Parents' Guide to

Little Nightmares

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Platformer with anti-greed message, creepy vibe, violence.

Game PlayStation 4, Xbox One 2017
Little Nightmares Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 12+

Super scary but awesome horror game has disturbing images

Little Nightmares is an absolutely brilliant game created by Tarsier Studios, and is creepy, unsettling and outright horrific all the way through! That being said, the game also contains some content that may be found not appropriate for children: ——————————————————————— VIOLENCE AND GORE: Little Nightmares is filled with pretty obscure disturbing images. At the beginning of the game, we see a man who had committed suicide hanging from a noose, however we do not see the top half of his body which is cut off. We also see a chair underneath with an unreadable note. It is heavily implied throughout that hundreds of children where kidnapped from home and taken to “The Maw” a submarine where the game takes place to be eaten by large people. We see meat being cut throughout the game which is implied to be child’s meat because we often see body bags lying around and children sleeping in beds in the prison level. We also see an Easter egg which a picture is shown of a man about to abduct a kid out of his bed, however this is only implied and can fly over kids heads. Six, the main protagonist can fall from large heights and break her legs, get stuffed into the mouth of creatures, get electrocuted, grabbed, thrown into boiling pots and more however no blood is shown. In a boss fight a door collapses and slices off monsters arms bloodlessly, but onscreen. Monster chefs chop bloody meat, rip up meat (which is implied to be children’s meat) and in this scene a body bag must be ground up in a blender machine and sprays out brownish liquid. All throughout the game in each level, the main character has a disturbing and slightly distressing hunger sequence where first she first eats bread, then another food, then a rat off a mouse trap (blood pools underneath, but the action is obscured from behind) and then a Nome which is a little creature (blood once again pools but the action is obscured) and then a human woman (blood pools, obscured mostly) these scenes can be disturbing, distressing, upsetting and a bit violent. DLC: The DLC contains scenes of drowning in water, electrocution in water by TV on both monster and child, implied scene of death not shown OVERALL: 12+

This title has:

Great messages
2 people found this helpful.
age 12+

It’s so good

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21):
Kids say (51):

If you enjoy dark, metaphorical games such as Limbo and Inside, chances are this eerie platformer will be right up your alley. Little Nightmares' artistic direction is instantly arresting, creating a dark and foreboding world that almost feels as though it were pulled from a stop-motion animated film thanks to its constant attention to detail, sometimes jumpy animation, and occasional diorama-style perspective. And Six is nothing if not sympathetic. She may be tiny and frail, but she's also courageous and determined. You'll desperately want her to survive the nightmare into which she's been dropped. Her enemies, meanwhile, are as horrific as Six is lovable. The janitor's blinded and wrinkled face, stubby legs, and unnaturally long, searching arms make him extremely unsettling, while the bloated forms of the guests -- who will stop at nothing to shove Six into their ravenous mouths, even though piles of food lie all around them -- are mindless gluttony made flesh. The moral of the story couldn't be clearer -- or more effective.

Little Nightmares stumbles occasionally but never fatally. It's controls are a little confusing thanks to odd choices for buttons assigned to running, jumping, and grabbing hold of things. Some of the action scenes -- which require quick reflexes and perhaps rely a little too much on trial and error -- are a bit frustrating if you find yourself repeatedly pressing the wrong buttons. Still, it's a small price to pay for this deeply creepy but equally thoughtful little platformer adventure.

Game Details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco
  • Release date: April 25, 2017
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: T for Blood, Violence
  • Last updated: May 1, 2017

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate