Beyond the Maw: 16 Games Like Little Nightmares

If the twisted corridors and psychologically tense atmospheres of Little Nightmares resonated with your gaming senses, you’re in for a treat. The video game realm is rife with experiences that, like Little Nightmares, diverge from the conventional, pulling players into shadowy universes steeped in eeriness and deep-seated anxieties. Steering clear of the predictable jump-scares and instead opting for a more profound sense of unease, these games promise to take enthusiasts on similarly haunting journeys, navigating the complexities of fear and intrigue. Dive in, if you dare, to explore more titles that echo the chilling allure found within Little Nightmares’ confines.

Play Little Nightmares Now On: Steam

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About Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares is a puzzle-platformer horror adventure game developed by Tarsier Studios and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment.


Little Nightmares is a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer where players must navigate through a series of increasingly perilous environments. The game employs a mix of stealth mechanics, environmental puzzles, and platforming challenges. As Six, the player’s diminutive stature against the vast, overwhelming world of the Maw becomes evident, emphasizing vulnerability. Players must hide, climb, run, and think quickly to progress through levels, avoiding the terrifying inhabitants of the Maw. Light and shadow play integral roles in the gameplay mechanics, with darkness often harboring threats and light serving as a momentary sanctuary.


The narrative of Little Nightmares is largely implicit, told through the environment, background details, and the eerie encounters Six faces. Trapped in the Maw, a massive, underwater vessel, Six must navigate a nightmare world where grotesque, gluttonous beings lurk in the shadows. As she ventures deeper into the Maw, players uncover hints about the vessel’s true purpose and the unsettling fate of its inhabitants. The game delves into themes of innocence, consumption, and the twisted perceptions of childhood. The eerie atmosphere and lack of direct exposition create a sense of lingering unease, prompting players to piece together the story from environmental clues.


Upon its release, Little Nightmares received widespread acclaim from both critics and players. Reviewers praised its atmospheric design, striking visuals, and the way it masterfully conveyed horror without resorting to cheap scares. The game’s unique art style, blending grim environments with a slightly exaggerated, almost caricatured design for its characters, was particularly lauded. Many drew comparisons to the works of filmmakers like Tim Burton and Guillermo del Toro, citing similar dark, whimsical aesthetics. Some criticisms were directed at its relatively short playtime and occasional control issues, but overall, the game’s impact as a memorable horror experience was widely acknowledged.

Games Like Little Nightmares

games like little nightmares
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Little Nightmares II

  • Plot: In this eerie sequel, players take on the role of a young boy named Mono, accompanied by Six, the protagonist from the first game.
  • Similarities to Little Nightmares:
    • Deep, unsettling atmosphere.
    • Players will face a blend of platforming challenges and intricate puzzles.
    • The sense of vulnerability is palpable as Mono and Six, being children, face the grotesque and overwhelming threats of a world much larger and more menacing than they are.
games like little nightmares
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  • Plot: A boy awakens in the ‘edge’ of hell, embarking on a journey fraught with deadly traps and shadowy foes in search of his sister.
  • Similarities:
    • Striking monochrome visuals emphasizing light and shadow.
    • Puzzles that often involve trial-and-error, leading to unexpected deaths.
    • An oppressive, silent atmosphere punctuated by ambient sounds.
games like little nightmares
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  • Plot: In a dark, dystopian world, a young boy ventures through various environments, evading capture from mysterious forces and navigating unsettling scenarios.
  • Similarities:
    • Aesthetically rich environments filled with muted tones.
    • Thought-provoking, implicit narrative that raises more questions than answers.
    • Gameplay integrates puzzles and stealth to progress through the narrative.
games like little nightmares
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The Swapper

  • Plot: An astronaut explores a derelict space station using a device that clones the user, swapping consciousness between bodies.
  • Similarities:
    • Moody, atmospheric tone with a focus on isolation.
    • Puzzle mechanics deeply intertwined with the game’s story.
    • Philosophical themes exploring consciousness and identity.
games like little nightmares
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  • Plot: Set in a dark, surreal forest in Soviet Bloc Europe, survivors deal with nightmarish forces during the night, while exploring and gathering resources by day.
  • Similarities:
    • Deeply unsettling atmosphere and horrifying visuals.
    • Narrative-driven with a focus on environmental storytelling.
    • Exploration and survival mechanics in a hostile environment.
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Fran Bow

  • Plot: After witnessing the gruesome murder of her parents, Fran rushes into the woods and is institutionalized. She embarks on a quest to find her cat and discover the truth.
  • Similarities:
    • Disturbing visuals and mature themes.
    • Emphasis on story-driven puzzles.
    • Exploration of mental health in a horror setting.
games like little nightmares
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Night in the Woods

  • Plot: Mae, a cat, drops out of college and returns to her hometown, uncovering mysterious events and dealing with personal issues.
  • Similarities:
    • Rich narrative interwoven with light platforming elements.
    • Exploration of dark themes and personal anxieties.
    • Unique art style and compelling characters.
games like little nightmares
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Hollow Knight

  • Plot: In the decaying world of Hallownest, a knight embarks on a journey to uncover the kingdom’s secrets.
  • Similarities:
    • Rich, atmospheric world filled with eerie enemies.
    • Deep lore and environmental storytelling.
    • Integration of platforming with combat and exploration.
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  • Plot: A tiny, anthropomorphic yarn figure named Yarny embarks on a heartwarming journey, using his yarn to solve puzzles and traverse the environment, uncovering memories of a family’s life.
  • Similarities:
    • Emotionally-driven narrative, where the environment tells a deeper story.
    • Unique mechanics using Yarny’s thread to solve intricate puzzles.
    • Beautifully crafted world filled with both charm and challenges.
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Bendy and the Ink Machine

  • Plot: Set in an old animation studio, players explore as Henry, a former animator, only to discover the cartoons have come to life in twisted, inky forms.
  • Similarities:
    • Dark and moody aesthetic with a distinct, vintage cartoon design.
    • Deep narrative lore revealed through environmental clues and sequences.
    • A blend of exploration, puzzles, and occasional combat against ink-formed enemies.
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  • Plot: Set in 1960s Taiwan during martial law, two students find themselves trapped in their school where nightmarish apparitions and dark secrets haunt the hallways.
  • Similarities:
    • A heavy, atmospheric horror based on cultural tales and historical events.
    • Story-driven gameplay with puzzles intertwined with the narrative.
    • Rich visuals blending realistic settings with disturbing supernatural elements.
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  • Plot: Dive into both the vibrant world of the real and the distorted reality of the mind as Sunny/Omori, a hikikomori boy, confronting inner fears and suppressed memories.
  • Similarities:
    • Themes of psychological horror and introspection, tackling personal traumas.
    • Rich narrative with choices affecting the story’s progression.
    • Unique blend of traditional RPG mechanics with unsettling and emotional plot twists.
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  • Plot: In a dystopian city devoid of human life and ruled by robots, players navigate the world as a lost cat, trying to find a way home and uncovering the mysteries of the city.
  • Similarities:
    • Vulnerable protagonist in an expansive, foreign world.
    • Atmospheric exploration, emphasizing a blend of loneliness and curiosity.
    • Environmental storytelling, where the world reveals its history and secrets.
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Among the Sleep

  • Plot: Played from the perspective of a two-year-old toddler, players navigate a distorted version of their home at night, looking for their mother and confronting nightmarish visions.
  • Similarities:
    • Intense vulnerability, emphasized by the protagonist’s young age.
    • A dark, eerie atmosphere turning familiar settings into places of horror.
    • Narrative-driven exploration, with the environment reflecting deeper fears and stories.
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  • Plot: A girl deals with a painful experience in her life, journeying through her sorrowful world, regaining abilities as she processes her emotions.
  • Similarities:
    • Deeply emotional narrative without spoken or written words.
    • Unique and artistically captivating visuals.
    • Platforming and puzzles interwoven with the game’s themes.
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The Longing

  • Plot: You play as a Shade, waiting 400 days in real-time for his king to awaken in an underground cavern.
  • Similarities:
    • Emphasis on atmospheric exploration and loneliness.
    • Unique art style and storytelling method.
    • Puzzles and exploration central to gameplay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What games should I play if I like Little Nightmares?

If you like Little Nightmares, you should explore games like Limbo, Inside, and Hollow Knight.

Are there other games like Little Nightmares?

Yes, there are several games similar in tone and style to Little Nightmares, including Inside, Limbo, and Fran Bow.

Will there be a Little Nightmares 3?

Little Nightmares 3 is coming! With a 2024 release, Little Nightmares 3 will feature co-op play.

Watch the Little Nightmares 3 trailer:

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