Five Nights at Freddy's is a series that just keeps on going, even when you think there's no new ground to tread. The first game took the world by storm in the middle of 2014, and since then, there's been a grand total of five main sequels and two spinoff games, as well as novels expanding on the lore. The second of the two spinoff games is the latest entry in the series: Ultimate Custom Night. Released just a few days ago for free, Ultimate Custom Night is akin to what Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is for the Smash series. In other words, "Everyone is here!" Considering how many animatronic monsters the entirety of the series has had, Ultimate Custom Night is sort of a love letter to everything that's come before.
Gameplay in Ultimate Custom Night follows the same format to all of the series' main entries. You're in an office, you have a ton of tools at your disposal to fend off the animatronics, and tension is incredibly high, as if you lose, you get jump scared by one of the enemies. The unique twist to the formula for UCN comes in the form of its characters. It wastes no time in getting right to the point; the first screen you see upon booting up the game is the animatronic list, and there's a whopping amount of 50 to choose from. It includes almost everything from the past games, minus a few certain ones here and there. Every animatronic has their own weakness and tricks to tackle, and their individual difficulty levels can be set anywhere from 1 to 20. As I'm sure you can deduce from that, this system allows the truly hardcore FNAF fanatics to take on 50/20 mode, all fifty animatronics at once set to the hardest difficulty.
What keeps the intense challenges from getting too stale is the wild card of Ultimate Custom Night: Dee Dee. Dee Dee is a character who will appear randomly in your play sessions, colorfully and annoyingly announcing that she's switching things up. Once this happens, she will throw in a new animatronic from the roster to shake up your current game, meaning you have to change your strategy to adapt to the new threat. This ensures that players who set up easier games can't relax and rake in the points too much, and no matter how difficult a matchup you make, it always keeps you on your toes. Most interestingly, Dee Dee can also randomly select two secret animatronics that aren't even in the roster, making the real total 52. Complete with voice acting, cutscenes, and a similar graphical style to the recent games, UCN is quite the passion project.
A big FNAF mashup like this makes one wonder if this will be the final entry in the FNAF series. Knowing creator Scott Cawthon, that's probably unlikely. There have been multiple instances in the past of it looking like the series truly was at an end, only for it to surge back with another new game full of secrets. Cawthon has taken to making his latest entries completely free. The last main game to release, Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, was a free to play title that set up a whole new location, bizarre new simulation mechanics, and a never-ending amount of more questions and secrets to dig into. Ultimate Custom Night looks to be following that route as well, despite its nature as more of a spinoff title. You can play it completely free on Windows PC via Steam, and chances are, it'll get some updates going forward too. All the other games are also available on Steam, and if you're of the more mobile persuasion, FNAF 1, 2, 3, 4, and Sister Location are all playable on iOS and Android devices.