A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted is a virtual reality survival horror game available for PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift. Players must complete certain activities and solve puzzles while avoiding the attention of possessed animatronic puppets. The game relies on a constant sense of terror accompanied by many jump scares, as well as references to child murders, mutilations, and suicide in the in-game logs and lore, but there's no on-screen blood or gore ever shown. The game is a spin-off/sequel to the Five Nights at Freddy's franchise, recapping the overall story with new twists and continuing to promote the characters in new ways.
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What's it about?
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S VR: HELP WANTED takes players closer than ever to the murderous mechanized monstrosities. After years of mishaps, mayhem, and even murders, Fazbear Entertainment has decided to cash in on its reputation, courtesy of The Freddy Fazbear Virtual Experience, a virtual game that allows players to relive the events said to have taken place at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and its related locations. Once completed, the game will give players the opportunity to experience the urban legend firsthand in a fun, safe environment. But beta testing needs to be completed before the game goes to the public. You're the lucky new beta tester responsible for checking the software for glitches and reporting any lingering bugs. Unfortunately, there's more going on than there seems in this virtual world. Evil forces have found their way in, providing a literal ghost in the machine. It's not long before you realize this isn't just a game anymore. It's a fight for your sanity and for your very survival. In here, "Game Over" takes on a whole new and deadly meaning.
Is it any good?
For the past five years, gamers have had their nightmares fueled five nights at a time by the animatronic murder machines of Fazbear Entertainment. Five Night's at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted serves as a sort of demented mix tape of the previous games, bringing players closer to the jump scares than ever before. One of the interesting things about Help Wanted is how it presents the previous events in ways that feel slightly different and unique to fans. The stories have slight alterations due to the idea that this VR game is based on urban legends and skewed perspectives from reports. The biggest draw of Five Nights at Freddy's has always been the tension of waiting for the unexpected, and this story element sets players up with a false sense of familiarity that quickly crumbles as things unfold. But that's just the half of it. The idea that something else has made its way into the simulation adds an extra level of anxiety.
Help Wanted makes fantastic use of the VR environment to create a truly immersive (and terrifying) experience. Gameplay's simple and relatively intuitive, and the puzzles in and of themselves aren't particularly difficult. But trying to perform those actions and solve those puzzles with the looming fear that the proverbial bogeyman is lurking in the shadows is where the real challenge lies. You can't help but constantly look over your shoulder as you try to fix key systems, solve puzzles, recover logs, and simply stay alive. The fact that the world exists all around you this time makes that feeling of dread even more real. Most of the time, it genuinely feels like you're isolated and trapped, and you almost forget that you can actually take off the VR headset to escape back into the real world. It all comes together to make Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted the best entry yet in the FNAF series, and one of the most hair-raising VR experiences to date.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about horror as entertainment. How is fear used in entertainment, and what are some reasons we enjoy being scared?
How can the immersive nature of virtual reality amplify the gaming experience? How has VR evolved, and what does the future hold for VR entertainment?
- Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Scott Cawthon
- Release date: May 28, 2019
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Topics: Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Puppets, Robots
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: March 27, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.