Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery teaches old scares new tricks
Ghosts and machetes be damned, the greatest danger faced by a horror franchise is a diminishing return. What terrifies once, scares a second time, unnerves a third and bores a fourth. Because a good, creepy idea is difficult to come by, the savvy horrorista stays fresh by putting the familiar and beloved into new scenarios. Enter Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery.
Fast Times At Fazbears
Fazbear Funtime Services rents animatronics directly to subscribers doors. Unfortunately, the animatronics-familiar FNaF faces are not as benign as previously advertised. They creep in with glowing eyes, ready to merrily murder you, unless you zap them first. After an animatronic is disabled, it is collected for parts, so a player can Frankenstein their own abomination. Send out your new animatronic to menace other players.
The narrative for FNaFAR:SD is extremely basic, the barest possible bones to justify gameplay. The AR (augmented reality) functions pretty simply. Look around the room through the screen of your camera, and when an area turns to static, an animatronic is near. Click the flashlight icon on the bottom of your screen and scan for monsters. When one appears, zap it with the buzzer icon.
Each disabled robot rewards players with lug nuts and bolts. Players collect remnants (shadowy, black smudges) to fuel their own animatronics. The custom designs invade other users games to collect parts and, presumably, scare the pants off unwitting players.
FNaFAR:SD is not concerned with a coherent storyline, and that is a benefit. The game is fun. The characters look wonderful. They blend upsettingly well into the real world, providing some genuine shock when they abruptly appear. Why are they evil? Who cares. Did I sign up for this service? Doesn’t matter.
Good Times with Bad Robots
What matters is that even those unfamiliar with Freddy, Foxie and Bonnie will be creeped out by them and their sudden appearances. FNaFAR:SD is a great introductory game for younger or casual horror fans. There is no gore, and the tone is far closer to the camp of “Child’s Play” than any sincere terror. No one is getting nightmares from FNaFAR:SD.
Building your own robot and attacking other players adds a fun, mischievous aspect. There’s perverse delight in designing something gnarly and crossing your fingers that it will truly scare a fellow player. And who doesn’t want to be simultaneously hero and villain?
Like most free games, FNaFAR:SD offers pay for play options. Players willing to spend actual money can purchase amenities for creating their own animatronic. A perfectly good robot can be created from pieces found in the game, however.
More than just an incredibly long name, FNaFAR:SD is a fun and eerie use of well-established characters, that doesn’t trouble itself too greatly with continuity.
Is it Hardcore?
Exactly as Hardcore as you'd hope.
FNaFAR:SD is a strong testament to keeping a franchise alive. Creepy, campy, fun, it will be enjoyed by pre-existing fans and new-comers alike.