Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
[Are the first few nights giving you trouble? You’re certainly not alone. Take a look at our Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 tips & tricks guide if you’d like a few pointers.]
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is an incredibly creepy, atmospheric, and downright terrifying game. Virtually every moment spent trying to survive each of its five nights (give or take a couple extras) is incredibly tense as you play cat-and-mouse with nightmarish renditions of the original cast - Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Freddy (plus one or two surprise guests). Problem is I’m actually talking about the PC version.
The core of Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is still the same on iOS. You’re still running back and forth between two bedroom doors, a closet, and a bed while trying to use your flashlight to drive away the horrific monsters that are stalking you. And you’ll still get grabbed if you don’t flashlight enough (or if you flashlight too soon). What’s disappointing is that the animations have been stripped down so much it’s practically like watching a slideshow. This doesn’t spoil the tension, but it does lessen it a fair bit.
It was also a shame to find that the old computer-looking mini-games that contain about 99% of the story are totally absent. It’s puzzling to me, seeing as these types of mini-games were included in Five Nights at Freddy’s 3’s mobile release, and they’re arguably even more important this time around. I get the need to save on space and processing power but I think Scott was a little too accommodating to older devices with this release.
Then there’s the interface. I hate it. I hate it so much. I don’t hate how it works - I actually think it controls incredibly well on touch screens - but I hate how it looks. There are these boxes all over the screen reminding you to double-tap here or tap and hold there, and they never go away. Keeping them in place for the first night makes perfect sense but why would we need these gaudy reminders getting in the way for the entire game? And why isn’t there at least an option to turn them off? They don’t get in the way of the gameplay at all, which is good, but having text boxes floating all over the place really breaks the atmosphere.
All that being said, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 still gets the job done pretty well. The use of sound is excellent despite the clips feeling a little tinny. Those moments when you’re at the door, staring into pitch darkness, straining to listen for the telltale signs of breathing before you click on your flashlight, are incredibly intense even if the jumpscares are little more than two or three frames of animation on a two second loop. And while the story mini-games are missing I do appreciate the inclusion of the one that has you trying to stop Plushtrap in the right spot in order to shave two hours off the following night.
If it didn’t have so much missing content (and animation frames) I’d say Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 could very well be the best in the mobile series. It grew on me a lot once I was able to get past the terrible animation, lower-quality sounds, and obnoxious interface buttons (my palms were honestly sweating by night four), but it could’ve been so much better.