The Dark Pictures anthology studio Supermassive Games is developing Little Nightmare 3 for release in 2024 on PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. It’ll be playable solo, with an AI-controlled second character, or with a friend in online co-op.
This announcement marks a change of studio for the Little Nightmare franchise, after the first two games in the series were created by Swedish developer Tarsier Studios. But this isn’t unexpected – Tarsier were bought by European megapublisher Embracer back in 2021, which stated at the time that Tarsier would now work on something else.
The rights to Little Nightmares remained with publisher Bandai Namco, meanwhile, which already tapped the UK-based Supermassive to work on the Enhanced Edition of Little Nightmares 2 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
A hands-off demo shown to Eurogamer revealed new characters Low and Alone, who are trapped in the Spiral, a “cluster of disturbing places”, one of which is the sandy Necropolis. Little Nightmares 3 producer Coralie Feniello told me that newcomers won’t need to have played either of the series’ previous titles to understand what’s going on – though existing fans will be rewarded with “nods” back to past games.
“The team at Supermassive are really engaged with the franchise, and they’re also bringing us all their knowledge on horror and multiplayer. It’s a great collaboration,” Fenello said. “We’re making sure we’re keeping the DNA from those first two games.”
Our masked duo of Low and Alone began in a sandstorm, before heading to the relative safety of some towering ruins. The sense of scale – all important in making your characters feel vulnerable and at risk in a giant world – seemed well designed, as you scaled a ladder up the side of an enormous wall, scurrying through a crack into Borrowers-like spaces beyond.
Little Nightmares 3 features, as you might expect, light puzzling you’ll need two players for, such as the ability to combine strengths to move items, or use the character’s individual items (a bow or wrench) to clear obstacles.
The two characters are persued throughout the environment by Monster Baby, a hulking largely off-screen enemy whose pudgy fists smash through the level at various moments, grasping for our heroes.
What’s going on? We’ll have to wait til 2024 to find out, though Little Nightmares fans have something else to look forward to sooner.
Publisher Bandai Namco is also prepping The Sounds of Nightmares, a six-part audio podcast telling a story set in the Little Nightmares universe, which sounds like it will in more gaps to explain the series’ setting.
“The Little Nightmares universe is very big – you only see the surface in the first two games,” Feniello teased. “With the podcast we’re showing more – having only seen the Nowhere, the nightmare place previously. We want to tell more stories and explore the lore and [hint at] things happening in the future.”