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Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted Review

Five Nights at Freddy's Help Wanted Feature

Nintendo Switch’s colourful cast of famous characters and games are about to be joined by a new member - Freddy Fazbear - who, with his group of friends, can’t wait to play. Have a go at Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted... if you dare!

I Scream

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted has finally made its way onto the Nintendo Switch courtesy of Maximum Games. It’s almost impossible to not have been exposed to one of the many Five Nights at Freddy’s games by now. Even if you haven’t played one yourself, you’ve no doubt seen it! There are countless videos of YouTuber’s and Twitch Streamers screaming and flinging themselves across their neon-lit bedroom in dramatic fashion.

The defining feature of the FNAF titles is the creepy animatronic puppets. You’ll be constantly on edge. Your head on a swivel wondering if they’ll jump out at you at any moment. You’ll flick between cameras, watching for movement while doing your best to leave doors open and lights off for just a few seconds more. All in an effort to conserve precious electricity and survive the night. But leave the doors open for too long and you might end up in a murder cuddle with a fuzzy death machine.

It’s this risk and reward aspect of FNAF that has persisted with each entry of the series. But each entry adds enough new elements to keep everything feeling fresh. And if you haven’t played them yourself then Five Night’s at Freddy’s: Help Wanted is the perfect introduction. This one comes with seven games from the series. Help Wanted contains remakes of Five Nights at Freddy’s 1, 2 and 3. It also features Dark Rooms, Parts and Services and Vent Repair. Yup, it’s as horrific as it sounds! Night Terrors is even thrown in for good measure. There are also harder modes for each title and a plethora of new lore for long-time fans of the series to discover through hidden cassette tapes.

At its core Help Wanted on Nintendo Switch is a port of the VR version. It may seem like an odd choice to port a VR version of the game onto a non-VR console but Maximum Games have done a superb job. Using a VR headset to turn your head to look at doors and hit light switches is, obviously, extremely fast. To keep this speed Maximum Games have mapped the ability to snap to the left and right doors/switches to the shoulder buttons, and the camera moves at a speed to would give a VR user whiplash. The corresponding controls are continually on screen so you don’t forget when panicking. Pushing in the left stick allows “free look” for pinpoint accuracy. It’s a little sluggish, but you’ll only be using it to grab collectables, so is only a minor inconvenience.

You Scream

As mentioned, Help Wanted comes with seven games, all of which you can play in any order. Working your way through chronologically is best for newcomers. FNAF 1 eases you in... somewhat gently. It allows you to close doors for a brief time while looking to see what lurks in the shadows on the security cameras. Five Nights at Freddy‘s 2 takes this minor comfort away. it leaves you with two permanently open doorways and nothing between you and jumpscare doom. FNAF 3 brings an abundance of switches and button for equipment maintenance as well as the usual security cameras gazing.

Dark Rooms moves away from the “safety” of a security room. Instead, it places you in the shoes of a child in their bedroom. You only a flashlight for protection. Parts and Services see you repairing your tormentors with a trial and error system that ensures pant-soiling fun. Vent Repair adds the joy of claustrophobia to proceedings. Night Terrors adds specific requirements for fending off each horror bot in a delightful setting similar to the aforementioned Dark Rooms. And if all of this isn’t enough, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted contains one of the most unsettling options menus in the history of gaming. Nowhere is safe.

We All Scream

One of the many wonderful things about the Nintendo Switch is the ability to play games on a big TV while the system is docked or grab it in handheld mode and play on the go. In relation to Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted this gives you two fun options: play docked to scare yourself with family or go handheld and scare yourself in public.

Playing on a large screen makes even the darkest corridors much easier to see. Adding a “you’re playing next” with friends and family can help relieve tension and the sense of impending and ever-present doom. While handheld and using headphones allows for a more focussed experience. It’s much more terrifying, but for a game that relies heavily on audio cues, it’s essential, especially for the hard modes.

Performance-wise both modes play great! I only experienced issues with textures taking a moment to load in on the options screen when first booting up the title.

As with most horror games.

Final Thoughts

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted is fun and scary in equal measure. Each level only lasts around 8-minutes, if you can survive the night! It is a quick and easy way to get your heart rate up. It has an abundance of jump scares but manages to be subtly terrifying in storytelling and lore. There's substance and immersion. And with seven titles included, there’s more than enough to keep even a hardcore gamer going.