Return to the world of Little Nightmares and guide a boy named Mono through terrifying environments filled with deadly enemies, traps, and puzzles.
Little Nightmares II
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
MonsterVine was provided with a PC code for review.
Little Nightmares II puts you in control of Mono, a young boy whose world is being distorted by a distant signal tower. Like its predecessor, it’s a mix of a puzzle-platformer and a horror game, with the same sort of exploration where you’ll often progress as you would in a side-scrolling platformer, but with 3D environments to explore. Your options are limited; you can run, jump, climb, and throw or drag certain objects, and you’ll need to use these skills to solve environmental puzzles in order to overcome the obstacles in your path.
Shortly into the game, you encounter a second character who becomes your ally. She can help you out by boosting you to higher locations, pushing heavier objects with you, and performing other context-specific actions in certain areas. Aside from one point where I loaded my game from a checkpoint and she wouldn’t do anything until I quit and reloaded, I never had a problem with the AI. In fact, sometimes her actions gave me a hint about what I was supposed to be doing as I worked to solve a puzzle.
Areas in Little Nightmares II feels bigger and more varied than those in its predecessor. Not only do you visit multiple locations in this game, but it also has a stronger emphasis on exploration, with several points where you’ll reach a locked door and need to search for the items you need to get past. The puzzles tend to be fairly simple, as is the platforming, but some of them are pretty clever and require you to pay close attention to the environment around you. There are also two collectibles to search for: hats that you can equip to change Mono’s appearance and shadowy glitch-like figures.
Despite being set in another unsettling world, Little Nightmares II lacks the macabre visuals that made the first game so disturbing. However, it makes up for it through a greater number of tense, terrifying gameplay sections. Sometimes you must sneak past an implacable foe, other times you’ll need to race to safety in a desperate chase where a single mistake could doom you, and there are even a few times when you need to fight enemies off in light combat sequences.
The story is fairly ambiguous and relies on you to piece together answers and theories from what you see as you explore. There are direct connections to the first Little Nightmares, but it shouldn’t be a problem for you to start here, especially since it isn’t a narrative-heavy game to start with. Even the premise of the signal tower distorting Mono’s world is something I got from the game’s official description rather than the actual game. It wants you to ask questions and try to find those answers yourself, and there are a few points that should get fans speculating about the potential implications. If the ambiguity of the first game’s story bothered you, don’t expect something more focused here. If you liked that aspect, then you should be well pleased.
It looks fantastic, the soundtrack is beautiful, and the controls feel great. It’s somewhat longer than the original, and that sums up the game in general. It’s more Little Nightmares, with a bigger scope and more varied situations, but ultimately builds upon the structure of what made the first game so enjoyable to play.
The Final Word
If you enjoyed the first Little Nightmares, you’ll most likely enjoy its sequel as well, while newcomers will also find a good experience. The visuals are less disturbing, but the mix of puzzle-platforming and horror gameplay feels better than ever due to the range of environments and gameplay sequences you’ll find yourself in as you guide Mono through his dangerous world.
-MonsterVine Rating: 4.5 out of 5 – Great