When most people think of horror, Five Nights at Freddy’s is one of the first things to come to mind. The series exploded onto the indie game scene in 2014 with the first game and quickly became one of the most successful horror game series ever.
I remember being a part of that craze; I was in middle school when I downloaded the first game on my phone, and it scared the life out of me.
FNAF’s combination of a creepy atmosphere with jump scares and cryptic lore to decipher made for a very compelling game, and I recognized its merits even then. But I never would have guessed that the world of Fazbear Entertainment would come to VR. Regardless, it did, and it is terrifying. Enter Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted.
Today, I’ll give you an in-depth look into the world of FNAF VR. Keep your toes crossed and your hands over the door buttons because you’ll be dancing with the stars soon enough.
Help Wanted covers the stories of the first three FNAF games, from the equipment of each installment to having a level for each night. There are slight changes made to the game to suit the VR platform, such as the placement of controls or how the animatronics move; these make for an even more engaging (and ultimately scarier) experience.
For example, you’ll be able to watch Chica walk down the hallway instead of just teleporting in front of your door, and your camera controls will be on a panel on a desk instead of popping up in front of the screen like in the original game.
New game modes and story additions also take inspiration from the earlier titles. The main game modes are:
- Vent Repair, which has you fixing the ventilation in the restaurant while animatronics hunt you.
- Night Terrors, which has you ward off animatronics in a house like in Five Nights at Freddy’s 4.
- Parts and Service has you repairing the animatronics in what is essentially a haunted version of Operation; mess up during the procedure, and you’re dead meat.
- Dark Rooms has you searching for a deadly plush animatronic with a flashlight.
Throughout the game, there are coins and cassette tapes to be found. Coins allow you to get prizes that you can play with, and the cassette tapes reveal parts of the story through audio logs.
All games in Help Wanted use physical interaction and/or trigger pressing. Things like physical buttons or screen buttons are controlled using touch. Specific inputs (like grabbing coins and cassette tapes or interacting with animatronic parts in Parts and Service) use the triggers instead.
But most of your time in Help Wanted will be spent looking around and touching things to avoid dying. Simple!
Help Wanted explores all the controversies haunting the company responsible for all of the animatronics and pizza places: Fazbear Entertainment. After a long history of incidents and legal issues, the company hires an indie game developer to try to fix its reputation.
This developer created the “Fazbear Virtual Experience,” a game designed to put all of the rumors and fears of the public to rest. Unfortunately, they didn’t do a great job.
Hidden throughout the game are cassette tapes created by one of the game’s developers. They reveal the various roadblocks to the game’s creation and existing issues within the company.
These messages also point toward something sinister hiding in the game: a dangerous code taken directly from an animatronic and added to the game. That code has manifested itself in the form of Glitchtrap, an unknown person in a rabbit costume.
Oddly enough, Glitchtrap looks a lot like Springtrap, the animatronic from FNAF 3 that holds the spirit of William Afton. Could he be in the suit, or is it someone else entirely?
As you explore the “urban legends” that took place in Fazbear Entertainment locations, you’ll get closer to discovering who Glitchtrap is, and with any luck, you’ll live to tell the tale.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is about a security guard named Mike Schmidt. He’s been hired to watch over Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a restaurant where kids eat pizza and play with their favorite animatronic pals. It’s become worn down and desolate over time due to the incidents rumored to have occurred there.
The most persistent rumor was that five children were murdered and stuffed inside the animatronics at the restaurant. This, combined with various health concerns, forced the diner to close down. Luckily for you, it hasn’t closed by the time you take the security job.
In Help Wanted, FNAF 1 functions much like the regular version. You watch over the cameras, doors, and lights, keeping track of the animatronics as they move around and trying your best not to get killed.
Once you get to 6 AM, the night is over, and you move on to the next night. Your friend on the phone (Phone Guy) will chime in at the beginning of each shift to help you get through the night.
FNAF 1 is still my favorite of the mainline games so far. It’s not too complicated, balanced, and has an unmatched atmosphere. Also, the designs of the animatronics are just as scary now as when I first saw them. Play this one first.
FNAF 2 is a prequel that brings its own challenges and story additions. This game follows Jeremy Fitzgerald, a security guard watching over a Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza in 1987.
He has to avoid the pizza chain’s new “toy” animatronics that use recycled parts from the original animatronics we saw in FNAF 1. The original (now withered) animatronics also roam the diner, despite being scrapped for parts.
Like the first game, FNAF 2 involves managing lights and cameras. However, this game doesn’t have doors. Your primary defense against most of the animatronics is a salvaged Freddy mask.
There’s also an animatronic named the Marionette that can be stopped using a wind-up music box. To summarize, you’ll have to manage more equipment and fend off more animatronics to survive.
I think this one is the worst of the three main games included in Help Wanted. It’s noticeably harder than the first game and isn’t as compelling in terms of atmosphere or design.
But I will give credit to FNAF 2: it expanded on the series’ lore a lot and added some interesting mechanics. I’ve always thought that wearing an animatronic mask was a brilliant idea.
The third game takes place 30 years later; Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza has become famous for murder and general creepiness. A horror attraction inspired by it has opened up and features an animatronic from the original diner.
His name is Springtrap, a big yellow rabbit who may or may not contain the remains of William Afton. You’re a security guard who watches over the attraction and avoids death by animatronics, much like your predecessors.
This game has various new gameplay features:
- You’ll have to manage two camera systems: one for the halls and one for the vents.
- All of the systems in the building can fail and will require rebooting; this includes cameras, audio, and ventilation.
- You’ll be attacked by phantoms that impair your hearing and vision, making it harder to track Springtrap’s movements.
- The vents can be sealed, preventing Springtrap from entering and killing you.
As far as I’m concerned, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza works really well as a horror attraction. FNAF 3 is probably the spookiest of the three games at first glance; Springtrap is a pretty terrifying animatronic, especially since William Afton’s corpse is inside him. Still, it isn’t the strongest of the three titles overall.
Dark Rooms is one of the new games created for Help Wanted, and it’s pretty straightforward. The only thing you control is a flashlight. Your mission is to track an animatronic as it roams around a room and prevent it from attacking you before time runs out. They move in the dark, so you’ll strategically have to turn your flashlight on and off to catch them.
The fourth night is a little different because instead of a flashlight, you’ll have a flash beacon that fades out after a second. You’ll also have to get to the diner’s parts and service room to avoid being killed, where the other games are stationary.
The minigame has two prominent locations: a house (I’m pretty sure it’s the house from FNAF 4) and a Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza location. You’ll have to face four animatronics: Plushtrap, Nightmare Balloon Boy, Plush Baby, and Funtime Foxy.
This is arguably the weakest of the new minigames since it isn’t particularly engaging. It can also be annoying to complete; the Plush Baby level in particular is kind of a pain to finish since she moves around so much.
Parts and Service
I’d say this is the most unique addition to Help Wanted. In Parts and Service, you’ll have to follow instructions in order to repair the animatronics. It’s like a haunted version of Operation, where failure means death.
Each animatronic has different parts and fixes that need to be made, so you’ll have to do different things each time. This means pressing buttons, removing robot eyes, or taking random junk off of the animatronics.
I love this game because you get a close look at the animatronics, making them even scarier than before. They’re massive and creepy on both the inside and outside. Plus, you’ll die if you make a mistake, making this game especially dark and scary.
In Vent Repair, you… repair vents. While you fix Fazbear Entertainment’s ventilation systems, you’ll have to keep track of the animatronic that wandered into the ducts. This means you’ll have to flash your headlamp down different vents as you repair them or risk being sneaked up on and killed.
Two animatronics appear in this game: Mangle and Ennard. Mangle is found in a Freddy’s, and Ennard will hunt you in Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rental, a “sister location” to Freddy’s. Each map has different puzzles to solve and will test your ability to multitask.
Vent Repair is particularly panic-inducing because you’ll have to manage machinery while also looking around to ensure you don’t get snuck up on.
Night Terrors is Help Wanted‘s answer to FNAF 4. You’re a child in your bedroom who’s warding off animatronic invaders. You do this by moving around your bedroom, checking doors, and shining your flashlight as you go. You’ll also have to deal with cursed plushies that jumpscare you.
I like Night Terrors because it’s a literal living nightmare. It’s dark and scary but also surreal and creative in its scares, with an atmosphere that’s tense in a way that the other games aren’t. That being said, it isn’t the best of the new games in terms of gameplay. At least you can move around instead of just flashing light like in Dark Rooms.
- Watch over the hallways and flash the lights often. The animatronics walk past the windows in this game, allowing you to close the door if you see them.
- Keep a close eye on Foxy. Much like the original game, he will kill you quickly if you aren’t paying attention. You can hear him coming, but it’s better to keep an eye on Pirate’s Cove through the cameras.
- If you see Bonnie or Chica in the cameras adjacent to your room, close the doors.
- As with all of the games, try to conserve power as much as possible. Don’t keep the lights and doors running constantly.
- Make sure the music box is always running decently long. You don’t want the Marionette chasing after you.
- If you see animatronics in your vents, put on the mask immediately.
- Flash the hallway lights every once in a while since animatronics sometimes show up there. They won’t always attack, but keep the mask ready just in case.
- Be extra vigilant. This game has more areas you can get attacked from, so you’ll have to put in more work.
- Take care of video failures as soon as possible. This is your best way to keep track of Springtrap.
- As soon as you suspect Springtrap is coming through the vents, close the vent. It doesn’t shut right in front of your office, so you’ll die if he’s too far in.
- Use the Balloon Boy sound to lead Springtrap away. He will follow the noise if it’s close to him, so set it off nearby. This is especially useful if he’s getting too close and you need a distraction.
- Try not to let the phantoms distract you; their entire purpose is to prevent you from keeping track of Springtrap, and they’re very good at taking your attention away.
- Don’t keep your flashlight on for too long in the house levels. Turning it on and off in intervals encourages the animatronic to move, increasing your chances of catching it. On the other hand, don’t leave the flashlight off for too long since it can quickly kill you.
- For Plush Baby, point your flashlight around often. She moves around a lot, and if you keep your eye off her for even a moment too long, she’ll kill you.
- For Funtime Foxy’s level, only flash the beacon occasionally and don’t move while the light is on. Foxy will detect your movements easily if you aren’t careful.
Parts and Service
- This probably seems obvious, but listen to the instructions carefully. Bonnie killed me a few times because I kept taking the wrong eye out.
- Be gentle and make precise movements. Even the slightest wrong move can trigger an attack.
- Don’t mess up the vent machinery, or you’ll die. This means you’ll have to be precise and use your noggin.
- Shine your headlamp through the vents every once in a while. The animatronics can sneak up on you while your back is turned.
- Check both hallways often to avoid being sneaked up on.
- Shine your light at the plushies to scare them off. If you leave them unattended, you’ll get jump scared.
- Keep the doors closed where possible.
- Keep the flashlight pointed at Nightmarionne as much as possible.
- Don’t let Circus Baby see you. Close the closet door.
Question: What’s the Best Game in Help Wanted?
Answer: I think FNAF 1 is the best of the main games, and the best minigame is Parts and Service with Night Terrors in second.
Question: What Headsets can I Play the Game on?
Answer: Help Wanted is supported on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality.
Question: Can I Still Play this Game if I Haven’t Played the Original 3 FNAF Games?
Answer: Yes, but I recommend playing the originals first since Help Wanted doesn’t include the 8-bit minigames. Those minigames are great because they introduce some important bits of lore.
Now you should be up to speed on Help Wanted, the scariest FNAF game since the first one.
Let me just say outright that FNAF is way scarier in VR. I didn’t think it would be too bad until I got into the game and immediately got scared.
The animatronics are massive, and being in the diner is an entirely different experience from seeing it on a screen. I highly recommend playing it if you want a real scare and a refreshing take on the series.