If you've ever wanted to control a twisted little girl through a strange adventure then you may want to check out Little Misfortune.
Little Misfortune is the latest game from Killmonday Games who's somewhat famous for their debut title Fran Bow. To be honest, I've never played that game but Little Misfortune seemed promising anyway as I have a rather dark sense of humour. Anyway, the story follows the titular character as she hears a voice who guides her along in some sort of game where the reward is eternal happiness. Of course, everything isn't as it seems which is quite evident right off the bat as the voice talks to you, the player, whenever Misfortune isn't currently onscreen. The adventure that unfolds will keep you wondering just what the heck is going on as you witness many oddities that range from mildly disturbing to completely off-the-wall yet it thankfully remains rather compelling and humorous throughout.
When it comes to gameplay, Little Misfortune features very little. Before playing it, I thought it was a point and click adventure game but it isn't as all you do is move Misfortune left and right while occasionally tapping a button whenever a prompt appears to either interact with something or throw glitter which transforms disturbing imagery into fantastical imaginative variations. I was hoping there would be more to it gameplay-wise. I mean, you do reassemble a vase and play a silly Whac-A-Mole mini-game but that's about all there is to it. There are plenty of decisions to make throughout which affect some minor events that unfold which is cool so I guess you could say that it's a Choose Your Own Adventure game although the decisions that you make don't have as much of an impact as they do in the classic book series. As a result, you could watch a video playthrough and get a very similar experience to actually playing through it.
The main appeal of Little Misfortune by far is the protagonist herself. As an 8 year old girl, she's surprisingly strange in that she reacts unexpectedly to what's presented to her and her quirky accent makes everything she says charming and silly. This is also where most of the humour comes from. Whether you're watching her annoying a Charon-like ferryman or getting stuck in a window as she lets a succession of farts out; it's hard not to laugh out loud. Plus, the goofy visual style is perfectly presented for this kind of unconventional and dark narrative as it manages to come across as both cute and sinister at the same time which must be hard to balance.
Finally, there are a couple of narrative decisions that make Little Misfortune feel hollow at times. First of all, there is some very heavy subject matter presented occasionally. These moments are frequently wrapped in some sort of humour but other times, they're presented in a blunt fashion that will likely make you feel bad for laughing just a short while ago. Instead, I wish that these moments were always handled with humour to some degree because as it is, you'll laugh most of the time then cringe for the rest of it. Last but not least, the story sort of just ends. Sure, some of the plot wraps up in a cool and unexpected way but there are still many aspects that are left unaddressed which makes the ending much less satisfying than it could have been. Maybe there will be a sequel...?
If you have a dark sense of humour then you'll enjoy your time with Little Misfortune's brief and unique campaign. Just don't expect to enjoy any sort of gameplay because aside from the odd interaction, there really isn't anything to do besides watch and laugh.
- + Hilarious protagonist
- + Utterly strange world with a fantastic dark sense of humour throughout
- + Unique visual style
- - Extremely minimal gameplay
- - Some of the heavy-handed subject matter feels out of place
- - Unsatisfying conclusion