Very Little Nightmares is an ambitious project which caught our attention fight at first glance. Cleverly using the puzzle, adventure, and point-and-click-like mash-up, the game certainly locks the player in with its edgy gameplay. Despite it looking rather gloomy, the game actually pumps up adrenaline and gets quite thrilling as the player is constantly being besieged by dangers from the environment, which may or may not spring up and kill you on the spot. It is unforgiving, but also rewards good effort, so let’s take a look.
Development and reception
This title is a prequel to the Tarsier Studios’ Little Nightmares Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC game. This mobile version was developed by ALIKE Studios, while both titles were published by Bandai Namco. On Google Play, Very Little Nightmares Android already has quite positive feedback, with 4.3 stars and climbing, while its iOS version on the iTunes App Store has an even better 4.4-star score and is #23 in Puzzle category, where the competition is quite tough.
As a prequel, this title is set before Little Nightmares game. The main character, simply known as “The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat”, or just little girl, is trapped in a scary and dangerous mansion, from which she needs to escape. Now, the mansion, known as “the Nest”, is a maze of dangerous, hidden traps and it is filled with puzzling obstacles and pathways, all designed to prevent anyone from escaping, or live to tell the tale.
The story in the original title reveals the girl character’s name is “Six”, and she is trapped in “The Maw”, which is a similar dangerous environment, this time set in a surreal underwater setting where the demented and powerful elite play their games that are perilous and potentially deadly for her.
While controlling the Girl in the Yellow Raincoat, we navigate her with a kind of point-and-click mechanic through the mansion’s maze of puzzling obstacles. Now, we need to go down through every floor of the mansion, or “The Nest”, but there are also enemies besides obstacles. Evading these enemies and dangers is the name of the game.
However, unlike the Little Nightmares game, where the players go through a 3D open-world setting, here we have a grid. Each room is a level on its own, and we tap to make the girl walk, double-tap to make her run, and tap to interact with various objects. Everything is a potential danger or a potential tool, as the fans, boards, various metallic objects, and everything hanging from the ceiling or coming at us with high speed can kill us in an instant. This is where the thrilling experience will really pick up and never actually let go until the very end of the game.
Graphics and reception
As mentioned, unlike its sibling game where the environment is in 3D, here it is a puzzle grid, which looks similar to games like Monument Valley, Escape Game, Jigsaw Puzzles, or such. The models and animations are cartoony and gloomy, creating a specific melancholic atmosphere, which is in complete contrast to the excitement and the thrill of the dangers we need to avoid.
Very Little Nightmares will keep you on edge and reward thinking, cautious play, but also quick reflexes and smart play. It is also perhaps a game that, intentionally or otherwise, raises awareness about child abductions and such crimes as the title character is trapped in a sadistic elitist environment. Hats off for the idea! Also, the gameplay execution is certainly decent enough to grant a rewarding experience.