Five Nights at Freddy’s
When Five Nights at Freddy’s was released back in 2014, no one could have foreseen the popularity it would amass. In fact, the game’s creator, Scott Cawthon, had never developed a horror game before and much of the idea for FNaF stemmed from negative reviews of his previous game, wherein many characters were said to look like “a scary animatronic animal.”
In Five Nights at Freddy’s, the player takes control of a night security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a fictional entertainment restaurant very similar to places like Chuck E Cheese. The player must attempt to survive each night by keeping a close watch on security cameras and using the building’s limited power to close doors in an effort to keep out the malfunctioning animatronics.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
Freddy and the gang return in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, where they are joined by six new animatronics. FNaF 2 was actually released in November 2014, a month earlier than its originally intended date of December 2014, and is a prequel to its predecessor. The game also received much praise with the inclusion of many more story elements such as the death mini-games and the introduction of the series’ true antagonist, the infamous “Purple Guy.”
FNaF 2 also saw reworked gameplay with the removal of the door closing mechanic. Instead, players find themselves inside an open room that the animatronics can wander into. In order to escape detection you have to don a hollow Freddy head and trick the bloodlusting death machines into leaving you alone. For the ones that don’t fall for the disguise, you have a trusty Flashlight that can reset the robotic systems and send them away. But be sure to wind the creepy music box, lest you face the wrath of the mysterious Puppet.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 3
Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 was released on March 2, 2015, which was odd at the time as a demo for the game was given to select YouTubers just hours beforehand. The game is set 30 years after the events of the first and saw the location moved from a pizza restaurant to a fully ironic, horror-themed attraction called Fazbear’s Fright. In the story, the staff of Fazbear’s Fright uncover a deteriorated yellow rabbit animatronic name Springtrap, which attempts to enter the office to, presumably, murder you. FNaF 3 has the largest storytelling component compared with the series and even goes so far as to contain multiple endings.
FNaF 3 is unique in that Springtrap is the only new animatronic to appear in the game and is the only one that can actually cause a game over. The other animatronics do appear, but as phantoms that don’t kill you and instead cause your equipment to malfunction. As with the previous installment, there are no doors to control, however the player must manage three systems—cameras, audio, and ventilation—in order to stay alive and return to the night shift the next day, because there are clearly no other jobs in the known universe that would pay as much as this one.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4
The fourth entry in the series, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4, followed the trail of its ancestors in that its release was originally scheduled for October 31, 2015, but was push up twice and became officially available July 23 of the same year. FNaF 4 is the first title to bring players to a very, very different setting, moving away from a security office and into a child’s bedroom. The story also takes a new direction, focusing on a young boy who suffers a traumatic injury, with the “Purple Guy” showing up only briefly.
The game’s mechanics also saw big changes as the former systems of managing multiple cameras and levels of power have all been done away with in favor of more simple, yet still difficult objectives. The player is equipped with an unlimited use flashlight which can be used to drive off some of the new “Nightmare” animatronics that roam the hallways of your home. Like most scared children, you’ll have to keep an eye on the bedroom’s closet and quickly close it before Foxy gets a chance to attack. Finally, three mini doll versions of Nightmare Freddy will appear on the bed and must be shoo’d away before they have time to enact the darkest Toy Story plot ever told.
FNaF World was the series’ first official spin-off and is a huge departure from every other game in the franchise. Instead of a point-and-click horror game, FNaF World is a turn-based roleplaying game that made the haunting world of Five Nights at Freddy’s… cute. When FNaF World was released on January 21, 2016, it was met with harsh criticisms over the game’s various bugs and overall unfinished gameplay, which led to the game being quickly taken down from digital storefronts. However, it was re-released on February 8, 2016, as freeware on Game Jolt with a huge update fixing many of the game’s problems.
For all of its issues, FNaF World became a rather fun game to enjoy, especially for free. With over 40 characters from the series—and some from outside the series—to use, the game certainly doesn’t lack a sense of expansiveness the former games struggled to produce. That being said, and as we’ve stated earlier, FNaF World is a very different game in both style and tone. If you walk into this game aiming for heart-racing moments and fear-inducing jump scares, you’re in for a bad time.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location is Cawthon’s next upcoming project and is intended to be released in October of this year. Meant to be less like FNaF World and more like the original series, Sister Location brings in brand new animatronics and a completely different setting, Circus Baby’s Pizza World. Not much is known about the game at this point, however we do know the player will take control of a late night technician who “must enjoy cramped spaces and be comfortable around active machinery.”
A gameplay trailer for the game was released back in May and seems to indicate the player may be granted more freedom of movement to crawl through air ducts and ride elevators. The trailer also shows off the new primary animatronic, Baby, as well as her crew of new “Funtime” versions of the previous ones. Be sure to keep an eye on the game’s Steam page, because knowing Cawthon, the game could just drop tomorrow.