A while back I noticed this little known game on Steam which showed a lot of promise, so I mentally added it to my to-do list and then promptly forgot about it.
I apparently then blinked and this small game became hugely popular and spawned two sequels and engrossing questions regarding the mysterious identity of the puppet and purple man. I am referring to, of course, Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Despite being, apparently, the last person in the whole world to play this game, it was with some excitement that I made the modest investment to download this game. I was a little worried that the game would not live up to the hype that I had heard previously before downloading, but happily this turned out not to be the case.
From the moment the ominous main menu flashes up with its pervasive, fear inducing music and grainy, flickering visuals, I was pretty sure that this game was going to be on to a good thing. For those of you who are not familiar with the premise of the game, I’ll give a brief overview.
You play a security guard taking up a new position as the night watchman at the mysterious Freddy’s restaurant, keeping watch from midnight to 6am five nights a week. Within moments of starting your first shift, a phone call from your predecessor informs you that this job is already more than you might have bargained for. At night, the animatronics which usually entertain the children during the day become more active, wandering around the restaurant. This doesn’t sound so frightening until the phone man informs you that if they find anyone during the night, they will assume that it is a rogue animatronic and will stuff you into an empty robot body full of razor sharp metal and wires, particularly in the face area. As you can imagine, this is invariably fatal.
As the protagonist, you cannot move or interact with the environment at all. All you have available to combat the psychotic animatronic Freddy and his cohorts is a CCTV system of seven cameras located throughout the restaurant and two doors which can be closed electronically. Some of the animatronics move around less when viewed on the cameras, some more so. You also have limited power for the whole night (apparently the company is incredibly cheap indeed, hence the deadly robots), using the cameras and the doors and lights drains the power more quickly. If the power runs out, it’s game over, Freddy is going to kill you.
Essentially, this is a strategy game full of creepy music and chills, not to mention outrageous jump scares when the animatronic that you thought you knew the location of suddenly leaps out of the shadows with teeth bared going straight for the throat. Despite the fact that you know this is likely to happen, it is guaranteed to make you jump every time.
Despite the tame sounding nature of the action, this game is actually fantastic, full of tension and strategy; do you use more power and keep tabs on the CCTV or do you conserve power and hope for the best? I can guarantee that at some point in this game you will be staring at the clock which seems stuck at 4am, just praying that the power will last for a few more hours so that you will survive the night, all the while knowing at the back of your mind that you will be repeating it all again the next night. Not to mention the fact that the difficulty ramps up noticeably with each passing night.
If you haven’t played this game, I would highly recommend as the price is a very modest £3.99 and is definitely well worth the price. Good luck.