ambitious sequel to the popular 2017 horror game, players once again return to the cute but very scary world of Little Nightmares, a terrifying kingdom full of childhood fears that bring a dangerous life.
Is it worth buying Little Nightmares?
Short answer: Little Nightmares is a very short game, but it’s really worth playing if you’re a horror fan.
What will be the subject of Little Nightmares 2?
Little Nightmares II is an exciting adventure game in which you play as Mono, a young boy trapped in a world distorted by the transmission of evil. With his new friend Six, he tries to find the source of the transmission.
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