Five Nights At Freddy’s is a landmark horror game. Even if its janky animatronics are now more kooky than terrifying, very little is more unsettling than working the night shift at a dilapidated pizza parlor populated by murderous robots. Now that Help Wanted is out on the Switch, you can experience the world’s worst summer job wherever you want. But you should probably avoid these places.
1. The Husk of a Denny’s on the State Highway
It’s hot, stiflingly so for what should be autumn. You’re riding the long road between Sydney and Adelaide, and every second car is a ute. Your American mates have, for years, mistaken Holdens for Hyundais, but you know better. It’s getting dark, and the last BP was further back than you’re comfortable with. Enter the mysterious highway Denny’s.
You’ve felt a sense of relief after seeing the golden arches of a McDonald’s on the tail end of a road trip. Now, imagine pulling into the parking lot of what could double as an old-fashioned drive-through. A highway Denny’s is a liminal space — a place where you can dick around in the outback and fall betwixt worlds.
Playing Five Nights At Freddy’s while you feel like you might tumble from a world of frilled lizards into one that’s mostly flights of fancy gives you a distinct sense of foreboding. Maybe it’s the sepia tones of the dirt road bleeding into the edges of your vision, or the way that the asphalt cracks under the Australian sun. Don’t let the dingo eat your baby while you’re busy.
2. Hanging Out in a Cemetery
If you can’t find an edgy babe to hang out with, then the next best thing is independently channeling your inner Hot Topic mall goth. It’s about putting “horror movie lover” in your Twitter bio, getting a Freddy Krueger tattoo on your leg, and also making sure that your nighttime pursuits are a little more adventurous than normal. Yeah, we’re talking about hanging out in a cemetery. Want to really get a feel for fleeing from nightmares or getting proficient with a flashlight? What better way to throw yourself into the deep end than by taking nothing but your Switch Lite with you?
The light of the 5.5-inch display should provide you with just enough illumination to not trip over any grasping hands that shoot forth from the grave soil. If you time your screams with those of the creaks echoing from your Switch’s speakers as your animatronic assaulters break down your door, well, that’s just good sound design.
3. My Nan’s Place
Cozying up with a blanket in the family home probably sounds like an ideal way to play any game on your Switch. Nothing says “comfort” quite like a nice mug of hot chocolate, especially one made by your nan.
Think about all the times you got scared at something that went bump in the night and then had to run to your nan. She’d take you down to the kitchen, put the kettle on, maybe make you some fairy bread after saying that your parents were firm on you not having more sugar. It’d be your little secret.
You tuck yourself back into the slightly musty-smelling bed in the present day, an adult, imbued with the warmth of good memories past. You pick up your Switch again, ready for another half hour or so of monitoring killer animal suits.
Before you get comfy, you turn to say “thanks” to your nan, but the room is empty. The moth-bitten sheets are surprisingly rough against your hands. You startle, knocking a glass of water off the bedside table, sending a rat skittering across the floor. Not this again. Fuck.
Your nan’s been dead for 20 years.
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4. The Island of Tasmania
Do I really have to explain this one? Tasmania is rife with literal devils. No, that’s not a joke. Tasmanian devils are ferociously carnivorous marsupials that carry a number of deadly contagious diseases.
Do you actually know anyone who lives in Tasmania? Unlikely. That’s because the island state isn’t real — it’s actually an Australian government psyop. On top of that, there’s the recurring rumor that everyone there is related.
You don’t want to be caught dead in Tasmania with your guard down, especially not while your attention is diverted by something as all-consuming as a horror game. Not if your life depends on it.
5. Murdering Creek Road, Queensland
There’s on the nose when it comes to horror movie locations, and then there’s Murdering Creek Road, Queensland. Fringed by grazing land on one side and dense forest on the other, you’re looking at a Blair Witch situation at best and a 127 Hours situation at worst if a drought rolls through.
Now, you’re spread out on the backseat of your mate’s ride. You’re wanting to gun right past what feels like the same recurring stretch of gently sloping green-brown land that you’ve been observing for miles.
Your Switch is in your lap. Your right hand traces idle patterns on the leather of the car door. The windows are rolled right down to let some fresh air in, even though it’s still.
A door slams shut on the screen of your Switch. An awful grinding sound blares from the device, and you jump a little, laughing nervously. Your friend makes some kind of answering grunt from the driver’s seat. Did he apply some deodorant before the trip? It’s a bit ripe in here, mate.
You tell him as much, and the chattering whine from your Switch gets louder. Your power supply is depleting quickly in-game, and you’re going to have to fix that or risk your bastion of security cameras getting stormed.
Your mate’s strangled groan of what you think is protest is handwaved away. You’ve got more pressing things to attend to.
The low battery alert sounds off on your Switch and you sigh. No USB compatible charging options on this misguided drive. You let events run their course, watching a horrifying facsimile of a bear-shaped mascot’s face swan into your FOV in-game. However, the accompanying sickening crack is too loud to have come from the speakers and you look up, startled.
Gazza’s grinning and bloodied face in one of the wing mirrors is the last thing that you see before the car cartwheels into the nearest ditch. The Switch’s cracked screen flickers a few times, that same disfigured ursine flashing across it. Golden Freddy has claimed yet another victim.