WBG Score: 6.5
Player Count: 2-4
Published by: Funko Games
Designed by: Prospero Hall
Five Nights at Freddy's started as a survival horror video game back in 2014. It was a cult classic due to it's "jump scare" moments and creepy animatronic characters. Obviously, like anything with a hint of success, this has now become a board game! There are a few out there. Two listed on BGG, and then this one, currently not listed strangely. But very much in existence, look, there's the box...
And a pretty cool box too! It has a pizza box style and opening, and the fake tear so you can see the minis within. Very tempting on the shelf! Let's get it to the table and see how it plays.
Place the main board and circular scare tracker board into the centre of the table. Each player will choose one of the four characters, placing their mini into the main dinning room, along with the camera standee, and their character token face down into the zero space onto the circular board. Shuffle the Action cards and deal each player three cards, four to Freddy if he is playing. Then place all the item tokens face down on the table and flip five at random, placing them into their corresponding numbered rooms. Then, place all the miss tokens into the bag along with one guard token, and place this by the board. Shuffle the event cards and place them face down on the table, then decide who the starting player will be and give them four of the action tokens. You are now ready to begin.
How to Play
Starting with the first player, players will now take it in turn to run through two steps. First, you will draw two items and place them into the specific room shown on the token. Then, you can take up to four actions. These are to move, pick up items in a room you are in, play one of your action cards, or make an attempt to capture the guard and win the game if you meet the requirements.
When you collect enough items as a free action you can spend these in the required room to increase your characters position on the scare tracker. Each room has it's own requirement, such as two pizzas, three different items, or one of each. If you discard the right items in the right room you can move up the scare ck. This also allows you to flip over the marker to the scary side, meaning you can now attempt to capture the guard. The further up the scare track you are, the better the chance of success you will have. There are only so many times you can attempt this in the game, and if you run out of tries, the guard will win, and all players will loose. So, it is best to get your self up the scare track before you attempt this.
When you are ready to make an attempt at capturing the guard you need to make your way to either room one or two. When there, you can flip the top event card and carry out its actions. This could be a chance to remove some miss tokens or to add a second guard token from the bag you are about to pull from to increase your chances, or you could be given an extra action.
These cards also work as the game timer. When there are no more event cards left, if the guard is still free, all players loose. If there are more event cards left you can then take the bag and pull out as many tokens as your current position on the scare tracker. If you pull out the guard token, you win. If you pull only miss tokens then you must flip over your character token on the scare tracker, re-draw your actions cards up to your hand limit (this is the only way to get them back) and play continues.
Is it Fun?
Playing as one of these scary animatronic characters is a wild ride. If you are a fan of this franchise then I think you will enjoy all the little nods to the videos games. If you are new to this world, and a seasoned board game player, this could be a little simple for you. But if you have not played that many modern board games, you may find the pick-up-and-deliver mechanic, and the build process of developing your scare level a lot of fun.
Pulling the tokens from the bag when someones attempts to capture the guard is a tense and fun affair. Knowing the game could be over right there and then makes everyone focus on the pulls. They become a main part of every game. Obviously this is very much luck based, but you can increase your chances by giving yourself more pulls. I have found that on average, the bag pulls will be attempted three to four times before a game ends. But with the people I have played with, we have all built up our scare level to at least five or six before we made our first attempt. So, this very much depends on the tactics of each player.
The art style in this game is lifted directly from the video games. If you are a fan of that then I think this will be right up your street. When playing with people who had played the video game, they were thrilled by the art. People who had not played the video game understood what was happening, and the reasons for the style. But this is very much geared up for fans of the games.
The four minis included are bright, well made, and look great. They are a little on the small side, but fit the board perfectly. As little collectables for fans of the games, I am sure they will delight many fans.
Each character has its own unique power too. This small amount of asymmetry is a nice addition to the game. It's fun to try the game out with each character and to see how their powers can help you.
I enjoy playing this game on its own merits. I am not a huge fan of the franchise, having only played the VR version a few times, and being genuinely terrified by it! Although my friends did seem to enjoy watching, and filming me play!!
But the board-game version is a fun, simple, family friendly game that plays quickly, usually in around 20 minutes, but offers some real tension. Especially with those bag pulls. Turns move smoothly, and everyone will be involved throughout. Moving, collecting, and upgrading their position on the scare track. Building up to an attempt to capture the guard.
The bag you pull the tokens from is a long paper bag. It's perfect for this mechanic. When your hand and forearm is in it, you cannot see what is in there as your hand will take up all the room. So there is no way to cheat, really! Although, we do give the bag a good shake each time, as per the rule suggestions.
I would recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of the video games, and wants to see how this works in board game format. I can see this being a highly sort after collectable game for the hard-core fans, but one that I hope they have a lot of fun with as well. It could be a great gateway game to bring more video game fans over to board games.
Funko Games are doing some great things with various IP's right now. I am excited to see what they come up with next. One thing you can certainly say is true for all these film and video game conversion, is that Funko always stay true to the source material. And with Five Nights at Freddy's: Night of Frights Game they have certainly done that.