A few weeks ago, after a discussion with a friend of mine about how we had no clue what our kids were talking about, I decided to look into this game that our kids had never played, but knew so well. Yes, it took me a year to decide to look into it further. I guess because I realized the stupid bear is not going away anytime soon. Slenderman (another thank you to YouTube) went quickly. Salad Fingers, even faster. Freddy? Oh no, he's everywhere, and the kid now has a "facing my fears" fascination with him that I totally get because I am the same way. I had assumed this was a video game and went to Amazon to look it up. Nope, it is a app. Purchasable for $2.99 in your app store. I downloaded it to my phone so there will be less chance of the kids finding it as I do not let them play games on my phone.
While the five year old is at school, I settle in a corner away from the two year old to begin game play. First, we see a rather goofy looking (to me) bear, then a very dramatic warning about the game containing flashing lights, loud noises and jump scares. "Ooooo," I think, "So scary." Insert huge eye roll from me. Opening screen and no instructions. This screen is a little creepier. It is grainy like a low quality video and you see the now not so goofy looking bear looking at you, his face flashing sinister face on occasion. I have NO clue what I am doing but click new game figuring it will be pretty simple to figure out. Not so much. The first game play screen is a security guard room. I tap around the room like a crazy woman but the screen will only shift left to right to view open doors and buttons to close the doors and a switch that turns on a light in the halls. It tells me the time and what night I am on in the top right of my screen, power left and usage in the bottom left, and a drop down button takes me to a grid to navigate seeing the feed of security cameras that are placed throughout what I find to be a pizza place. This is all I can do. I find no way to move my character, just shift views. A phone starts to ring though I can't answer it and a machine picks up. The previous security guard is calling to give me advice and advises he will do this nightly. Well, I didn't make it far past this part as a creepy critter jumps onto the screen and it tells me game over. Did I mention I have no clue what I am doing at this point?
What to do when you are stuck in a game? Use to, you bought a book or asked the cool gamers who worked at game stores. Now, I go to Google and search "how to play Five Nights at Freddy's". A read through and I figure it out. My character is a new security guard at the pizzeria. At night, it is rumored the animatronic critters roam free. There is a whole back story about how they use to be allowed to during the day but there was a tragic biting incident and now they roam at night. If they catch someone they will assume they are out of costume and will force you into a animatronic, which inevitably kills you. Such sweet critters they are and this justifies my immense fear of the animatronics they use to have at Chuck E. Cheeses. The game play is to watch the security cameras to keep an eye on where they are. You can click the lights on in the hallways to make sure none are outside your room and close the doors when one is, saving yourself. Your shift is from 12 a.m. until 6 a.m. and you need to maintain power this entire time because, if the lights go out, you're a goner. Using the cameras uses a little more power while closing the doors and turning lights on uses a good bit more power. So you basically need to keep your cool and not close the doors for the entire game...which is what I wanted to do. The evil animatronics get more aggressive as the nights go on, hence the five nights name. I died within the first few seconds of the first night, so this does not bode well for me at all.
I go back to the game. Knowing what to do helps very little this time because I am a little freaked out and panicky. The video feed is grainy and dark and the creatures show up in various spots then disappear, usually getting closer and closer to the security room. I click back into the security room to check my doors and nearly have a heart attack when there is a big, evil bunny standing there. Quickly shutting said door, I survive. Barely. The rest of the shift is as event less as that moment was terrifying. I made it! I made it through the first night! The second night was much the same, with a tad more movement on the cameras and having to shut the door twice. Two levels down! I'm completely creeped out and on edge. No sudden movements from anyone and I should be fine. Wait, was that a bear I saw out of the corner of my eye? No, it was the dog. Alright, I got this.
I had to pause game play for a while after level two. Housework and picking up the boy from school. I resumed game play at the well lit gym when I had a good 30 minutes before my Zumba class began. So, it was on to night three. I think the game started to feel sorry for me and let me move on from this level. I kept running out of battery power, which is an automatic heart stopping scare and game over. Then "they" kept getting through the doors before I could get them shut. My heart is pounding by this point and I am glad I am the only one in the room because I keep muttering and gasping like a crazy person. I'm also starting to hear noises outside the room I am in. Yeah, because noises in a gym is totally uncommon. Finally, I get through a round with no critters appearing at the door and not really on the cameras either. It was totally uneventful. I'm telling ya, the game felt sorry for me. It sent a message to headquarters that this chick was completely freaking out, could they move her on because she was freaking them out. A friend of mine joined me for Zumba and all I could talk about was Five Nights at Freddy's. My son and I are also alike in that when we are truly scared of something, we talk about it a lot. It gets annoying, even to us. Her son knew the game well and gave me more back story, I will not get into this. I also wished I had not chosen near the door for class, having visions of animatronic animals busting through and dragging me to the back room of a pizza store to shove me to my death in a bear costume. This game messed with me, y'all!
So, here I am, writing this while still on the fourth night. I've had to lay off game play because it gave me nightmares. The fourth night gives you the fox rushing down the hall towards the security room and I can't get the door shut before he gets to me. I nearly pee my pants every time. It is embarrassing. It is terrifying. I am scarred for life. I showed the game to my mom and her advice, after I nearly had a heart attack in front of her, was to stop playing it. I have not told my kid I have played the game because I don't have any words of bravery to give him yet. I will wait til I stop checking on the stuffed bear in my room every time I wake up at night.
All in all, I recommend this game. Yeah, didn't see that one coming, did ya? I'm OK with being freaked out by a game. Being scared of things I know have no way of being real, is OK with me. Did that make sense? You may not even find the game scary, I could just be a chicken. (I kinda am. I have this thing about dolls. Yeah.) There are four games out now. Each $2.99 in your app store. I plan on finishing this one and buying the others as I advance through. I will NOT be letting my kids play this. There is no gore or language thus far in the first one (please remember I am stuck on the fourth night) but there is the creep factor. This geek mommy gives this game two thumbs soaked in holy water up while she stands in a circle of salt. Just in case.