This week on Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee reviews Little Nightmares II.
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Long time viewers will know we’ve had a lot of fun here at the Zero Punctuation combination waterslide park sewage treatment facility with the running gag that virtually every arty indie game is basically about a small child being lost in a scary world. Probably because they’re frequently made by tech nerds new to the industry having to face the fact that it might finally be time to get a real job and figure out how to do their own laundry. Which also explains why the games are usually highly unsubtle metaphors for something from the standard list of tech nerd mental health issues: anxiety, depression, isolation, the fact that nice girls don’t want to touch them. In the past I’ve occasionally stretched the criteria for small child scary world to include indie games like Bastion, Braid and Ori and the Blind Forest, in order to continue claiming to be right in my adorably small minded way, but absolutely no stretching is necessary for this week’s subject, oh dear me no. Little Nightmares wears small child scary world like a set of custom fit pyjamas, throws a big comfortable duvet of oppressive atmosphere over itself and goes to sleep. It uses all the tropes, even the really on the nose ones like “main character wears a hooded coat” and “soundtrack featuring sad children singing like the evil landlord just sold all their gruel vouchers.”