Fear has the child’s eyes, not as innocent as it looks like. Tarsier Studios released the second installment of their creepy-cute horror platformer, Little Nightmares. The first installment of this lovely designed game was very well received and the newest one also gathers good notes. Tobias Lilja is the composer of the soundtrack again.

We can hear lots of gloomy electronic soundscapes.

This time we are not trapped inside the gigantic prison vessel called The Maw, but traverse a city showered with rain. We play as a little boy named Mono, whose name comes from the Greek monos, which indicates being alone and which makes us feel abandoned and desolated during the gameplay. Fortunately the boy meets Six, the girl known from the first game. They walk through the eerie town together, helping each other and dealing with the monsters from the children’s worst nightmares.

The soundtrack for the sequel is even more disturbing and unsettling than for the first installment. We can hear lots of gloomy electronic soundscapes in tracks like Disposable Entertainment, Playtime or Still Life, high pitched, metallic screams in Waiting Room or Claustrophobia, objects being hit in One Step, Two Step. Finally distorted, grinding Shopping Spasm and The Man in the Hat gives the player and listener the chills.

The tracks accompanying the scenes of fighting or running (Claustrophobia, Bottom Feeders, Shopping Spasm) are hair-rising and not pleasant to listen to, but that is what makes them oddly enjoyable. It is a horror game, after all. On the one hand skillfully used synthesizers merged with organic sounds make them perfectly fitting the scary atmosphere of Little Nightmares 2. On the other hand, eerie ambient parts like Playtime or A Little Warmth make the player feel isolated in the mysterious, unfriendly city.

Why is sound so important for horror games?

Since it is a sequel to a game about children, there had to be children-like humming and of course the music box themes (Main Theme, Togetherness, Casting Shadows) included in the score, and also some references to the first game soundtrack (Main Theme, Togetherness). The sounds of a music box and nursery rhymes were the composer’s inspiration again and they work well in the game about the two lost kids. They also add some creepiness to the overall immersion since as I wrote in the beginning of the review, these two kids are not that innocent as you may think.

Tobias Lilja created one of the most interesting electronic soundtracks for a video game.

One of the most interesting parts of the score is the Etude in A Minor which was played in the sequence where the creepy teacher plays the piano. By the way that teacher is one of the most disturbing, both in look and sound, enemy I have ever encountered in a video game. Another tracks worth to mention are: Crackheads filled with many abstract sounds and Shopping Spasm with a completely insane synth pattern.

Tobias Lilja created one of the most interesting electronic soundtracks for a video game and one of my personal this year’s favourite for now. Little Nightmares 2 OST is like a possessed music box merged with dissonances and synthesizers from hell, or purgatory at least. It also makes the player feel isolated and overwhelmed, and is a great expansion of the first game’s score.

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Executive Editor

Izabela Besztocha

Independent games enthusiast, mainly horror games, paying close attention to sound design. Dreaming of becoming a sound designer. Dissonance, distortion and other unpleasant sounds is what she enjoys to listen to most.