Even though the universe of Little Nightmares has created a tendency to play with fears (some I did not know I had) I nevertheless jump into the second episode of the Secrets of The Maw DLC with both arms and legs, ready to take on whatever it might throw my way.
In the new episode, appropriately titled The Hideaway, the story of The Runaway Kid continues. Just by looking at the promo picture, it already tells us a lot of what the episode is about; and as you can see, we encounter the Nomes once more. If you’ve played the original game (if you haven’t: what are you doing here? Go and play all the other stuff before reading this!) you might be familiar with the Nomes: tiny, white creatures that hide in every nook and cranny. When we played as Six, they were pretty much only functioning as huggable collectibles. Now, they serve a much greater purpose. As we have done repeatedly in these two episodes of the DLC, we encounter familiar rooms from the original game. As before, I believe they are filled with nods to how the old story might connect with the new. In addition to that, Mr Long-armed-grabby-hands is back. Yes indeed, with even longer and grabbier hands than before… Or, at least, that’s what it feels like.
Even though the nomes aren’t much larger in size, they certainly are in numbers this time around. Upon encounter, you hug them (as we are familiar with from the original game) and they start following you – and actually being your adorable little companions for this episode. They are important to the different puzzles – which is new, unexpected and a good surprise. And they also serve a purpose in the bigger picture; which is the heart of the ship, the engine. They remind me of the soot-creatures from the movie Spirited Away, the way they are loyal and hard-working in order to make everything function, because that is their role: they bring coal to the furnace that drives the ship. This is how we, perhaps, learn their function, as we all were probably wondering about earlier in the storyline. At the end of the episode, I feel like I turned The Runaway Kid into The Lord of the Nomes. Which was pretty cool.
Continually, this is where my major problem arrives: the graphics and textual bugs. The nomes would get stuck on things, even though they were moving. Because of this, they would automatically stop following me which is central to progress – it’s a very frustrating bug.
The Hideaway continues the story of The Runaway Kid with minor succession. What I thought would be an interesting episode with more of the elements I love in this universe would turn out to be a rather disappointing affair. However, it offers some intriguing elements like the opportunity of travelling different roads to reach your goal
Very early on in the game, I encountered an audio bug too, which made the speakers on my TV sound as if they were broken (they weren’t). However, restarting the episode made the bug go away and it didn’t reoccur. Apart from that, the sound feels much more intense and powerful in this episode, which leads me to the use of the horror elements – they were not as present as in the first episode, but this episode definitely used the contrast between darkness and light to its advantage. It’s a creepy touch and creates a sense of paranoia we all know so well from this universe.
Even though I am still a bit confused when it comes to the story, the ending of this episode was… Intriguing. Let’s just say that my interest is piqued, and I’m excited to see where it ends. So, grab some popcorn and sit down with me for the last episode of Little Nightmares: Secrets of the Maw – this is going to be juicy.
A final score will be given for Secrets of The Maw at the end.