December 4, 2022

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Climbing inside fear with the makers of Little Nightmares 2

Why is a game scary? What is it about the mix of ingredients that really chills us, that really creeps inside and messes with our subconscious? I don’t think it’s the jump-scares. I don’t think it’s the gore. I think it’s something deeper, something more unsettling, something insidious. And there are few games that trade in this kind of fear better than the Little Nightmares series by Swedish studio Tarsier.

The long-awaited sequel is a little under two weeks away now (it releases on 11th February). I had a chance to play Little Nightmares 2 recently, and wrote about it. A demo was also released earlier this month for you to try. Did you? What did you think? Were you as scared of The Teacher as I was?

I’ve been thinking about her, and about the game, since. I’ve been thinking about what it means for something to be scary, and how Tarsier manifests terror and frightens us. I’ve been thinking about fear. And I couldn’t think of a better person to ask about it than Dave Mervik, senior narrative designer on the game, and the person who dreamt a lot of the world up.

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