Hunt down an onslaught of haunted animatronics throughout your real-world environment.
It seems as though every major franchise has received its own location-based mobile AR game as of late. Made popular by Niantic’s hit-sensation Pokemon Go back in 2016, the developing GPS-dependent genre has since grown to include several major properties, such as Jurassic World, Dragon Quest, Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, The Walking Dead, Minecraft, Settlers of Catan, and numerous others.
Add to the list Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery, a new horror-themed location-based mobile augmented reality game that takes the series horrifying cast of haunted animatronics out of the decrepit halls of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria and onto the streets.
Available now for free on Android and iOS, the core concept of Special Delivery is relatively similar to that of past LB AR experiences. Players are presented with a real-time map of their location and travel throughout real-world environments to discover new items, interactions, and various other happenings locked to specific GPS coordinates. The real meat and potatoes of the game, however, are the unsettling “battles” against roaming animatronic monsters.
Represented as blinking red lights on the in-game map, players have the ability to engage in battle once an enemy comes within close proximity of their real-world position. From there, the game switches to AR mode, allowing players to view their physical environment via their device’s built-in camera. Much like the original FNAF experience, players are equipped with a light source running on a limited power source.
With the flashlight turned on, players must scan the environment for hidden animatronics, using small vibrations and subtle audio cues to pinpoint their exact location. As soon as they begin to charge, players must quickly aim their camera at the attacking enemy and activate their zapper to disable the monster before it gets too close. Your shock device features a cool-down lasting several seconds, however, so time your attacks wisely.
Disabling enemies earns you new items and tools, including additional animatronics you can assign to automatically scan your environment for resources that can be traded for new upgrades; just make sure you keep them properly maintained as they are capable of breaking down after extended use. When you’re not collecting the skulls of your robot foes, you can also collect floating material referred to as “bright remnants,” which can be traded in for new improvements for your growing army of animatronic valets.
Players collect bright remnants in AR mode by scanning the environment and picking up the valuable resource using their flashlights. Be careful of the “dark remnants” though; suck up too much of that nasty stuff and it’s game over. Hungry for another battle, but there’s no animatronic foe insight? You can use some of your hard-earned resources to call enemies to your location on-demand, allowing you to hop right back in the action.
Overall, FNAF AR: Special Delivery is a bold attempt at a location-based AR spinoff that, despite its interesting “combat” and unique auto-loot functionality, fails to capture the magic that makes the original PC games so appealing. While the use of an in-game flashlight and dark-colored overlays do a decent job at creating an unsettling environment, regardless of real-world lighting, Special Delivery simply isn’t as scary an experience as its PC and VR counterparts; and, honestly, what’s the point of a FNAF game that doesn’t scare you?
Whereas Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted enhanced the original FNAF experience by more effectively immersing players within the horrifying confines of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, Special Delivery’s use of AR technology has the exact opposite effect.
Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery isn’t a poor location-based AR game by any means; it just isn’t necessary.
Feature Image Credit: Illumix Inc.