Little Nightmares: The Hideaway (PlayStation 4) Review

By Adam Riley 07.01.2018

Review for Little Nightmares: The Hideaway on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 has covered the base game for Little Nightmares several times, most recently looking at the escapades of Six in the PlayStation 4 iteration (for more details on the core gameplay elements, please check that out). As for the DLC, only one has been released so far, focusing on a different character called the Runaway Kid, and The Depths saw him running and jumping for dear life pretty much the entire time, trying to evade capture by The Granny. Now, for The Hideaway, the action continues with the young boy, but in a more slow-paced affair. Does the change of pace work for the better?

Thankfully, the constant running-and-jumping sections from The Depths are not present here, as although it was a tense and enjoyable interlude, going through the motions again would have been tiresome. The emphasis in The Hideaway is more on overcoming intricate puzzles either using the Runaway Kid alone, or with help from the Nomes, whilst working through the dark and grimy underbelly of The Maw, the vessel everyone is confined to.

Ah yes, the quirky-and-rather-terrified Nomes - who seem like they are actually captured children - work together with the youth when it is not possible to reach a high up switch, push heavy items around, or even swiftly throw large amounts of coal into a furnace that powers a lift-style system… They are very helpful indeed, and each room ventured into seems like its own self-contained conundrum, until later on everything starts to come together and a realisation sinks in that this is one extremely cleverly constructed underworld all pieced together, with numerous triggers and switches dotted around, needing to be activated before the final goal is achieved. There is genius design work at play here, without a doubt. There are still tense moments, by the way, with a few areas where careful creeping around is required - a welcomed return from the main game - trying to avoid the blind Janitor with his creepy long arms and amazing hearing. Tread carefully, or get squished!

Screenshot for Little Nightmares: The Hideaway on PlayStation 4

It really is a masterful creation, and whilst the constant adrenaline-fuelled antics of The Depths were indeed thrilling, this slower pace, with more emphasis on using brain power to overcome the problems faced, especially when using Nomes to help out with different tasks - such as flinging them upwards to high ledges or levers - really is quite fantastic.

Before getting their allegiance, all Nomes require hugging, and most are quite easy to find. However, some of them are sadly very annoying to catch, with two in particular needing a lot of running around and jumping about, hoping for the best before grabbing them for that all important initiation squeeze. These two alone grate more than they should, but thankfully, in the long run, do not detract from the enjoyment too much. What is more annoying is how the Nomes do not always follow the Runaway Kid, instead becoming almost bored and simply milling around, or even getting stuck on scenery at times, needing a quick pick-up-and-throw technique to get them back on their way again. This was the sort of problem faced when playing Secret of Mana decades ago on the SNES when playing alone with two computer-controlled partners, not something expected in today's gaming landscape. Fortunately, at around the hour mark, the issue does not have long enough to raise its head often enough to cause major frustration.

Speaking of getting stuck on scenery, there are a couple of places where it is possible to get caught completely behind certain objects, with a need to start from the last checkpoint to get out of the tight spot. Again, something not expected in this day and age, but forgiveable thanks to regular checkpoints not causing too much of a headache. One final potential problem is that sometimes the action is a little too dark, so upping the brightness is recommended, despite the game's recommendation to turn things down for atmospheric purposes. There is no atmosphere if you cannot see what is going on, after all!

Screenshot for Little Nightmares: The Hideaway on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The ending to Little Nightmares: The Hideaway is very creepy indeed, and looks to tie things together with the exploits of Six from the main adventure, perhaps in the next piece of DLC. For now, though, this finely crafted puzzle-platform-adventure is highly enjoyable and truly gripping and tense in places. More laidback than The Depths, though, this makes for a better experience overall as the whole atmosphere can be appreciated more. A few minor gameplay hiccoughs cannot take away from the fact this will definitely be a few quid well spent, and hopefully the wait for the next episode is not too long.

Developer

Tarsier Studios

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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