Five Nights at Freddy’s – PC
The game that taught me not to have my face too close to the screen…
Developer: Scott Cawthon
Publisher: Scott Cawthon
Release Date: August 2014
Genre: Point-and-Click, Horror
Nerd Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Five Nights at Freddy’s is like baby-sitting, except the kids are demonic and are constantly trying to maul you to death. Oh wait, that’s real life baby-sitting too. But seriously, this game has become an incredible hit recently so I only felt it necessary to check it out. Damn, it was so worth it. My palms were sweaty, my pulse was irregular, and I felt physical discomfort. That’s the mark of a fantastic horror game.
You take on the role of a security guard, working nights at the famous Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The restaurant is strikingly similar to Chuck E. Cheese’s, in the sense that they both have robotic animal bands that sing stupid birthday songs day in and day out. Your job is simple, really. Sit snug in your office from 12 AM to 6 AM (about 10 minutes in real time), and check the security cameras occasionally. Sounds like easy money, right? Well, there’s a catch. The animatronic characters freely roam about the restaurant at night, to prevent their servers from locking up. Okay, well that wouldn’t be so bad despite the fact that if they run into you, they will not recognize you as human, but as an animatronic skeleton. This will result in them trying to brutally stuff you into a Freddy Fazbear suit, which leads to your death. This is preventable by shutting your doors that are on the left and right side of the office, BUT there’s also limited power at night. So, you must survive these five nights without being shoved into a costume and conserve as much power as you can to survive said nights.
The game is as simple as it gets. Being part of the point-and-click genre, the core gameplay is clicking on security cameras, door lights (which light up the blind spots that the security cameras can’t see), and shutting your doors. However, you’ll find yourself developing intricate strategies between checking the security cameras, turning on lights, etc. just to survive the night. It’s by no means lazy gameplay whatsoever. It’s true, sometimes the characters can be a little predictable when it comes to their movements, but the game compensates for that by finding some way to whack you upside the back of the head. For example, I’ve caught myself keeping track of one character’s movements, which allowed another one to sneak up on me. So pay attention to your surroundings, kids.
What really struck me about this game is how bare bones it is, yet Five Nights at Freddy’s is extremely effective at being horrifying. The characters themselves, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chicken, Foxy the Pirate Fox, and Freddy Fazbear himself aren’t intricately designed either. No real gore is ever shown; instead the game psychologically messes with you. The horror comes from what’s left to the imagination, and our own minds can be a very scary place. Another reason why it’s effective is because it’s targeted at an audience that remembers the pizza chains with animatronic mascots that were popular in the 80’s and 90’s. I had vivid flashbacks of being a kid at a Chuck E. Cheese’s party and being too afraid to go near the stage because those robots are scary as hell. Five Nights at Freddy’s reaches out to that vulnerable part of you and plays on it like a cruel, deadly harp.
The game is a must-have for anyone that loves horror games because this one take the cake… or the pizza. And much like Dark Souls, achieving survival is the greatest feeling in the world. I was very close to buying a plastic tiara and calling myself the “Queen of Five Nights at Freddy’s.”
In addition, there is also an extremely difficult “6th Night” after beating the game. And if you have the gall to beat that, there is an additional night, which is the “Custom Night” that allows you to choose the level of A.I. for our lovable costumed characters. You can make the night as easy or as painstakingly hard as you wish.
Halloween is just around the corner, so if you haven’t played Five Night’s at Freddy’s yet, now is the perfect time to do so.
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