Little Nightmares is one of the best games I’ve played so far in 2017 – in a year that’s included some huge releases, Tarsier Studios indie horror/platformer held its own, serving up a demented platter of twisted delights and disturbing visions.
In my initial review of the game (which you can read here), one of the only complaints I could level towards the adventure is that it was far too short for my tastes – so I was obviously delighted to learn that there was more to come in the form of DLC.
Secrets of The Maw is a three-part DLC that runs parallel to the events of the main game, so while the yellow raincoat wearing Six is off running from cannibal chefs and munching on gnomes and other weird shit, the DLC shows us the adventures of a boy known as the Runaway Kid (sidebar, that’s a great name for a pop punk band).
The first slice of this three-part saga is called The Depths, with parts two and three to come at a later date. Once again, we find ourselves trapped on the mysterious Maw, a ship full of living nightmares that want to kill and/or gobble you up.
While the main game took us on a journey upwards, the Runaway Kid begins his adventure by heading down into the depths of The Maw, to a flooded area and a submerged monster known as The Granny – a truly chilling creation that more than stands up against the other terrifying inhabitants of Little Nightmares.
You’ll catch brief glimpses of The Granny as she sits on her rocking chair or watches you from beneath the water, and the moments of slow build up and full on chase sequences are perfectly paced – but while the enemy here is genuinely superb, the gameplay just doesn’t quite hold up.
Most of our time in the depths of The Maw is spent jumping across floating platforms, or raising/lowering the water level, because that’s a gameplay trope absolutely nobody is sick of, apparently.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all you’ll be doing in this DLC, which is fair enough given that it only lasts between one and two hours – but once again I was found wanting more from Little Nightmares. Maybe I’m just greedy.
Still, the aforementioned Granny injects proceedings with a genuine sense of dread and atmosphere, elevating what could have been a watery slog to something much more memorable.
And of course, by the time parts two and three of Secrets of The Maw have been released I’m confident The Depths will feel more like part of a cohesive and rewarding whole – hopefully one that provides some further insight into the devilishly intriguing world of Little Nightmares.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.