Five (Freaky and Entertaining) Nights at Freddie’s

Five (Freaky and Entertaining) Nights at Freddies

Minjae Kang, A&E Editor

Back in 2012, a free PC game by the name of “Slender” was popularized all over the country. It became a peak of the growing horror game industry, and since then, the industry has come out with numerous titles, all with unique twists to make players jump out of their seats.
It’s now 2014, and “Slender” is a thing of the past. Instead, “Five Nights at Freddie’s” has recently risen as the go-to scary game. The PC game’s popularity surged as famous YouTubers like Markiplier posted gameplay videos, claiming that the game was the “scariest video game in years.”
“Five Nights at Freddie’s” revolves around a security guard who is working a night shift at a Chuck E. Cheese type venue from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. However, the animatronics that entertain children during the day, come alive at night and slowly make their way to the guard’s room. As the guard, the player must prevent the animatronics from entering the room.
However, the game presents a new aspect of horror gaming that adds to its fear factor. The player cannot move; he/she can only check the cameras monitoring the animatronics, and close doors and turn on lights for when the evil robots come at the door. All of these actions help prevent or slow down the animatronics from reaching the room.
“The game is really different from others,” said Nicklaus Kim, a junior who is a fan of horror games. “‘Slender’ got old a while ago, and this one gives a fresh take on horror gaming. The animals are pretty creepy.”
There are a total of four animatronics: Freddie Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. When cameras are on them, these characters cannot move, but when the player is not watching the monitor, they rush over to different rooms, getting closer. The player’s monitor has access to cameras in all of these rooms, and the player is forced to keep their eyes on all the rooms to make sure that the animatronics aren’t advancing. When an animatronic gets to one of the two doors to the security guard’s room, the player can close the door, making the animatronic head back to another room.
However, there is a power meter that constantly decreases throughout the night, and it winds down faster with camera use and closed doors.
The player must consider all these factors when trying to survive until 6 a.m. when the shift ends. Like the title of the game, there are five nights that have increasing difficulty. But there is a surprise; when the five nights are complete, an extra sixth night level appears, which is even harder than the first five nights.
There is even a seventh night option that unlocks at the end of the sixth night. Titled “Custom Night,” this level allows players to adjust each of the four animatronics’ difficulties. Nonetheless, even the most skilled players find it challenging to make it that far.
“I’m stuck on night four,” said Kim. “It’s hard to watch the animals and the power at the same time.”
Overall, the thrill in this unique game is enough to keep players at the edge of their seats. When an animatronic gets into the security room, it jumps out at the screen, making you jump as well. The most chilling thing about the game is its creepy nature; imagine an evil Chuck E. Cheese attacking you.
With titles like this one, the horror game industry seems to still be growing after the first hit of “Slender.” In fact, YouTubers like PewDiePie (most subscribed to channel), and Markiplier make most of their videos playing horror games. They appeal to not only those playing but to spectators as well because of their ability to maintain a level of intensity throughout. Even the bravest gamers are reluctant to play games like “Five Nights at Freddie’s” alone in a dark room.
“I started playing flash horror games that Markiplier featured in his videos,” said Leo Rassool, a junior. Rassool doesn’t consider himself much of a gamer, but was intrigued by the intensity of horror gaming. “His [Five Nights at Freddie’s] videos were really entertaining, so I ended up getting it.”
Horror gaming is gradually building a wider fan base. The future looks promising, especially with today’s next-gen gaming systems and technologies, like the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for 3D gaming. As a newly reformed genre of gaming, horror gaming incorporates raw horror through jump-scares, gore, suspense, and creepiness. With these factors, developers are creatively finding ways to keep gamers on edge.
Horror games usually lose their playability after one or two playthroughs, because the scares don’t affect players as much as they continue to play. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, because PC horror games are usually cheap, with comparable prices to that of games on the App Store. In fact, “Slender” is a free download, and “Five Nights at Freddie’s” is only 5 dollars.
All in all, “Five Nights at Freddie’s” is a treat for horror gamers, and it reminds us of the growing horror gaming industry and of all the different shapes and forms that horror gaming can take.