is everything you may have loved about LittleBigPlanet thrown into a sausage grinder with everything you may have dreaded in Silent Hill. A side-scrolling 3D platformer that conjures up a wealth of grisly implications within a brisk five-hour runtime, it reapplies Media Molecule's conceit of playing a nimble tot among gargantuan domestic objects to a fetid, ocean-going warren of beaten metal and oozing flesh, touched a little questionably by imagery derived from the atrocities of the 20th century.
Like LittleBigPlanet (and last year's overly saccharine Unravel), the game is a testament to the power of childish make-believe. But where LittleBigPlanet's boulder-sized yarnballs and undulating felt backdrops celebrate a child's freedom from the hang-ups of an adult's imagination, Little Nightmares channels the fear of a toddler navigating a world it doesn't yet fit: that period in life when the edge of a dining table is an impassable horizon, stairways are mountainsides, and turning a door handle requires the full weight of your body.
The game casts you as Six, a diminutive stowaway in a luminous yellow mac, armed with naught but her wits and a flip-top lighter that is used to kindle lamps that serve as checkpoints. Your goal is simply to get through the game's swaying labyrinth intact - yanking on switches and dragging objects around in order to activate mechanisms or open doors many, many times your height. Six is a delicately wrought little personality, her eyes darting to puzzle props as she cups the lighter's flame, and there's a gentle absurdity to the sight of her hurling enormous tubes of toilet roll at breakable surfaces, or tugging a giant key from a peg by swinging back and forth. That absurdity fades swiftly, however, when you encounter the creatures these objects belong to.