You have probably heard of the Five Nights at Freddy’s, an iconic horror survival game with murderous animatronics. Due to its popularity, the game had many copycats over the years. Most of those titles are made by fans who wanted to show how much they appreciate the original, and they were free to play.
In CASE: Animatronics, the players take the role of an experienced detective John Bishop who is trapped in the law enforcement department surrounded by killer animatronics. The goal is to survive the night while roaming free around the police station. This is unlike the Five Nights at Freddy’s since there you are limited to one room and number of surveillance cameras.
Now the game has a lot of loose ends that it doesn’t even bother to answer. Bishop was locked in the police station by a crazed man who also turned animatronics into murderous villains with an artificial intelligence he created. Instead of calling for backup, the detective simply accepts the situation and goes along with it like something like this happens all the time. He doesn’t even try to walk out the front door which may be locked but is also made of glass. And trust me, this is more than being a stickler for details.
The gameplay is also pretty simple considering this is also a full-blown Steam game. You duck and hide from scary robots and at the same time complete objectives. You will be able to monitor security cameras from the tablet and thus find out where animatronic fiends are hiding. You will encounter three of them which have the shape of animals: Wolf, Cat, and Owl. In order to beat them, you need to get familiar with their mechanics.
Wolf patrols the halls, Cat is sneaky and creeps out of vents while Owl keeps a watchful eye of your moves. The goal is to avoid them and examine the premises for clues and items, as well as notes that will tell you more about the situation you are in. Although, rather confusingly. Animatronics won’t see you unless you are standing in front of them or if they hear you with their sharp hearing senses. This means that lockers and under the desk space are the prime choices to hide whenever you see them coming.
However, I have to admit that I underestimated this game and thought that hiding at the same place will be wise. It wasn’t. After a while, the animatronics figure out you are using the same hiding place and scare you out of your mind. But after a while, their scaring tactics are not as effective and you start expecting them to show up.
All in all, this could have been a better game if developers put some more thought into it. The dialogue is clichéd, but the villain’s voice actor did an amazing job, however. Game’s atmosphere will not disappoint although it’s nothing new and surprising. But with so many unexplained things, like that ghost at the beginning of the game or a box that shakes when you walk by it, you will feel a little bit tricked and dissatisfied with the story.
Villain’s motivation for unleashing the murderous robots at you is somewhat childish. After all, he waited for so many years to make Bishop pay for not catching his wife’s killer when he was a young detective. And finally, the villain chose a comic book type revenge and made animatronics to torture and kill you in the police station. I guess he could’ve let them chase you anywhere since they were controlled by the program or at your home. It would have been much better if you were called on the disturbance at an abandoned building and then got locked up there with these robots who are chasing you through hallways and rooms you don’t know and need to find your way around. But, the developer chose a different story and unfortunately failed to make any sense.
On the other hand, CASE 2: Animatronics Survival is much more interesting due to the two modes you can play. One of them is an online mode where you can play either as animatronics or a victim being chased by one. The game was released in several months ago this year for Windows and Mac OS X and offers a more dynamic interaction with players. It takes place two years before the first part when a terrible tragedy caused the authorities to close an amusement park. The player takes the role of Jack a man haunted by his past that you must try to save.
You don’t have to play the first game in order to play the sequel, although CASE: Animatronics will give you the picture of what to expect and show you how animatronics behave. While it may not be an impressive title, the game still has its perks and is actually ideal for those new to the horror survival genre.