The first Five Nights At Freddy’s was released rather recently — and yet already, the series has a sequel. Better yet, the sequel is tearing up the Top Sellers chart on Steam.
The game’s popularity made me curious, and so I tried it out for the first time last night. As much as I’m intrigued by the premise — you play as a security guard working nights at a f**ked up version of Chuck-E-Cheese — I’m not much for scary games. I ended up not playing after only twenty minutes, and judging from the reviews the game has on Steam, I’m not the only one. Funnily enough, people are so freaked out by this game, they often have less than an hour’s worth of play time on record. So, you know the whole “this game is scary” thing is legit.
Here’s some of what people have to say about Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 on Steam:
I’d say all of this is on-point, though I’m conflicted on whether or not I actually liked what I played. I can confirm the game is scary, because jump scares are cheap like that. If you don’t play the game right, an animatronic will totally come into your office and jump on you. But the core of the game — switching between cameras to see if something has changed, sometimes putting on a mask — is kind of, I don’t know, boring. Clever but disappointing.
At the same time, there’s something about this game that strikes a chord too. Lots of us remember how “cool kids” would have birthday parties at places like Chuck-E-Cheese. This game makes us take a look at that sort of thing in a different light — what if this popular sort of locale wasn’t what it seems? We know there is potency behind the idea that something made for children is actually evil. Add the graphics — which make the game look like it was released in 2000 — and you get some rather uncanny and unsettling animatronics.
It’s no wonder that the game is selling so well, especially given that it’s also become a popular game for high-profile YouTubers to play. As we know, YouTubers can work wonders for a game’s popularity, and people love watching gamers freak out on camera. Plus, as games like Slender and P.T. prove, horror games have a knack for going viral. Though I will note that even people like PewdiePie feel sceptical about why Five Nights is so popular — he calls it “YouTube views cashgrab 2014.”
Still, the game feels like it’s everywhere, which is why people like me will try it even if they know they hate horror games. The developers must be doing something right.