When you think of the word animatronics, there’s a high chance that you think of Five Nights At Freddy’s, the grandfather of the current wave of the horror subgenre. It’s everywhere: games, books, and a movie in the works. It’s kind of hard not to think about it, it’s a popular title that is still going strong even after all these years.
Whether it’s an FNAF fan game or something outside the genre altogether, this is a celebration of all animatronics and just how varied and disturbing they can be in both looks and lore. So settle in, grab something to eat, and enjoy the horror.
8 Working Joes – Alien Isolation
The logic behind Seegson Corporation’s decision to make their version of workforce androids, aptly named Working Joes, appear more robot-like makes sense, leaning into making the humanlike features as inhuman as possible was certainly a choice. Turns out it would end up being the stuff of nightmares in Alien: Isolation.
Working Joes’ faces are void of any features. The balancing act of both having humanoid features without having any specific human features is unsettling, and you can feel it deep down in your subconscious, making you want to turn off the game for a while. They aren’t as scary as the queen since you can at least put them out of commission, but you still shouldn’t underestimate what a group of them can do.
7 Motorized Patriots – Bioshock Infinite
Starting as tour guides in Bioshock Infinite’s floating city of Columbia, they have been outfitted with a lack of fear and self-preservation, but with guns. These hulking presidential statues will gun straight for you with no attack pattern. The only time they stop is when they must reload.
Three types of Patriots take after Presidents Washington and Lincoln and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. Can you imagine what they would think if they could see themselves in this form? It’s something straight out of a nightmare – the relentless hunt for the ultimate traitor.
6 The Mad Doctor – Epic Mickey: The Power Of Two
Creating animatronics is one thing, but creating an animatronic using your own body as the subject? It’s wild. That’s exactly what The Mad Doctor does in Disney’s Epic Mickey series. He wasn’t the main antagonist in part one, but he makes a return in part two, claiming that he’s learned from his nefarious ways.
The joke’s on us, though, as it turns out. The creator of Beetleworx has plans for the ultimate power of becoming famous. Not only is he capable of creating animatronics, but he’s also created his cartoon world called The Wonderful World of Evil, hoping the ratings will give him a heart once again.
5 The Owl – Case 2 Animatronics
She’s watching your every move. Once the tall, terrifying owl gets you in her sights, it’s going to get rough getting out of under her gaze. She plays red light, green light with you, but without all the fun and turn-taking.
Instead, The Owl will blind you with your own camera light if you are being rude and staring at her too long, then use that opportunity to close the distance and attack you at a heightened speed. Can you blame her, though? Surely you wouldn’t want to be stared at either.
4 Pugapillar – Poppy Playtime
Pugapillar is what you get when you want to both amaze kids and terrify them. Yes, them being 50-feet-long and having hundreds of legs makes them unquestionably scary, their faces are kind of adorable and make you want to give them pets. He scares you so badly that you won’t even notice his body is the wrong color from his in-game form.
Which makes it a shame that it couldn’t be on your side, you know? Man’s best giant friend to help keep Mommy Long Legs at bay. Nothing at Playtime Co. is that easy. Instead, he’s made to play the deadliest game of Red-Light Green Light with you.
3 Animatronic Bendy – Bendy And The Ink Machine
It doesn’t move. The animatronic is only a prop and is defunct. You have nothing to worry about once you find him split in two and lying there on the table in Bendy and the Ink Machine: Chapter four. Animatronic Bendy is also in chapter five, but again, he’s not moving or capable of hurting you. Unlike most everyone else there.
But, if you were to listen to the audio log of engineer Lacie Benton, you’ll come to know that she believes it’s watching her every move if she’s in the same room with it. Its eyes feel alive. her coworker continued to work on it in hopes that it would be able to walk and entertain kids, but it never had an opportunity to fulfill that goal. Probably for the best.
2 The Joy Joy Gang – Dark Deception
The gang, which consists of Hangry the Pig, Penny the Chicken, and Lucky the Rabbit, will find you in their theme park, Joy Joy Land, which does not live up to its name. You’ll have to dodge the clones as you seek out all 181 soul shards. And this is all before you meet Hangry the Pig.
You see, Hangry only thinks about one thing. Nothing else going on matters to him: ribs. Slathered in sweet barbeque sauce and slow-cooked for hours on end, he will do anything for those ribs. The type of meat doesn’t matter, either; he’s down for beef, pork (because of course he would), and human. You just had the unfortunate luck of being stuck inside this nightmare.
1 Freddy Fazbear – JR’s
You can’t have a list of animatronics without placing FNAF on it in some form. In this case, it’s a fan-made game called JR’s, and it takes the Five Nights foundation and turns it into something that’s both fantastical and photorealistic. Take Freddy Fazbear, for example. The teeth and his smile remind you of Donkey from Shrek, but it’s pulled up into a permanent smile. His face doesn’t look like the brown fur from the original, but it’s taken on a more skin-like quality.
Each of the classic characters received the same makeover, and balloon boy almost made the cut for being scariest, but there’s something about how Freddy’s skin looks sickly and pink that drives home the fact that this isn’t your typical FNAF fan game.
NEXT: Junji Ito Stories That Would Make Scary Horror Games