Five Nights at Freddy's
|Five Nights at Freddy's|
|Engine||Clickteam Fusion 2.5|
|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
August 8, 2014
August 27, 2014
September 11, 2014
|Genre(s)||Survival horror, point-and-click|
Five Nights at Freddy's is a 2014 indie point-and-click survival horror video game developed by Scott Cawthon. The game centers on the fictional pizza restaurant Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, where the player must act as a night security guard, defending themself from the malfunctioning animatronic animal characters by tracking their movement through the facility using security cameras.
Five Nights at Freddy's was first released via Desura on August 8, 2014. On August 20, 2014, after it was approved by the service's crowdsourcing platform Greenlight, Five Nights at Freddy's was also released via Steam. Ports have been released for Android and iOS.
The game was praised by critics for being a unique take on the survival horror genre, with a particular emphasis on its simplistic design, along with how its gameplay mechanics and aesthetics contributed to an overall feeling of fear and paranoia. Five Nights at Freddy's was the top-selling game on Desura for the week ending August 18, 2014, and the game became the subject of a number of popular "Let's Play" videos on YouTube. Two sequels have been released, Five Nights at Freddy's 2 on November 10, 2014, and Five Nights at Freddy's 3 on March 2, 2015.
The player must survive their shift, lasting from midnight to 6:00 a.m. (approximately 8 minutes and 36 seconds of real time, 4 minutes and 30 seconds on the mobile and tablet editions), without being attacked by one of the animatronic animal robots roaming the facility. The player, who sits in an office and is unable to move, is given access to a network of security cameras throughout the facility to track the movement of the animatronic robots. Four of the five characters have distinct movement patterns while the fifth, "Golden Freddy", only appears when certain actions are taken; however, most of the characters' movements take place off-screen. The camera feeds are dimly lit and distorted, one of the rooms only contains an audio feed, and the cameras do not cover certain areas of the building, most notably the two hallways directly to the left and right of the player. The player cannot leave the guard room, but can close the doors to defend themselves, and briefly turn on lights in the hallways to check for animatronics. Use of these actions consume the player's limited electrical power; if the power runs out, the cameras become inoperable, the doors open, and the lights go out, leaving the player with no defense against an attack.  Once these things happen, music will play, it will go pitch black, and Freddy will jumpscare the player, losing the game.
The game has five levels comprising five "nights" in the game, which increase in difficulty. Completion of the game unlocks an even more difficult 6th night level, and completion of this level opens up a "Custom Night" level editor where the player can adjust the AI difficulty of the individual characters.
Set in the early 1990s, the main character, whose name is later revealed to be Mike Schmidt, has started a job working as a night watch security guard at the restaurant Freddy Fazbear's Pizza (a pastiche of restaurants like Chuck E. Cheese's). A voicemail message left by Mike's predecessor explains that the animatronic animal characters used at the restaurant, Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and the disused Foxy, are able to roam freely around it at night, because if they were left off for too long, their servo motors would lock up. He also adds that the animatronics were no longer allowed to roam freely during the day following an incident referred to as the "Bite of '87", which apparently involved the loss of someone's frontal lobe. The employee warns Mike that if one of the robots encounters a human, they will automatically assume that it is an endoskeleton that is not in costume yet, and "forcefully stuff them" into a spare mechanical Freddy Fazbear costume, killing the person in the process.
Newspaper clippings in the background of one of the scenes reveal that the restaurant was site to the disappearances of five children whose bodies were never found, after a man dressed as one of the animatronics lured them into a back room and reportedly murdered them. Later, the restaurant received complaints that the animatronics began to smell foul and became stained with blood and mucus around the eyes and mouth, with one customer comparing them to "reanimated carcasses".
Development and release
The idea for Five Nights at Freddy's stems from the negative reception towards Scott Cawthon's previous game, the family friendly Chipper & Sons Lumber Co, where players ridiculed the main character - a young beaver - as looking like "a scary animatronic animal", with reviewer Jim Sterling calling the game unintentionally “terrifying”. Although initially depressed by the poor reception to Chipper & Sons, Cawthon - who had previously mainly developed Christianity-orientated games, eventually used it inspire himself to make something intentionally scarier.
Five Nights at Freddy's was first released via Desura on August 8, 2014. On August 20, 2014, after it was approved by the service's crowdsourcing platform Greenlight, Five Nights at Freddy's was also released via Steam. A port for Android was released on August 27, 2014, via Google Play Store. On September 11, 2014, an iOS port was released. The Windows Phone version was published on December 5.
Five Nights at Freddy's received positive reviews from critics. Indie Game Magazine praised Five Nights at Freddy's for its simple take on the horror genre, noting that its artistic direction and gameplay mechanics contributed to a feeling of "brutal tension"—worsened by how a player may be familiar with similar restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese's, and that "it's an incredibly terrifying experience to try to save yourself from the single jump scare that ends the game". In conclusion, Five Nights at Freddy's was considered a "fantastic example of how cleverness in design and subtlety can be used to make an experience terrifying". However, the game was criticized for taking too long to load when launched.
Omri Petitte for PC Gamer gave Five Nights at Freddy's a score of 80 out of 100, commenting that the game took a "less-is-more" approach to its design, and that while "the AI isn't some masterwork of procedural unpredictability, it would [still] head straight to you and eat your face off, or it'll play around like an innocent child before closing in for the kill. Your mind will fill in the rest." The game's overall atmosphere was praised for emphasizing the fear and suspense of an approaching threat, rather than the arrival of the threat itself as in other horror-oriented games. However, the gameplay of Five Nights at Freddy's was criticized for becoming repetitive once a player masters it, as there is "not much more to expect beyond managing battery life and careful timing of slamming doors shut, so those with steely willpower won't find anything else past the atmosphere of it all." Ryan Bates of Game Revolution gave the game a 4.5 out of 5; comparing its camera-oriented gameplay to the 1992 game Night Trap, he praised the game's minimalistic presentation (with particular emphasis on its audio design and lack of music) for contributing to the terror of the game, along with the fact that the "nervous impulses" of its repetitive gameplay would "[reach] almost OCD-type levels, adding to the tense environment." In conclusion, he felt that the game was "horror done right", but that it was too short.
Eurogamer 's Jeffrey Matulef compared the animatronic animals in the game to Weeping Angels — predatory creatures from the universe of Doctor Who — due to their ability to only move when they are not being observed. Softpedia gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, with reviewer Cosmin Anton noting that it "drifts away from the classic first-person horror survival titles", but that the "inability to move combined with the limited power available will make you feel quite helpless in front of those relentless robots that just want to share a bit of their 'love' with you".
Five Nights at Freddy's 2
Five Nights at Freddy's 2 was released on Steam on November 11, 2014, earlier than the original planned release date of December 25, 2014 due to issues with releasing the demo. The mobile port for Android was released on November 13, 2014, and the mobile port for IOS was released on November 20, 2014. Set in 1987, the sequel has the player as a different security guard than before. The game features both brand new enemy characters as well as redesigned and degraded versions of the original four enemy characters from the original game. A new mechanic in the game is that the player cannot access doors to close, and instead must put on a Freddy Fazbear mask to avoid being killed by the animatronics.
Five Nights at Freddy's 3
In January 2015, a new image was uploaded to Scott Cawthon's website, teasing a third entry in the series. A short while later, a second image was released, depicting the redesigned animatronics from the second game apparently scrapped. A demo for the game was released on March 1, 2015, with the full game being released hours later on March 2, 2015. Mobile ports were released for Android on March 8, 2015, and for iOS on March 12, 2015.
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