Little Nightmares II is a jewel for fans of narrative and horror titles. However, just like the previous entry, it offers only about 5 hours of playtime. We’d have to look at other games like Little Nightmares to offer you more of the same horror and heartbreaking experience.
Supermassive, the studio behind House of Ashes, is the creator of the 2D series alongside Tarsier Studios. Both present themselves as indie developers with hefty experience in cinematic-driven games.
That’s exactly what the Little Nightmare series represents. In particular, the second entry sold over 1 million copies and landed itself at the cult-following bracket.
Fans and critics praise the sequel’s graphics, music, atmosphere, scenarios, gameplay, sound design, and storytelling. So, looking at the best games like Little Nightmares is a hefty task. But it’s a vital task: the Supermassive saga reached its end with the second entry.
Selecting Games Like Little Nightmares
Selecting games like Little Nightmares or Little Nightmares II means understanding what the saga offers.
Little Nightmares debuted in 2017, and the sequel debuted in 2021 as a prequel story. According to the publisher, Bandai Namco, the prequel was the end of the story.
Can you continue it on other titles from a gameplay perspective? That’s what we’re looking to answer. So, the games we choose have a blend of the following Little Nightmares elements:
- Story: Little Nightmares is a story-driven series. It has a strong emphasis on cinematic moments and cinematic gameplay.
- Genre: These are suspense/horror adventure games where you play as young kids in nightmarish worlds. The characters have little tools to progress and survive other than what they find in the environment.
- Feeling: More importantly, Little Nightmares’ stories feel sad, depressing, and horrific. These games can make any adult cry. That’s because the themes of the games linger around greed, consumption, corruption, hunger, and escapism.
- Puzzles: Because characters have no abilities, the game relies on puzzles to progress the story. You have to find particular items and use them in specific ways to move forward.
- Enemies: There’re small action set pieces where enemies try to hunt the characters down. Enemies are frightening, and characters often have no other option than to escape.
- Platforming: As players explore the world, they find platforming-like situations as obstacles. That said, Little Nightmares is mostly a 2D side-scroller.
- Combat: Players have no combat movements. Instead, they use items, traps, and tricks to defeat small and big monsters.
- Art-style: Little Nightmares uses a unique art style that blends hand-drawn and high-tech simulated systems. The result looks eerie, hyper-real, and hyper-surreal.
- OST: These games feature an eerie original soundtrack as well. The music is mostly atmospheric and conveys a sense of dread and danger.
- Characters: In the first game, players control Six. In the second game, though, Mono is the protagonist, and Six is her companion. Both characters are mostly helpless, relying on hide & seek gameplay to survive.
Overall, Little Nightmares is a thrilling indie title that mixes horror and platforming adventure and cinematic moments with a story-driven experience. But there’re not many entries like this. Instead, the kind of games Little Nightmares fans would like to use a single word, unique indie story-driven experiences.
Games Like Little Nightmare
- Developer: Mobius Digital
- Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
- Release Date: May 2019
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Outer Wilds (not Outer Worlds) is nothing like Little Nightmares. Yet, it’s one of the best story-driven indie titles of the decade. Also, it won the Best Game Award at 2020’s BAFTA awards. There’s a lot of critical and fan praise behind the entry.
The setting is a free-roam mystery without quests, map markers, or clues. You have to stop an endless time loop that resets an entire solar system every day. To complete the quest, you must venture into the world to slowly uncover what happens until you find the solution.
So, this is a massive open-world puzzle-adventure-platformer game. You play as an Outer Wilds Ventures recruit. This is a space program searching for answers in the solar system. That said, the game presents an ever-growing rooster of secrets, environmental hazards, and natural catastrophes.
Overall, Outer Wilds is a unique, gorgeous experience you won’t forget anytime soon. What makes it so special is its open-ended design. The game grants players infinite freedom to explore and complete the title. On top of that, there’s a ton of activities you can do, from deciphering alien writing to roasting a marshmallow.
- Developer: Toby Fox
- Publisher: Toby Fox
- Release Date: September 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS X, Linux, PS4, PSVita, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Undertale is an indie title by a single person. This single developer, Toby Fox, crafter the story, characters, graphics, gameplay, and music. He created all of the codes and elements in another cult-following experience.
Maybe that’s why it’s one of the most popular games in recent memory. It features incredibly unique gameplay that changes the traditional RPG formula. As you play the game, you’ll understand there are many ways you can complete the story and the combat. In essence, you can go through the whole game without harming a single enemy.
The plot follows a child who falls underground, a hidden realm where monsters live. As he searches his way back, he uncovers the heartful, charming, but gruesome story of the monsters lurking underneath. Players will learn the relationships between humans and demons and the story that happened years before the game started.
Overall, Undertale is unique, heartful, and offers minimal combat. It also has a unique art style in the shape of old-school RPG graphics and a gorgeous soundtrack.
LISA: The Painful
- Developer: Dingaling Productions
- Publisher: Dingaling Productions
- Release Date: December 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux
Lisa is a 2D side-scrolling RPG with a quirky, dark, and murky personality. The setting is a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a funny exterior but destructive interiors. It’s a gaming experience for a lifetime, and, just like Little Nightmares, the result can break your heart.
You play as Brad Armstrong on a quest to save her adoptive daughter Buddy. It’s a redemption story, as he came from an abusive family. Brad had a violent father and a sister who committed suicide. All he has left is Buddy, but saving Buddy requires extreme violence.
The story opens up a story-driven RPG with choice mechanics, permanent consequences, and several endings. The world will force players to make tough choices that affect heavy cinematic moments. Most of these moments revolve around dark and twister moral themes.
Lastly, you can recruit over 30 party members across the world’s camps and towns. Then, you tweak your party to explore the world, fight enemies. Ultimately, you have to defeat the warlords that abducted Buddy to complete your task.
- Developer: Red Candle Games
- Publisher: Red Candle Games
- Release Date: January 2017
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android
Detention starts like a regular history lesson through the eyes of protagonist Wei Chung Ting. He takes a nap but wakes up in a school dyed in blood, with an ominous message on the walls. “Typhoon Warning,” says the blood-died corridor.
On the otherworld, he finds another student, Fang Ray Chin. Together, they must find a way back to the real world, but the halls are full of ghostly creatures. Playing as Wei and Ray, you must carefully plan your steps to avoid the animals. So, you hide, run, escape, and find clues to end the terror.
The creatures can hear your breathing, though. Your best hope is seeing the clues to uncover what lies ahead. Like Little Nightmares, the challenge is tough, and the experience is scary.
Lastly, the setting mixes Chinese and Taiwanese elements from the 1960s period. It’s one of the scariest video games you can play. The game uses a distinctive art style, a murky atmosphere, and unsettling music. All of this comes through like a 2D horror adventure side scroller.
- Developer: Team Cherry
- Publisher: Team Cherry
- Release Date: February 2017
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Hollow Knight has a stunning 2D style as other games on our list. Every scenario is hand-drawn and animated manually. That said, the setting is just as dark, eerie, and haunting as Little Nightmares. It helps that the game also has an original OST to deliver a mix of classic horror and epic medieval adventure.
You play as a knight traveling to Hallownest. It is a kingdom full of insects, and players need to use their combat and platforming skills to survive. As the story goes on, players unlock new skills and items to open new areas in a vast, inter-connected map.
Lastly, the players will also uncover the story as they travel across Hollownest. The plot points come through cut-scenes, action, dialogue, and environmental storytelling. Overall, it delivers a tragic and interesting story and a stellar adventure and platforming gameplay.
- Developer: Killmonday Games
- Publisher: Killmonday Games
- Release Date: August 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Fran Brow is not for the faint of heart. It takes players to a place of nightmares akin to Mono and Six’s world, but ten times crazier.
You play as Fran, a girl looking for her parents. Her only friend is a black cat, Mr. Midnight, who can’t really help her. To make things worse, Fran is about to go to a mental asylum in the 1940s to deal with the trauma of losing her parents. Her destiny could be electroshock therapy or perhaps lobotomy, both common treatments for the time.
Before that, Fran takes her chance at finding her parents to save herself and save her family. However, she must escape the asylum as reality shifts between real, not real, and both.
Fran Bow is a psychological horror puzzle adventure game with point-and-click mechanics. It’s a creepy adventure exploring mental illness, injustice, and loss.
- Developer: Playdead
- Publisher: Playdead
- Release Date: June 2016
- Platform: Windows (GOG Store), mac OS (GOG Store), Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Inside is a surreal horror title that takes players to an unsettling world. Just like Little Nightmares, the characters are mostly helpless. So, the gameplay revolves around hiding, escaping, or finding items you could use as weapons.
On Inside, players control a boy trying to escape from a dangerous world. Rather than facing supernatural foes, the enemies are cruel humans. The game explores the darkest side of our nature from the perspective of an innocent boy.
That said, gameplay revolves around using your wits to escape. You need to avoid detection, be careful of hounds, hide where you can, and run the pursuers.
All of this happens in the form of a 2.5D puzzle platformer. Then, the setting is dark, and the color is scarce, highlighting important parts of the maps. Lastly, the game is mostly silent, although there’s the occasional musical cue, sound effects, and dogs barking. All in all, the experience is off-putting and distorted.
- Developer: Playdead
- Publisher: Playdead
- Release Date: July 2010
- Platform: Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Linux, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Limbo is the first game by Playdead, so it’s quite similar to both Inside and Little Nightmares. As their subsequent title, this is a 2D horror puzzle platformer.
The game follows a boy in a quest to find her sister in a sinister world. The character wakes in the forest, on the verge of Hell. Around him, there’re evil undead and the shadow of a young girl fading into nothingness.
The game moves on through a series of puzzles and scenarios. The art style is akin to silent cinematic and black/white movies. Thus, the graphics are black & white. Meanwhile, the illumination techniques emphasize contrasts and shadows. These elements create a unique design reminiscent of a Tim Burton movie.
As players move through the game, they’ll uncover the story through environmental storytelling, metaphors, and action. There’re no cinematic cuts in the game, but what happens goes deeper into the game’s themes about life, death, and evil.
- Developer: Infinitap Games
- Publisher: Infinitap Games
- Release Date: September 2014
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, PSVita, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
This is a 2D side-scroller horror adventure similar to Little Nightmares 2. The game follows Thomas, a boy with night terrors who wakes up in a nightmare one day, free to act as he sees fit. However, there’s something in his mind that wants him dead.
The art style is akin to a sketchbook. It’s mostly black & white with only shades of color highlighting the gore, the evil, and the ghoulish. This design comes straight from the developer’s experience with OCD, depression, and paranoia. The game explores a surreal experience full of questions and riveting moments.
Thomas descends deeper into his hellish landscape, only to hide from inner demons and apparitions. Therefore, he must discover the source of these horrors to wake up finally.
Overall, Neverending Nightmares is a psychological horror game that explores mental illness. It’s also a jewel for fans of horror titles, and, just like Little Nightmares, you play as a boy in a mostly hide & seek 2D adventure.
Bendy and the Ink Machine
- Developer: Kindly Beast (Joey Drew Studios Inc.)
- Publisher: Kindly Beast (Joey Drew Studios Inc.)
- Release Date: February 2017
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Bendy and the Ink Machine is a first-person 3D puzzle action-horror title. It’s an odd mix of animation and graphical style akin to Cuphead. However, as a 3D game, it uses cell-shaded graphics as a Borderlands game. Also, the character has a voice that guides you through the journey.
You play as Henry as he revisits the abandoned workshop of an animator. There, he revisits demons from his past in a twisted, thrilling experience. In essence, you explore the world, find items you can use, solve puzzles, escape the enemies, uncover the story, and move on.
In the cartoon world, both devilish and charming characters hunt Henry. Henry worked at the studio and created them, and he comes back to them after leaving them behind for many years. He finds his drawings came to life with the sole goal of murdering their creator.
Lastly, the game presents a daunting atmosphere of suspense, tension, and cinematic storytelling. It was a big hit on release, and it still has a loyal cult following.
Among the Sleep
- Developer: Krillbite Studio
- Publisher: Krillbite Studio
- Release Date: December 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Among the Sleep is a dreadful game about the dangers of leaving a toddler alone. The protagonist is a two-year-old boy and his teddy bear, in a world much bigger than them.
The mother is gone, and the player is alone to discover a world that feels terrifying from their perspective. You don’t have any skills, weapons, armor, or preparation. You only have a teddy bear and your imagination.
This opens up a first-person horror adventure. Finding your mother in a scary scenario full of atmospheric horror music is the goal. You’re always vulnerable, terrified, and trying to make sense of what you’re seeing.
Overall, Among the Sleep is also an off putting experience, destined to make you feel sad and regretful. If you’re a parent yourself, it will be even more of an unforgettable experience.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
- Developer: Supermassive Games
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Release Date: October 2021
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5
The Dark Pictures Anthology is a series of stand-alone horror interactive games. House of Ashes is the latest and perhaps most popular in the series. As before, this is an interactive and cinematic horror game.
You play as a team of soldiers, stranded in Iraq after a mission that went array. After a mysterious monster attacks them, they crawl underneath Sumerian ruins. Their desperate goal is to survive while finding out what’s going on and hunting them. However, there’re more mysteries to uncover as characters travel deeper below the caves.
Like previous games in the series, all you need to do is make choices. An animated movie plays on the screen and then prompts you with some decisions and quick event segments. The story branches to different paths and endings depending on what you do.
House of Ashes focuses on horror while telling a story about loyalty, friendship, and survival. You are to decide if you’re willing to sacrifice others for your own survival, sacrifice yourself, or find less apparent alternatives. Even though it’s not an indie title, it’s still a fairly small game offering a frightening experience.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
- Developer: Steel Wool Studios
- Publisher: Scott Cawthon
- Release Date: December 2021
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5
Five Nights at Freddy’s is a series of family-friendly interactive horror. We choose the latest entry in the series because you can play either game without knowing the story.
You play as Gregory, a boy trapped in an overnight pizza place (Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex). As in previous games in the entry, the place is full of animatronic hosts. The player must find a way to survive old and new Freddy’s characters and other horrific threats.
The gameplay is about adapting, hiding, escaping, and surviving. You can access security systems to survey your routes and move free of danger. Additionally, you can distract enemies by throwing things or sneak by crawling, hiding, crouching.
Overall, it’s a fun game full of frightening attractions, light puzzles, and just a hint of humor. It’s an ideal option for younger gamers looking for their first horror experiences.