There’s something strange about being a small child in a world of things designed for giants. Cabinets you can climb like a ladder, bottles of wine as big as your torso, and ships that feel more like vast countries than a transport vessel: these were the sights and sounds of Little Nightmares by Tarsier Studios. With a mere 2 months until the release of the sequel game Little Nightmares II, excitement’s running high. Thankfully, there are plenty of trailers and content available to gauge expectations for the new suspense adventure game, so grab your flashlight and lets get into it.
It appears that in Little Nightmares II, you play as a young boy named Mono and receive aid from the protagonist of the first game, a girl in a yellow raincoat only known as Six. In a world corrupted by a strange broadcast hum from a distant tower, these two will have to work together to make their way to The Signal Tower, navigating around new terrifying monsters who stand in their way. And let me tell you, the hints from the trailer and the main Bandai Namco Entertainment website are chilling.
There are three main ‘zone’ antagonists that we know of so far, with a larger endgame antagonist waiting in the wings. The first is The Hunter, who actually features in the first 15 minutes of gameplay and is likely the first one we’ll come across. While not the most monstrous-looking, his sheer collection of furs and dedication to the steel traps and nets he sets out in the woods for these kids is… admirable? Disturbing? Plus, who wouldn’t be terrified of a maniac wielding a double barrel shotgun at you and your new friend as he tries to hunt you down time and again? I’m terrified just thinking about it.
The next is The Teacher. Though we don’t have a full idea of what her gameplay section will look like, we can speculate on what we have seen so far. With her firm ruler and bow-headed students, it’s clear she does not tolerate disobedience. Really, she doesn’t tolerate sound at all, judging from this quote about her from the page for the game: “Misbehavior will not be tolerated in The Teacher’s classroom, and nothing escapes her cold, twisted gaze. In her domain, children should be seen and not heard, and if one should be heard, they will never be seen again.” (link) And with the elongated, twisting neck of hers, we can imagine having to hide from her flexible gaze as we try and escape her grasp.
The third zone based boss is The Doctor, a bloated, bug-like man who clings to the ceilings of a seemingly-abandoned medical building. His main challenge may be the swarms of headless and limb-less mannequin-like patients that seem to surround him. Potentially, we could experience a yet-unseen game of cat-and-mouse as you avoid his reach and minions. A demo version has actually been released to a select few gamers and reviewers featuring this section of gameplay, and while we only really see The Doctor face to face at the very end of it, we see his work everywhere in the building.
And finally, we have The Thin Man. Much like The Teacher, we don’t know a lot about his place in the game or his gameplay, but we do learn from a behind-the-scenes producer interview that he is the main antagonist of the game, much like The Lady was for Little Nightmares. The Thin Man seems deeply tied to the Signal Tower and Mono, but that’s as far as we have for concrete evidence. We’ll just have to wait and see…
As of right now, Little Nightmares II is set to release on February 11th, 2021 after a delay from its initial 2020 release. The game is rated 16+, probably due to its disturbing themes, imagery, and dark topics (as seen in the first game.) There are a couple exclusive pre-order packages you can purchase for the coming release with bonus goodies and content (including an art book and figurines!) and the full game is planned to be available cross platform on the PS5, Xbox series X, PC, and the Switch. Now, if I can just get my screen to stop glitching out…