Five Nights at Freddy’s
Working part time as a security guard at a pizza parlor sounds like a pretty cozy job on paper. What could be easier than sitting in your office and watching some security cameras from 12 a.m to 6 a.m? Unfortunately, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza is not an ordinary pizza parlor. Its main attraction is the three animatronic robots, Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie Bunnie and Chica Chicken that delight the children during the day. However, after the lights are switched off at night, these three robots have a penchant for roaming the empty rooms and hallways of the pizza parlor. Even worse, they won’t recognize anyone that they encounter in the dark and may just attempt to stuff them into an animatronic suit too.
Five Nights At Freddy’s sees you stepping into the shoes of the unfortunate security guard who is tasked with keeping an eye on Freddy and his cohorts. Switching off the robots would probably have been the most sensible thing to do given their murderous tendencies, but apparently this is not an option due to servos seizing up when not used or something. No problem you say, “I’ll simply leave the lights on and keep the doors to the security office locked until 6 a.m.” Well, this is not an option either as your employers have decided to cut costs by leaving you with a very limited supply of electricity for the night. Not only is this supply slowly trickling away at a constant rate, but if you switch on lights, operate the cameras and lock the doors, then the electricity drains even faster. Unfortunately, you are going to have to do all these things in order to survive, so figuring out what to do for how long is the biggest challenge in the game. Getting stuffed into an animatronic suit might not sound like a horrible fate, until you find out that these suits are filled with wires, gears and other very sharp objects.
Don’t let the title “security guard” fool you into thinking that you have any way of protecting yourself against the prowling robots. Instead, you are confined to a tiny security office where you get to watch the cameras with a mounting sense of dread. There are two open doors on either side of you, both of which has light switches you can turn on to banish the darkness that they conceal. The doors can also be locked at the touch of a button, but as mentioned earlier, doing so will drain the power at an alarming rate. This means that most of your time will be spent looking at the various cameras to see which robots have started to move about and how close they are getting to your safe space. The temptation is great to constantly flick between the cameras, but this is a sure fire way to run out of power long before 6 a.m and witness the horror of your room plunging into darkness before Freddy makes an appearance.
It is a very simple concept, but one that FNAF pulls off with aplomb. Each night starts with a phone call from your predecessor, who in a very matter of fact tone, tells you about the perils of the job. Just when you start to become used to the atmosphere of the game, it also begins to throw a few curve balls your way. The first time we saw Foxy The Pirate making a mad dash for the security office nearly gave us a heart attack and switching on a door light only to see one of the robots staring at you is panic inducing. The entire game is based around jumpscares, so if you are not a fan of them, then you will want to avoid FNAF at all cost. Towards the end of the game it also pulls a few other nasty tricks out of its bag, but we are not going to spoil them here.
FNAF is a pretty impressive horror title for a solo developer, but it is clear to see that it was created on a shoestring budget. The game was made using Clickteam Fusion and it really shows its age. FNAF makes good use of pre rendered visuals to provide the illusion of it being in 3D, but essentially you are staring at a bunch of static pictures for most of the game. There’s not a lot of animations and no way to adjust the resolution of the game either. When it comes to audio, it is good to see that the developer of the game knows that sometimes less is more. Instead of a blaring “horror” soundtrack, the game is eerily quiet, which makes it easier to hear the extremely creepy sound effects. It’s hard not to get sweaty palms when you hear footsteps approaching or the sound of a robot humming to itself in the dark. Of course, the game still makes use of the obligatory “scary” noise whenever there is a jumpscare, which is something you’ll either love or hate.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is not a very lengthy game as you might have already deduced from the title. Each one of the five nights is typically over in less than ten minutes and there is only one “bonus” night if you successfully survive them all. After that you can adjust the difficulty of the game somewhat to make subsequent playthroughs a little more exciting, but that’s about it.
Overall, FNAF is a game that demonstrates that you don’t need a complicated game engine, orchestral soundtrack or lifelike character models to make it spooky. The technical limitations of this game is painfully obvious, but it still manages to provide a very immersive and extremely creepy experience if played under the correct circumstances. If you play close attention you’ll also begin to notice all kinds of interesting details that make the experience even more fun. Obviously, if this type of game is not your cup of tea, then all you will see is a jumpscare filled experience with limited interaction and dated visuals. However, if you do get sucked in then you are in for a fresh and exciting horror experience that is unlike anything else that came before it.
- OS: XP,Vista,Windows7
- Processor: 2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon or equivalent
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Graphics: 1 GB
- DirectX: Version 9.0
- Storage: 250 MB available space