And to think your job before was hard enough...
Those Nights at Rachels 2 is a sequel to Those Nights at Rachels, a free game inspired by the Five Nights at Freddys series. It features similar gameplay to both the previous game and the games that inspired it: you do your best to hide from and survive vicious animatronics (like the type you'd see at a theme park, only murderous). This one takes being a direct sequel seriously, though: after the events of the first game, everything's gone farther, into the very core of your being...
The witching hour
Those Nights at Rachels 2 still features all of the jump scares, twitchy-handed flashlight maneuvers, and darkness you've come to expect from it and games like it. But it doesn't reward you for survival in quite the same way. Sure, your goal is to avoid dying. But what exactly are you running from?
The animatronics that simply chased you before have left you (or at least your character) permanently changed. They stalk you not just from dark corners or from behind closed doors, but they do so in the back of your mind, as well. It's certainly a different take on the tried-and-true formula of survival: you also follow your character as they sink completely into the darkness created by their lurid stint at Rachels...
Something gained, something forever lost
But enough about atmosphere. For now, anyway. Here's the scoop on what Those Nights at Rachels 2 has removed: there's no ex-guard to give you tips, and no stable job to explain why everything is happening. This is the animatronics' night, and what exactly it is is unclear. You can't roam around: this, unlike your job, isn't something you could just leave if not for external factors like the pay. It all follows you.
Practically this means your flashlight is your only way to stay alive. There's no doors you can rely, and most importantly, free roaming has been removed from the game. Your goal is to hide and survive, using both the light you crave and the darkness you're drawn into to survive. But the animatronics have changed as you have: they've been retrofitted, so the same tricks used in the previous game may not work here.
There's a greater focus on lore and story, as compared to the previous game and really its entire lineage. If this review hasn't made it clear, surviving is secondary to coming to grips with what's going on around you, inside of you. In other words, you have to be willing to take in the atmosphere the game provides, more so than ever before.
A night not to remember
That means that Those Nights at Rachels 2 caters to a more specific type of player: one who wants to be not just scared, but horrified. Though you'll certainly have your heart racing and your fingers moving to keep yourself alive, there's more than one reason for that. To really enjoy this entry into the Rachels series, you have to want to understand what's going on.