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Five Nights at Freddy’s Review

Five Nights at Freddy’s is an indie survival horror game that puts you in the role of the recently hired night-shift security guard of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The main feature of the restaurant is a band of robot mascots entertaining the children during daytime. At night they switch into free-roam mode which makes them behave quite differently…

You have to survive five nights (12 AM – 6 AM) while these animatronic monsters are coming for you (two “bonus levels” can be also unlocked). You won’t find the usual hide-and-seek mechanics of the survival horror genre here. The minimalistic controls only let you close the doors or switch on the lights on either side of your office and you may check out the security camera screens. All of these activities drain power and you have limited battery life so you have to find the balance between stopping the mascots from getting you and dying in the darkness after you have wasted all the juice.

Let me warn you: this game is quite unforgiving! Enemies have their own behavior pattern which is randomized every time. They also become faster and more aggressive as you progress in the story. They will jam your doors, disable cameras, run into your office or sneak inside before you lock yourself in. While the game builds heavily on jumpscares it’s not easy getting used to and still makes you panic in no time. You are desperately trying to manage your resources and avoid a screeching animal attacking your face but the power’s at 20% and there are still three more hours to go…

The rudimentary graphics mostly consist of still images except for the attack scenes but the clever use of noises (e.g. footsteps, the robots groaning, humming or playing music) makes the fact that the mascots only move when you aren’t looking really unnerving.

While the source of danger is revealed immediately there’s also a hidden, much darker lore in the game which can be pieced together from the phone calls you get from another employee and newspaper clippings appearing on walls. Still, it leaves many questions unanswered which is a great idea. If you like psychological horror and don’t mind dying more than a hundred times, get this game!

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