How Little Nightmares steamrolled my EGX experience

I have been pondering for some time now how to write up my experiences at EGX this year. Out of the whole incredible experience, as EGX rarely disappoints on quality of show, I experienced so much in only three days.

I got to meet the team behind YookaLaylee, I experienced the hype of the Capcom Pro Tour at a top class event hosted by Unequalled media and I got to play a tonne of cool indie and large studio games alike.

However whenever I reminisce about the good times, one thing always brings itself to the front of my mind.

Little Nightmares.

If there is one way to get a hard-core Bioshock fans attention and that is a horror trailer that begins with “Deep below the waves”.

Due to my busy schedule recently, Little Nightmares had slipped completely under my radar until EGX and when I saw the booth I was blown away. Firstly, the booth itself looked fantastic. I felt dwarfed by all the bookcases and setting around the queue and instant inquired to a friend about what the game was about. I was told a cross between LittleBigPlanet and Bioshock and I walked straight into the queue.

From the off the game was inviting. The booth staff were friendly and approachable, answering questions and allowing everyone to complete the demo before they left. I at one point had the games protagonist creep up on me in the queue and hand me sweets.

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Legit.

It sounds petty talking about the queueing experience, but for an event like EGX where you can spend hours waiting for fifteen minutes on one game, it made the world of difference.

The gameplay was also no disappointment. The character controls were fluid and easy to use, with very little awkward jankiness usually found in demos. The demo included stealth, platforming and puzzle solving, giving the players a decent taster of what appear to be the main mechanics of the game. The demo showed no story narrative, but the mystery of the characters and setting are engaging and pull the players in with their curiosity especially the ending of the demo.

The character design was simple, yet fascinating and engaging. The protagonist’s simple raincoat and bare feet does not distract the player and creates a sense of mystery. We want to know what she looks like under that hood, or better yet, we can imagine what she looks like for ourselves. Also her bare feet give us a sense of vulnerability, which is important for a stealth horror game that relies on avoiding combat situations and enemies. It also links to the cliff hanger that the demo ends on. The enemies were grotesque caricatures of nightmarish creatures, fitting perfectly with the theme of the game we are given. The protagonist is small and all of her surroundings are large, and more importantly, exaggerated. The monster chefs are like a child’s nightmare rather than realistic characters.

In short, I look forward to seeing the finished project and will be following updates from here on out.

If you enjoy horror puzzle games like I do, keep an eye out for Little Nightmares.

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