Little Misfortune Review – How a disconnected ending can ruin a game

Little Misfortune is a game that is intended to shock the player. It starts early when the narrator informs the player that the girl at the center of the story is “going to die today.” The girl, Misfortune hears the narrator somehow, but the narrator quickly handwaves it away and starts to directly talk to Misfortune. From there the player takes control of Misfortune on her adventure.

Much of Little Misfortune revolves around moving Misfortune to the right and looking or interacting with every object that appears on the screen. She also will live up to her name causing a lot of trouble in her wake.

But really the core of Little Misfortune is an attempt by the developers to shock or rattle the audience. While the thought that the main character might die today will troublesome people, many of the topics the game brings up feel inappropriate or just awkward. Having Misfortune make a joke about her friend who treated a gun as a toy and made her parents “dead” just feels off.

Granted much of Little Misfortune is attempting dark humor and it can work at points in the game, but it’s done by producing disturbing images or thoughts. At first, this seems ok, Misfortune clearly doesn’t understand what she’s saying and several comments feel like it’s made by a child who lacks a deeper understanding of the world.

However as the game goes on, Little Misfortune continues to explore darker themes and images, but the character of Misfortune also starts to become unlikable. While the opening of the game treats her as a very naive character, later on, she starts to swear often and yells at objects. This doesn’t feel like her character has changed, but rather that someone else was writing the dialogue or the author forgot the voice the character was supposed to have.

The other possibility is the opening/demo was rewritten with her being more naive to interest new players, and the game takes her to a more negative space once the player has passed that initial section.

Yet there’s something that made me want to see what would come next in the game. Whether it be an underground strip club for hamsters or a drug operation run by rats that Misfortune stumbles on, I had to see more because every step of the way left me shocked that the game would reach for that depth.

There’s a point where the player can play with a puppy who has a party hat on, and then suddenly a branch drops killing the puppy. Misfortune then goes to tell the owner at a party, which turns out to just be the dog’s owner who has hung himself… because that’s what this game is. Very dark humor.

Of course, that’s just one possibility, the player can also let the dog go, and a different set of situations play out with the dog snatched by some giant birds.

This decision is just part of the ‘gameplay’. Where Little Misfortune mostly moves to the right, there are several choices and decisions that Little Misfortune has to make. The game promises these choices will change parts of the game, and as stated above that is a different story, but ultimately, that’s all most of the changes are. A slightly different part of the story but not one that will change the ending of the game.

There is an alternate ending it amounts to a single additional scene and is really not a major change.

While the gameplay is standard, and the topics that Little Misfortune deals with is edgy, I feel like there’s one part of the game that holds the entire experience back. The final act of the story.

A majority of the game spends its time following Misfortune as she chases down Benjamin, a fox hat the narrator constantly warns Misfortune about how evil he is. The twist finally arrives where the fox is actually the good guy, and the narrator is the villain isn’t a surprise at all. It’s very clearly shown in the early parts of the game, and the attitudes and actions that both the fox and narrator make this beyond obvious.

What’s worse though is the story completely goes off the rails in the third act, finally introducing who the narrator is as if someone saw the time and had to dash off the ending before leaving work for the day. The final conflict happens with almost no interaction, and then the big reveal happens.

Without saying what that reveal is, I will say it was also very predictable, and yet feels like the entire game was a bit of a pointless journey.

The biggest problem with the ending is that Misfortune is such an utterly unlikable character by that point, that the player will have a hard time worrying about her or wanting her to succeed. Most of the game is about making the player see what an annoying person she has become, the player can’t care about her personal story. At the end of the game when the player has to have connected with Little Misfortune for the final scenes, it’s too late, and the character has lost any relatability.

But more importantly, the ending feels manipulative and obvious, yet the hours played in the game are all unrelated to this big moment.

That’s not to say the ending is done poorly, but much of the final act of the game doesn’t fit with the previous two hours that led to those moments, and the main conflict and finale just can’t reach the player. If the player has decided that they prefer bad things to happen to the main character, which will be what they have to eventually feel if they continue onward with the game at multiple points, then that ending is not successful, but if the player makes that connection they likely will stop playing the game far earlier because it’s just about shock value at multiple points

Ultimately the weak interactive nature and the finale really makes Little Misfortune struggle in the final moments, and it harms the whole experience. While there’s an interesting story, the fact it doesn’t pay off in a meaningful way means the journey itself becomes a bit pointless, and players are left wondering why they spent so long to get to know this character once they understand what’s waiting for them on the other side.

Personally, I was fine spending my time on the game, but I probably wouldn’t recommend anyone else follow in my foot tracks.

I give Little Misfortune an arbitrary

6/10

If you want to see more from me or my coverage of the Humble Choice:

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