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Little Nightmares: The Hideaway
Score: 80%
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer/Survival Horror/Stealth

Introduction:

Little Nightmares: The Depths has a certain inconsequentiality about it. Itís the first part of a three-chapter story, so naturally, none of us should have expected a proper conclusion, much less a particularly cheerful one. After all, this is a story about many things, very few of them happy or good.

As an introductory chapter for the Runaway Kid and his plight, The Depths did its job unceremoniously and without much in the way of impact or stakes. It just felt like more Little Nightmares, and while thatís not such a bad thing overall, it failed to provide the core release with the enrichment that most downloadable content aspires to offer. Little Nightmares: The Hideaway is a definite change in this regard: itís a confident step forward towards making the Secrets of the Maw cycle not only worthwhile, but essential.


Nome Manís Land:

Iím sure the Runaway Kid didnít think it would be that easy. Sure, he electrocuted the Granny, but the Maw is full of horrors just like her. And one of them was waiting for him the second he reached the top of that massive ladder. Just like Six in the introductory chapter, the Kid has been imprisoned by the Janitor, the blind, wheezing abomination with the frighteningly-long arms. Luckily, it doesnít take long for the Runaway Kid to live up to his name, and he ultimately ends up in infinitely better company.

The Nomes play a huge part in Little Nightmares: The Hideaway, in both gameplay and in storytelling. In the core game, they were ostensibly little more than window dressing, though one unforgettable moment involving the tiny, friendly beings shook me up and left me feeling absolutely terrible. Though Sixís relationship with the Nomes is a matter of dispute (to put it mildly), the Runaway Kid has a chance to position himself as a kind of shepherd figure, the Moses of the Maw, if you will. The Nomes, in return, are more than happy to help the Kid, at least, once he proves himself worthy of their trust and companionship. Most of The Hideawayís puzzles involve the Nomes in some way, and while none of them are particularly complex, they still tickle the gray matter enough to make it stand out from everything thatís come before it. And it culminates in a quietly haunting penultimate scene that has me looking forward to Secrets of the Mawís final chapter.


Conclusion:

After the disappointment of The Depths, Little Nightmares: The Hideaway puts Secrets of the Maw on track for a satisfying ending. Whether or not it makes The Depths worthwhile is wholly contingent on the quality of whatever comes next. You donít need to have played the previous chapter in order to enjoy The Hideaway, but I donít think the same will be true of the next one.

Again, I would hold off on purchasing these chapters individually until weíre able to deliver a comprehensive evaluation of this cycle of downloadable content. While the low price point may, in fact, be a good selling point, itís still a bit of a gamble as of this writing. That being said, however, Iím excited to see how this story draws to a close.


Related Links:



Microsoft Xbox One Little Nightmares: The Depths

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated