Five Nights at Freddy’s World Review: A Weird Little Spin-Off
Whether you love or hate the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, there is no denying the impact these games have had on indie horror games. With four games and a fifth one in the works, the series has inspired many indie game creators to make their own horror games that either pay homage to the series or are direct fan games of it. For those of you unfamiliar with the games let me give you a quick overview. Basically, you play as a security guard who has taken the night job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, an establishment based on other family restaurants like Chuck E. Cheese, where you must survive the ruthless onslaught of the animatronic characters who wander the premises at night and try to find their way into the security office to murder you.
However, rather than focus on one the main entries of the series, I would like to focus on a spin-off made by the FNAF creator Scott Cawthon called Five Nights at Freddy’s World or just simply FNAF World. I know it may sound ridiculous and downright silly to review a spin-off before one of the main games, but I believe this game has a little more to offer than the other titles. FNAF World is at its core a very basic RPG where you navigate an overworld with a Freddy Fazbear avatar and engage in random battles to gain experience points and new party members.
It’s battles system is what really makes it seem like an unconventional RPG because you cannot choose which party member you want to attack like a traditional turn based RPG, instead you must wait until a party member’s individual command list pops up on your screen then click on the desired action. Plus, you cannot decide which enemy you want to attack unless you are fighting a boss or just one enemy, making every fight a guessing game as to which one of your party members gets to go next. This becomes extremely irritating because it prevents you from creating a tactical battle strategy when fighting enemies or bosses who deal heavy damage. Despite these issues, FNAF World’s battle system is bright and flashy in a good way with barrages of weird attacks flooding the screen in a chaotic wave (BE WARNED: this game has a lot of bright lights and optical effects so do not play it if you are sensitive to this stuff). What I enjoyed a lot about the battle system is that you can have two parties of four characters that can be alternated throughout a fight, so if one of your parties is not getting the job done simply switch them out for the backup you have waiting in the wings.
Every animatronic character from FNAF 1-4 is included in the game and each one offers up their own unique set of abilities when brought into your party; these abilities offer plenty of nuance to the game’s battle system. Like in the Square Enix’s Chrono Cross, abilities are categorized by color, for example, white abilities buff the stats of your party members, purple ones lower the stats of your enemies, and red ones are attacks that affect every enemy on the screen. One the best parts of FNAF world is creating a party that has mix of all these different color abilities to survive some of the more intense battles. You can also buy Bytes with the in-game currency of Fazbear Tokens which are support buffers that give you advantages in battle, they range from being small ships that continuously fire at enemies to medkits that heal the party periodically throughout the course of a fight. In addition, you can deck out your team with Chips which basically serve as your equipment to increase stats or prevent enemies from using certain attacks on you.
FNAF World also has a sense of humor by breaking the fourth wall and making numerous self-referential jokes at itself for being a shameless spin-off of Five Nights at Freddy’s. The entire plot of the game revolves around fixing a big glitch in the game’s programming and the only way to gain full access to the game’s overworld is by navigating through strange glitchy mazes that resemble disorienting optical illusions. On top of that, the game is full of easter eggs and bizarre mini-games that are both hilarious and terrifying.
The one big issue I have with this game are its ridiculous loading times, no matter what action you do from talking to an NPC or switching menus their is always a loading screen shoved in your face. Perhaps the worst loading screen of all is the one that appears when booting the game up, it takes about five minutes to load the game up entirely and it feels like an eternity. I also take issue that you cannot see what your abilities do during a battle. The only way to get a full description of them is if you open up the party menu, but then you have to deal with the another loading screen after exiting the menu. FNAF World is neither a fantastic nor bad game, it is just a broken little RPG. Check it out whenever you get the chance, besides Scott Cawthon made the game free to play and it can be downloaded at Game Jolt (check out the link below).
Game Link: FNAF World at Game Jolt