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    jackcodonoghue's Little Nightmares (PC)

    [August 30, 2018 11:49:14 AM]
    I forgot to mention it, but yesterdays gameplay ended with me being captured. Today was much more intense as the gameplay became more centered around encounters with the other character. He is so creepy! The character design is very well done, heís disturbing but not overly gruesome. Heís clearly messed up but there are several details that force you to keep looking at him. His animations are equally chilling. The slow jerky movements and cold pops of his joints add suspense and reinforce the fear the game creates.
    Once again, the gameplay and narrative progress side by side. We finally learn more about the situation as we see other children trapped in cages around us. As we move to the next room we see the monster packaging the bodies and dumping them off for later. We sneak further and further into his maze of a house as he follows us, getting deeper and deeper into trouble, with no option to turn back. As the narrative becomes more focused on character interaction, so does the gameplay. There are more sneaking and chase levels, less focused on movement and exploration. The gameplay between these two situations is vastly different. I have time to think and enjoy the art and movement during the puzzles. On the other hand, my heart is pounding and my palms sweating as I hide behind a box in the elevator with the monster, or duck into an air vent barely out of his reach. Both are rewarding in their own way and combine to create an exciting gameplay.
    The most disturbing and controversial part of the gameplay for me was when you drop into the massive room of childrenís shoes beneath the monsterís workshop. This immediately made me think of the holocaust and all the images of rooms of shoes. I felt like the connection was so immediate and distinct that it had to be intentional. What does this say about the larger themes of the game? Is the monster symbolic of something more like Naziís, and that connects into the running and hiding in fear as gameplay? How is this commentary reflected in our modern world, and how does it apply to issuesí weíre facing today? I think itís important to look at the level of abstraction in the game to look at these issues on different planes. How does the deconstruction of a theme allow it to be reconstructed in different ways?
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    [August 29, 2018 12:06:55 PM]
    Todayís gameplay and narrative elaborated on some of the ethical problems and reinforced mood and theme. I forgot to mention it in my first GameLog, but the environment and its execution plays a big role in this as well. I also picked up on more of the subtle clues within the game that are masterfully executed. I got stuck for the first time in a room where I eventually realized I had to climb a chain to escape. The repetition of dying and restarting over again to me felt like part of the message of the game. You are never able to escape the problem ahead of you. The feeling of danger and fear is reflected in even the simplest gameplay. When you are running up the long staircases above an abyss, the camera zooms out, giving you less finite control. The player must be extra careful on these rickety old stairs. Further, the environment itself is constantly evolving and driving the narrative. After long times of sneaking through different areas and rooms, I finally entered one of the giantís bathrooms. As you pull a lever a bed with straps falls from the wall. The game doesnít tell you what this is directly; it makes the player curious to find out more and keep exploring. There are little things like this in almost every room: notes, blood marks, cages. All these elements help to piece together and drive the narrative forward. The game is a mix of mystery and horror.
    There were several more ethical issues raised in my playthrough today, the cages, blood and nooses all suggest terrible and disturbing things are happening here. There are several childrenís toyís which increase the horror of the situation. Is it okay to show these types of disturbing images in games? And what is the effect on those who play them? For me the most troubling ethical issue in the gameplay happens you press a button that opens an eye and reveals two children curled up shaking in bed. At this point you are clearly in someoneís secret room behind their office. This raises lots of questions about what the motives of these monsters are, as well as foreshadows future ethical dilemma. Iím guessing at some point we might have to confront these giants. Is it okay to harm the giants because they were harming others? How would the different if they captured adults instead of children?
    After playing yesterday with PC controls and not loving it, I plugged in my Xbox controller and the gameplay feels a lot smoother. I would recommend using a controller for this game.

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    [August 28, 2018 08:05:01 PM]
    So far, I very much enjoy the character design. Their yellow jacket has interesting contours with the color providing a shark contrast to the bleak, de-saturated environment. The character remains largely mysterious, their face shrouded in darkness. This is creating interest, I want to know more about the character and why they are in their situation. Although I naturally seemed to like and root for the character, all I really know so far is that they are sneaking around. Does this maybe reflect on me? Or am I simply rooting for them because as a video game that character is an extension of my persona.
    I think the gameplay and narrative are well linked and very neatly done. There is an element of mystery that surrounds the situation. Additionally, there is a general feeling of struggle and melancholy. The gameplay provides several obstacles that seem difficult to overcome until you look at it in a different way. I.e. going up the wall to a new floor instead of continuing forwards. There are others you canít overcome, but they seem so close. You can grab many boxes and knobs that seem important and dangle there helplessly struggling. Not having a demo throws the player in to reinforce the feeling of mystery. I really enjoyed that you could walk back into the mist at several locations.
    The ethical dilemaís so far have seemed minor but are possibly more impactful than they appear. Fairly early on you walk through a room where a man has hung himself, his body dangles lifelessly. Suicide is a very difficult and sometimes controversial topic, and to include it in the game raises lots of ethical questions on both ends. What is the effect of the player. The game certainly seems to be a commentary on society and Iím excited to play and find out what theyíre trying to say.

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    jackcodonoghue's Little Nightmares (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 28 August, 2018

    jackcodonoghue's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Little Nightmares

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