“Do you want to watch a 90 minute video about Five Nights at Freddy’s lore?” has become an inside troll joke around our house. And, yes, I have watched it to prepare for this year’s Five Night’s at Freddy’s (FNAF) birthday party game
We moved into a new house with a roomy basement and a legit secret room, so this is where everything was based.
As usual, I spent a lot of time in pre-planning. I always learn lessons from the previous year and make improvements. Last year, the big hurdle was that five kids cannot work on one puzzle. Someone gets excluded and then disengaged. So this year, I made branching paths right at the start – two paths that came back together at the end.
I went to the local Goodwill to find little boxes and other items. I was excited to find an old clock with a compartment in the back and a few wooden boxes that would be perfect for the game.
THE SET UP
All the kids were “security guards” and I had badges ready for them.
I decorated my basement with all the cool FNAF posters I could find online and made a few myself.
We also bought some party favors and made some FNAF treats.
We leveraged our spooky Halloween smoke machine, black lights, and strobe lights for the full effect!
The first step was to listen to the recording left by the previous security guard. I made a recording myself then used this YouTube tutorial to make it sounds like FNAF audio. The goal of the game was to find the “kill switch”, just in case anything goes wrong with the animatronics but I am sure it will be fine.
I said the word “time” multiple… times to get out the first hint, pointing to the aforementioned clock.
This was the start of the branching paths.
PATH 1: A key was hidden in the compartment in the back of the clock that opened a lock that contained a code.
PATH 2: The time code (6:47) opened a separate box with a deck of cards inside with this note.
PATH 1: The deck of cards puzzle was simple. There was another lock with card suits (diamond, heart, spade, club). The just needed to sort through the deck and find which card of each suite was missing for the code.
Inside the locked box was a FNAF “kid’s activity placemat” that I made and tore into multiple parts. This word jumble starts out with words like “FREDDY” but then spirals into darkness with words like “MISSING” and “HELP US”. The final message was “UNDER STAIRS”.
PATH 2: They needed to find a dictionary to look up the weird words. I bought a dictionary safe that they had to figure our the code for. The code the corresponding count of the first letter of each word, which was highlighted in the note. Inside the dictionary this a key for binary.
Remember those Security Badges everyone received? They each had a binary code on them! The binary key allowed the users to translate each letter on the badges. The order of the code letters was in alphabetical order of the names on the badges, which spelled “SHOWER”. However, they didn’t figure this out and just thought it was a word jumble they had to puzzle out, which led to some inappropriate comedy when the kids spelled “WHORES” with the letters. Anyway, in the shower was another piece of the activity placemat.
THE ANIMATRONICS ARE ALIVE!
PATH 1: Under the stairs is where the coup de grace came into play. I had my 8 year old dressed up in a FNAF costume and she was waiting in the darkness under the stairs to jump out at the unsuspecting kids. Comedy. Gold.
Under the stairs was a blacklight pen and a blank “Battleship” cipher. One of the locked boxes had a picture of our spooky hidden room, so that’s where the kids had to go and hunt down the hints with he blacklight.
This cipher revealed 3 numbers that opened a box that had bluetooth headphones. They put on the headphones and heard a repeating message from the previous security guard about their favorite perk at Freddy’s – free food. However, the end of the message was cut off by a terrifying scream, so they had to sort out the last number by trial and error.
PATH 2: In the shower was another piece of the activity placemat, the Circus Baby Maze. When the maze was solved, it went though 3 letters, “MUA”, which was the code for a 3-letter lock that locked a pair of “magical scissors” that could cut a nearby closed cabinet.
PATH 1: the audio message described the security guard’s favorite meal and looking at the menu on the wall (I found it online created by “Dusky”), the players could see the prices of the meal items, which revealed a 4-number code. Opening the locked box reveals half of a pizza puzzle.
PATH 2: The end of path 2 was easy just use the “magic scissors” to open a cabinet. Inside the cabinet was the other half of the pizza puzzle. Also a spooky image of animatronic popped out.
THE PIZZA PUZZLE
I designed a small puzzled where I could cut the pizza into pieces and the kids had to put it back together by aligning the pepperonis. There were 2 layers – the top with the pizza art and the bottom with the code. The top layer had a few little holes cut out so it would reveal 4 key letters for the final code.
THE FINAL STEP
The kids had the code and they knew where the “kill switch” was but they had to enter a long, spooky hidden room in our basement to enter the code and hit the off switch.
This is where my 8 year old in her spooky FNAF costume came in again. As soon at the kids got to the end of the hallway, she came in a started creepily walking slowly towards them. The kids were in a screaming panic to get the lock code entered. They hit the switch and our little terror won an Oscar for her performance of being shutdown.
Another successful year! The two paths approach worked great and I will definitely use that again next year.