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As a horror fan, it’s weird that I love horror movies but don’t want to play horror games. It is simple, really. In Horror Movies, you are simply watching someone answering a mysterious knock and opening the door. In Horror Games, you are the one who is going to open the door, knowing the possibility that it will be you who is going to be attacked.
Maybe that is the reason why I prefer watching some famous YouTubers’ Let’s Play when it comes to horror games. When the first FNAF game was released, it was an instant hit. Its constant jump scares and mysterious lore is a goldmine for many YouTubers, who waste no time posting their reactions online.
FNAF become a Horror Empire, spawning multiple video games and inspiring other people to produce their own indie horror games. One of those games that have recently become popular is Playtime Poppy. Many fans pointed out the similarities between the games in terms of themes and premises.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss the differences and similarities between the two popular indie horror video games. Be careful in reading because it is filled with a lot of spoilers for both games, so be warned.
Bottom Line Up Front
Poppy Playtime is the newest indie horror game made by MOB Games. It’s a survival horror video game wherein the player investigates an abandoned toy factory over the disappearance of its staff almost a decade ago. Players must solve puzzles and survive against the toys that kill them.
As the game grew in popularity, many fans pointed out its similarities to another indie horror game, Five Nights at Freddy’s. Like Poppy Playtime, the FNAF revolves around the player trying to survive a night in a restaurant filled with killer animatronics.
It’s natural the fans of both games tried to compare each other due to their similar premises. So, this article will dwell on both games’ strengths and weaknesses.
Before We Talk
Before we talk, this article is subjective based on my personal opinions on both games. What is scary for me may not be for you and vice versa. Don’t worry, though, since I am going to explain why I made those decisions – it’s all up to you whether you agree or not.
Five Nights at Freddy’s has been around for years and has already grown an empire within the horror genre. To make it fair for Poppy Playtime, I am comparing it to Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach. Why? Because FNAF: Security Breach is the FNAF universe’s latest installment. It is the game closest to Poppy Playtime in gameplay and release date.
Main Differences Between Playtime Poppy vs FNAF
The main differences between Playtime Poppy vs FNAF are:
- Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach allows players to freely roam the map, whereas Playtime Poppy requires players to solve a puzzle before the area is unlocked.
- Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach offers players more strategy in dealing with the animatronics allowing players to come up with a strategy, whereas Playtime Poppy has more linear gameplay and is heavily reliant on the Grabpack.
- Five Nights at Freddy: Security Breach is set on a map filled with neon lights because the Pizzeria is only closed for the night, whereas playtime Poppy is set in an abandoned factory; nobody is meant to be roaming in that place.
- Five Nights at Freddy is a complete game with an upcoming DLC, whereas Playtime Poppy is divided into multiple chapters. Currently, Playtime Poppy has two released chapters available on Steam.
Gameplay is probably a critical aspect of video games. You must make your gameplay unique and entertaining to grab your viewers’ attention and maintain it.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
‘Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach’ is the latest FNAF game. Released in 2021, it is the first-ever free-roaming game in the series. What it means is that this is the first FNAF game wherein the protagonist can move across the map.
The previous games made the protagonist be stuck in a room and hope no one enters it and stuff his corpse in the machine.
Huge Map with Interesting Challenges
The Pizzeria is very large. If you don’t memorize the map, you can easily get lost (and you will get lost a lot). Each part of the map will lead you to numerous interesting challenges and give you enough soul-leaving fright.
In the previous FNAF games, it is game over when the animatronics are already inside the room. In FNAF: Security Breach, the game offers the players many tricks to escape the murder bots roaming the Pizzeria. This allows players the freedom of how they want to play the game.
More In-game Actions and Options
When being pursued by an animatronic, players are given a choice; find somewhere to hide or do the classic horror style of trying to outrun them. You can even use the Fazer blaster to temporarily stun animatronics giving you time to escape. If all things fail, you can temporarily go inside Freddy, but only temporarily.
Other gameplays harken back to the original games, including closing the door to block the animatronics and security cameras to monitor them. It’s a great reference to the original games. The game also features myriads of puzzles you must solve to complete missions. Although some of these puzzles are fun, I think they loaded tons of them, and it felt more like a puzzle game when I played it for the horror.
Favorite Part: Boss Fights
My favorite part of the game is the Endoskeletons boss fight. It is probably the scariest and the best part of the game. The gist of this ‘boss fight’ is to look directly at the Endoskeletons.
They move extremely fast and kill you before you know it. The only way for you to stop them is by looking at them directly because they can’t move. They are inspired by the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who and SCP-173 – both creatures that I have nightmares about growing up.
Disadvantage: Lack of Autosaves, too Many Pseudo-Tutorials
Another problem with ‘FNAF: Security Breach’ is too much handholding. The game waste no time pointing at what thing you need to click. Every. Single. Time. The instructions cannot be skipped, so you need to wait for the voice-over to be finished.
There are also some parts of the game wherein they don’t explain much at all. One infamous example is that there is ZERO information on the map. I don’t know where I am supposed to go to complete some objectives because the information on the map is very few. Even Elden Ring’s map gives clues as to what lies on that part of the map, even without icons.
The worst frustration with the game is the lack of checkpoints and autosaves. You need to manually save the game in certain ‘boxes’ that can be found all over the map. Later in the game, these boxes cannot be found anywhere, meaning you go back to 6 am if you die.
In a game that is unpredictable, extremely buggy, and heavily reliant on trial and error, this could be catastrophic. Eventually, doing it over and over would make the game feels more like a chore than a game.
Many people pointed out that Poppy Playtime and FNAF Franchise are really similar. Both of them have murderous bots roaming around at night. Faceless protagonists are trying to solve mysteries about a bunch of missing people – who turn out to be inside these very robots. And lots and lots of jump scares.
Fresh, New Game Mechanics and Exciting Minigames
But that is where both games had in common. Gameplay-wise, both games are actually distinct from one another. Poppy Playtime seems to have a much more linear direction compared to FNAF: Survival Breach. Certain areas in the game could only be unlocked once you completed a specific puzzle.
Speaking of puzzles, Poppy Playtime has lots of them. Earlier in the game, players are given a device called GrabPack, a pair of extendable hands that can grab distant objects and be used as a conductor at times. The Grabpack solves multiple puzzles that require reconnecting electricity or getting stuff in place.
The minigame called ‘Statues’ from Chapter 2 is definitely the best part of the game so far. It is like the ‘Red Light, Green Light’ from Squid Games. You need to reach the exit before the caterpillar catches you, but you need to move only when the room is dimmed and stop when lit.
My brain was telling me, ‘come on, come on’ every time I stopped when the room lit because I heard the caterpillar coming closer and closer. It was like a worm crawling towards my ear which made my spine shiver.
Disadvantage: too Many Puzzles to Solve
My problem with Poppy Playtime’s gameplay is that it is 70% made up of puzzle games. I’m not saying puzzle games are a bad thing. It took me away from the horror – at least in the first chapter.
What makes Playtime Poppy shine for me are the chase scenes. Huggy Wuggy was animated so well that it instantly made me scream when it first popped up. The chase scene was also inside the ventilation system, making it feel very claustrophobic – intensifying my sheer terror.
My Verdict on the Game Play
In terms of gameplay, I’m going to go with FNAF: Security Breach. As much as I love the Caterpillar Game from Poppy Playtime, FNAF: Security Breach offers more gameplay and choices for the players than the former. FNAF: Security Branch also has varying puzzles, tools, and rooms that encourage exploration.
In my opinion, Poppy Playhouse minigames are short and non-challenging. And puzzles made up most of the game’s time, making it feel more like a puzzle game than horror.
FNAF: Security Breach’s gameplay has the potential that could make it into a great game. However, the game has plenty of flaws that lower its quality compared to other notable horror games.
The game has plenty of game-breaking bugs, the inability to save at will, and bad ai that did not make it into a great game. I died many undeserving deaths because of said bugs, and I am not willing to replay only to die due to another game-breaking bug.
Horror and Atmosphere
There are plenty of video game genres that you can choose from, each with different goals and ways to enjoy them. Horror games are made to scare players – or watch others scream if you love the genre but are afraid to play them.
The FNAF juggernaut forged an Empire within the horror genre, dominating the rest of its competitors. In this section, I’m going to discuss which games are scarier. Is it the FNAF Franchise’s latest installment? Or is it the new challenger of the Horror Genre, Playtime Poppy?
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
The Five Nights at Freddy’s has been one of the most popular horror games in recent memories. Its simplistic plot and unpredictable jumpscares made it become a Youtuber goldmine for views.
FNAF’s Claim to Fame: Jump Scares, Animatronics Character Design
The secret to FNAF’s success is that they are the first to use animatronics as the centerpiece of their horror. They are the first to see that beneath the huggable animatronics lies inner darkness full of wires and oil. Fast-forward a few years, and we are introduced to their latest installment, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach. The question now is, is it scary?
Well, sort of. FNAF: Security Breach has tons of jump scares like its previous predecessors – and sometimes, I was caught off guard despite being a veteran of these games. But I think the jump scares were quite toned down than the previous incarnations.
Animatronics Have a Rather Distinct Design
I think jump scares are not as scary in Security Breach due to the animatronics’ slick design. They resemble more cartoon figures than animatronics. It is much less horrifying because they don’t resemble the creepy animatronics we saw as kids eating at Chuck N’ Cheese or on a trip to Disneyland.
The less they are closer to reality, the lesser we can relate and be horrified by it. Serial Killers are terrifying because they are everywhere, and we don’t know that some random joe you talked to yesterday was one. The previous FNAF games are telling us that maybe the reason why the robotic Mickey Mouse years ago was looking at you is that he wants you dead.
Another reason why the FNAF: Security Breach is not horrifying is because of the general atmosphere. When looking at the massive room, there are a lot of staff bots everywhere moving around the rooms, making the environment a bit lively. You are not alone, but not in a scary way.
Off-Putting Horror Element: Bad Dialogues, Talking Animatronics
My biggest pet peeve with the new game is that the animatronics CAN TALK. Good dialogue can make scenes more intimidating and unsettling. Bad dialogue can break the immersion if it is especially eye-rolling.
I think they are a lot more unsettling if they don’t talk at all because you can’t relate, and you can’t understand their motive. What you do know is that they are there simply to kill you. The Fear of the Unknown is a powerful tool for the horror genre; taking it away loses the suspense.
The game has so much potential to become THE horror game. The minigame with the Endoskeletons is probably the best part of the game. Not only do you need to find the exit, but you also need to do it without losing sight of the Endoskeletons.
Poppy Playtime began with a video introducing to us the titular doll. Poppy telling the kid that she is a real girl sounds more like a cry for help than an innocent quote. It is creepy and unsettling and a solid start for the game. The factory appears to be abandoned, but I am pretty sure that I am not alone, something is lurking in the empty halls, and I am not going to wait until something is going to kills me.
Poppy Playtime’s Claim to Fame: Sinister Setting
My favorite part of the game’s setting is the main room. The general atmosphere becomes much more sinister. Huggy Wuggy is standing right in the center of the room, and boy, is he HUGE.
But much of the horror quickly faded away when I left the room. I was so busy solving puzzles that I completely forgot that something lurks in the shadow. The atmosphere is still unsettling, but nothing pressures me to solve the puzzles quickly. There are no stakes at all.
Best Element: Nail-Biting Narrative, Simple Gameplay
I like how they build up Chapter 1’s climax. When I returned to the main room, I became paranoid – and many do when seeing Huggy Wuggy disappear. And when he did reappear, it was probably one of my top 10 scariest moments in my life. Huggy Wuggy suddenly appearing from the dark hall made me scream in terror.
Huggy Wuggy’s animation is so well made because of how life-like he moves. It certainly made the ventilation chase much more terrifying. The climax felt claustrophobic, adding up the sheer horror of the game.
Chapter 2 also has its fair share of terror-inducing parts – especially the Caterpillar’s game. Your goal is to reach the end of the room and not be caught by it. But what makes it challenging is that you must stop every time the room is lit – but the caterpillar keeps coming after you.
Mommy Long Legs, the main antagonist of Chapter 2, looks disturbing due to her long tentacle-like limbs. I don’t find her scary because she talks – and her quotes felt cheesy and forced.
Recommended Horror Indie Game to Play
Overall, Poppy Playtime is scary in certain parts. An indie game with a relatively bigger budget, its animation is topnotch and made me immersed in the horror game. However, I’m usually busy solving puzzle after puzzle, slowly taking away that fright.
My Verdict on Horror and Atmosphere
In terms of horror elements and atmosphere, Poppy Playtime gave me the same fear and dread as playing the original FNAF games. Despite the puzzles, I still dread entering new rooms and challenges because of the eerie atmosphere the abandoned factory gives.
The chase scene in Poppy Playtime is the ultimate highlight of the game. I was on the edge of my seat, attempting to flee from Huggy Wuggy, and Momma. The models were well-animated, making the chase scene even more terrifying.
FNAF: Security Breach gave us a bright and vibrant map that hides its horror from the eyes of the protagonist. It is one of the most ambitious games ever made by the FNAF franchise, but sadly their horror element has been toned down to be more appealing to kids and pre-teens.
Characters and Story
The FNAF games became famous worldwide despite their simplistic gameplay and their lore. There are plenty of mysteries sprinkled throughout the games that fans love to piece together. The question now is how good is the story of their latest installment, and how does it compare with Playtime Poppy?
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
The story is that a homeless child named Gregory wanders the massive Pizzaria to find an exit. The Animatronics become hostile mysteriously, and Gregory must avoid becoming another dead child in the FNAF Universe.
Gregory is not alone in the Pizzeria. Glamrock Freddy is one of Gregory’s allies who occasionally helps him with challenges and is probably the friendliest animatronic in the game. We also have the Pizzeria’s guard named Vanessa, the only other human character featured in the game.
The game features multiple endings depending on the player’s choice allowing for multiple replays to explore all of them
Playtime Poppy’s story is not yet done because the game is currently in its second chapter. The gist of the story is that the protagonist went inside an abandoned company once owned by Playtime Co.
The player investigates what happened to the staff that disappeared from the factory ten years ago. After defeating Huggy Wuggy after an intense chase, the player discovers Poppy encased in a glass and frees her. Poppy thanked the player and helped the latter escape from the factory.
The plan derailed when Momma intervened and forced the player to play her games. Momma attempted to kill the player after accusing them of cheating. However, she was caught by a grinder and was killed in the process. A mysterious claw grabbed Momma’s corpse.
Poppy Playtime Chapter 3 is expected to be released sometime around 2022 or 2023.
My Verdict on the Characters and Story
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach storyline is far superior to Playtime Poppy. The game introduced us to a set of fun characters such as the adorable Glamrock Freddy, security guard Vanessa, and the return of an antagonist of the previous games.
Security Breach gave us a beautiful friendship between Gregory and Glamrock and how it evolves throughout the game. The game also features numerous endings that players can choose from, allowing the players to replay and explore the other storylines.
Playtime Poppy is a lot less engaging than Security Breach. The lore felt a bit cliche with the evil corporation abducting people and turning them into toys, considering it has been done before by FNAF.
Ironically, my favorite character in Playtime Poppy is Huggy-Wuggy. He is feral, violent, and probably non-sentient, but he made the first chapter more interesting with his presence. I’m afraid I can’t say much about Mommy Long Legs because her dialogue removes my immersion.
Final Verdict: Which is Better?
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach is a better game than Playtime Poppy. Security Breach is perhaps the most ambitious game the FNAF Franchise has ever made, paving the way for more free-roaming FNAF games.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach has better game mechanics. The game has many items and actions that can be used to evade the animatronics, allowing players to strategize. Playtime Poppy’s gameplay was much more restrictive and was essentially a ‘Point A to Point B’ type of game.
The Five Nights at Freddy also has dynamic characters that people care about, especially Glamrock Freddy and his friendship with Gregory. Playtime Poppy also has characters like Huggy Wuggy and Poppy herself, but their characters are not engaging and original.
Security Breach is not perfect. The game is riddled with game-breaking bugs, confusing instructions, and bad ai made that made the game very frustrating to play.
Playtime Poppy has the potential to become a great indie horror game. With a relatively bigger budget, I expected more for what I got from the game than playing some puzzle and chase scenes. The game has good animation; the monsters feel alive in this game.
Like Security Breach, Playtime Poppy also has many bugs, which is a surprise because it is a short game.
Closest Alternatives: What Games to
If you are done playing both games, here are my recommended alternatives that have similar elements and gameplay.
FNAF: Security Breach
- Hello Neighbor
- Resident Evil 8
- Alien Isolation
- Bendy and the Ink Machine
- Song of Horror
- Murder House
Question: Is FNAF: Security Breach and Poppy Playtime the Same Universe?
Question: Where Can I Buy Both FNAF: Security Breach and Poppy Playtime?
Question: Is there a Cross-over Between FNAF: Security Breach and Poppy Playtime?
Playtime Poppy vs FNAF: Conclusion
FNAF: Security Breach and Poppy Playtime seem to have similarities in terms of lore and premise. Both games have the protagonist explore a seemingly empty building that turns out to be inhabited by murderous toys and machines.
But that is where the similarities end. Gameplay-wise, FNAF: Security Breach offers many choices that players can pick to progress the game. Players can choose which pathway and story missions they can undertake first. Playtime Poppy is more linear in terms of gameplay and story progress. The game is filled with puzzles that the players must solve to progress – or die if you took so long to finish it.
I think FNAF: Security Breach is superior in both Story and Gameplay. Its horror has been toned down to make it friendlier with a younger audience.
Playtime Poppy is superior in horror and atmosphere. The factory’s darkness makes players paranoid about what is hiding behind it. Solid animation and unsettling character designs made it a great horror game in its own right.