Greetings, my excellent friends. Today we talk about the phenomenon of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. No, wait. Before you back out the door and say I don’t need to hear about this stuff, I felt it needed a look. Here is my reasoning — first of all, being a dad, I have had no choice but to hear about this game from my kiddos. What I found fascinating and funny at the same time is the lore that the kids of today built around this simple jump-scare game.
That’s all Five Nights at Freddy’s was at first… a simple point and click game that builds tension and, pow, you get the hell scared outta ya! I have to admit, when it was new, I purchased the game for my phone for the heck of it. The premise is you are a new overnight employee at a pizza joint that is pretty much Chuck E. Cheese or Showbiz Pizza, if you’re older, like me. At night, the animatronic bears and ducks try to attack you and kill you, unless you keep an eye on them. This means they are slowly and sometimes quickly moving closer to your location. You can watch them on the closed circuit cameras, but once you click away, they start moving. The key is you must conserve your power all night and every action you do drains said power.
The ultimate goal is, of course, to survive five nights in a row. Simple game, easy to play, and fun to watch others play as well. Even if that’s not your thing, it’s hard not to enjoy watching the tension build and build in the player. That should have been the end of it all right? I mean, who could have guessed that something like that would be a million dollar idea and open the floodgates for merchandise? That’s what happened here.
It all started with a sequel to the game, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, which then led to, to my count, three additional titles. They are all pretty much the same, but with each new game, the mechanics get a bit more detailed and the story gets deeper… That’s what I’m told anyway. Like I said earlier, I’ve only played the original and it was okay, not too bad for a mobile game. My kid, on the other hand, could not get enough of this stuff!
Then came the merchandise. I mean shirts, hats, and toys all based off of Five Nights at Freddy’s. Today it’s gone to wild lengths with blankets and keychains. You name it, they will have already, I’m sure, put a FNaF spin on it. Having said all that, here is where it gets interesting for me and what inspired me to cover it on this article; One day, in the car, I’m hearing my girls talking about the game and they have an entire lore built up now. They asked us, ‘Hey, can we look on your GPS and find where Freddy’s Fazbear Pizza Place is? We hear that one is close.’ So I had to ask further details on what the stories are. I then got to hear all about the bitings of 1987 — yeah, contain the laughter inside because they are dead serious telling us this stuff. Kids were apparently getting their heads bitten clean off by these messed up robot animals and killing overnight employees for real. Now, put aside what being an adult means, in the sense, that it’s sooooo silly to think that kids were getting decapitated left and right and these pizza shops remained open.
Remember, back in the day, when you were young and didn’t think about stuff like that? You just heard a creepy tale and never questioned stuff you do when you were grown. Take those kinda details out and you have the same level of urban legend as something like Candyman or Cropsey. It’s a new age version of the campfire tale to a degree and you gotta love the same old tales with the new age spin.
We had Freddy Krueger and today it’s a whole different Freddy. It might not be my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it. So the rating system on this one doesn’t really work; I can rank the original game as a fun time, but it doesn’t have a lot of replay value. If I had to rank it, I’d say a 2.5 outta 5.
It is a fun time to play, but it doesn’t have that replay value where you wanna pick it up and play again. The game does make me miss the old Showbiz Pizza… still got my mad skeeball skills.