Little Red Lie
Top Critic Average
Little Red Lie is a fantastic narrative told over two different sides that will hit home often enough to exhaust you mentally.
Little Red Lie is a difficult game to recommend without qualification. It's uncomfortable, confronting, and just about the furthest thing away from a rollicking good time imaginable. And yet, if you're willing to go on its journey, sharp writing and a laser thematic focus will force you to re-examine some of the reasons you lie, and some of the things you lie about.
Developer Will O'Neill's bluntness fulfills Little Red Lie's philosophy of being honest no matter what.
Cut Little Red Lie's length in half and dial up the subtlety in the plot, and I think it really could have been a great black mirror into the world today. What it did do was instill a sense that I am better than either of these people that I was forced to spend time with. Little Red Lie is not a good game. There's hardly what one would call a “game” here at all, but the experience could prove to be valuable, if you can stomach rampant pessimism and negativity. I'm having a very hard time parsing exactly how I feel about Little Red Lie. As a game, it's imbalanced, awkward, and boring. I don't think I can recommend it to anyone, but I might have been glad to have gone through it? It's certainly an experience I will never forget, but then again, so was getting run over by a car.
The lack of caution occasionally leaves Little Red Lie feeling more like a rant than a cohesive drama, but also fuels the game's many, caustic insights. Will O'Neill is the rare example of a modern game-maker with something to say. And although not every word of it is trenchant, or even entertaining, it's all worth listening to.
If you can deal with a huge dose of pessimism, there is a solid, thought-provoking story here. It's not a pleasant experience, though.
Review in Polish | Read full review
Little Red Lie is a very interesting release on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita that will definitely make you think about life and your actions. Its theme and the narrative in the stories of Sarah and Arthur will hit a bit too close to home for some, but that only means the story is believable and rooted in reality. It will make you feel uncomfortable, it will make you feel a bit depressed, and it will make you take a look at how you behave in your day to day, which is definitely not something many games can manage to do.
You'll feel deflated – if not outright miserable – after playing it, but it's also a truly masterful example of writing and storytelling, and it's the kind of game that people should play, because it will prove to be genuinely challenging and, hopefully, encourage them to think a little more critically of the world around them.
Overall, it is an interesting story that needs to be heard, but probably not one that will live with you for a long time.
I cheekily titled this review “A Novel Game.” While it is assuredly a unique experience in gaming, it’s also literally a novel game. The device you play Little Red Lie on, the graphics, the way you control the character and interact with the environment, it’s all a vehicle for you to read the story that developer Will O’Neill has penned. And there's nothing wrong with that. While I would have loved to see Little Red Lie take advantage of the medium and include more actual gameplay, I understand that's not the way the game was designed. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path with a heavy focus on character and narrative, give Little Red Lie a look. If you’re a gamer looking to read more, I actually think Little Red Lie is the perfect way to facilitate and reconcile a love of gaming and the desire to read. This title won’t appeal to everyone, but to those that do take the plunge, a distinctly rewarding game awaits, especially if you’re able to talk about it afterwards.