At the end of the year, various outlets talk about the best games to come out in that particular year. Xbox Enthusiast plans on making GOTY lists as well, but the staff also decided to take a look at some underrated games or “hidden gems” that Xbox One owners may have overlooked. Over the next few days, be on the lookout as we will be highlighting a handful of excellent, but not necessarily well known titles.
Little Nightmares is one of the most surprising and entertaining games to be released this year. At first look, it seems easy to dismiss the Bandai Namco published game as a Limbo clone, but that would be a disservice to the brilliant team at Tarsier Studios. While Little Nightmares clearly draws inspiration from the excellent games created at Playdead, Little Nightmares is a wholly unique experience with a very disturbing narrative.
Players control a little girl named Six, who has been captured by a menacing creature. Throughout the story, Six tries to escape The Maw, a massive vessel full of unimaginable horrors. What makes Little Nightmares such an unforgettable experience is the fact that the visuals, setting, and narrative are so disturbing and unsettling. Every nook and cranny within The Maw leaves players guessing what will happen.
Each chapter features a specific creature trying to kill Six. This means that each chapter requires players to adopt different strategies to survive. All of the monsters she comes across have unique personalities and motivations in their pursuit of Six. Little Nightmares doesn’t let players rest easy. Just when you think you’ve figured out how to deal with a chapter’s big bad, the game throws a curveball that changes how to play the game. Without going into spoilers, there’s a room in chapter 2 that features a creepy television show which must be used to lure a boss your way. That section left my heart racing.
Whenever a boss chases Six, the sounds they make would often send shivers down my spine. The character designs are terrifying, while the environments feel grimy and dirty. Despite the fact that the story has no dialogue, it’s a gripping horror experience that fans of the genre will love. Little Nightmares is the type of game that benefits from not knowing much before jumping into play. Additionally, there are two pieces of downloadable content at the moment that put players in the shoes of another kid trapped in The Maw.
Little Nightmares exceeded all of my expectations. While there are plenty of Limbo “clones” on the market, the newest game from Tarsier Studios is a unique, disturbing, entertaining, and unpredictable experience that Xbox owners should purchase. At $19.99, the game is a bargain and lasts around four and a half hours. With two pieces of DLC for $3.99 each (both with a runtime of about an hour) and another one coming in the future, there’s a lot of value to be found in the game. The platforming elements will please fans of LittleBigPlanet 3 (Tarsier studios was behind that installment of the popular PlayStation franchise), and the tone will make horror fans giddy with excitement. Six’s journey is a twisted adventure, but one that everybody should embark on.