If you, like us, found yourself at something of a loose end after throwing hands with the Wish version of Sesame Street’s Bernie in My Friendly Neighborhood, then there’s a good chance you also found yourself scouring the web for the next best thing to cure those post-credits blues, too. Not that you would’ve had to look all that far, of course, what with the once-niche concept of transforming innocent animatronics into the devil’s puppets becoming somewhat commonplace in this day and age. Needless to say that, as far as near-perfect alternatives go, DreadXP’s latest survival-horror really isn’t all that short on quality clones. Like, at all.
Treasure trove of lookalikes aside, there is also the question of whether or not any of them are actually worth playing — more so in 2023, when My Friendly Neighborhood has pretty much set the new benchmark. For what it’s worth, though, we’ve gone ahead and narrowed down the best alternatives that money can currently buy. Interested? Here are the five best games like My Friendly Neighborhood.
5. Poppy Playtime
Puppets? Plush toys? What’s the difference? Safe to say that Poppy Playtime is about as close to being back in that old TV studio as you’re probably going to get. Not that venturing deep into the root of all plush-based evil is a bad thing, mind you, what with it hosting some of the most memorable characters and jump scares in survival-horror to date. What’s more, the franchise itself has also gone on to spin a web of cartoons, toys, and themed apparel since storming the scene back in 2021. So, not your everyday underdog, after all.
Anyway, Poppy Playtime is, for lack of a better word, survival-horror 101. In it, players take on the role of an ex-employee of an old disused toy factory—a unit in which strange disappearances have led to you having to return to investigate. Surprise surprise, the forgotten toys have gone haywire, and it’s up to you to plunge your way into the root of all evil — even if it means avoiding the clutches of the cuddly-but-sinister Huggy Wuggy and its squad of feral plushies. Sounds harmless on paper, sure — but wait till you get a load of those teeth.
4. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
Assuming you have an interest in rogue animatronics, which we’re guessing you do, seeing as My Friendly Neighborhood brought you here, then it’s likely that you’ve already slumped through Security Breach, one of Five Nights at Freddy’s fatter, and arguably better-looking open world entries. And if not, then boy, have you got an adventure ahead of you. The tempered winds of the abandoned pizza joint are calling — and you’d best believe that one night of being locked up on the inside will be the longest night of your life. No bull.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach transports you to Fazbear’s Pizzaplex, an enormous complex that boasts slideshows, interactive games, and an entire ocean of fast food restaurants. As Gregory, a young boy who finds himself locked in the complex after closing time, you must survive until sunrise. The only issue is, well, the animatronics have once again gone feral — and they’re stalking just about every crag and crevice like clockwork. It’s a darn good thing you’ve got Freddy to aid you in your time of need, then. But don’t let us spoil that part for you.
3. Bendy and the Ink Machine
Bendy and the Ink Machine employs a similar setup as the one featured in My Friendly Neighborhood. As such, it invites players to relive a former, albeit horrifically distorted memory—a world in which things are no longer as they once seemed. Robbed of all innocence, the so-called Ink Machine draws an ex-animator back to his former workplace, a complex that’s now home to twisted creatures all birthed by the demonic apparatus.
Like My Friendly Neighborhood, Bendy and the Ink Machine draws blood from a classic survival-horror blueprint. Based over several episodes, each chapter boasts their own selection of puzzles, scares, and a rich sense of lore and everlasting adventure. It’s worth your time — especially if you’re an avid fan of tiptoeing through seemingly vacant properties where things are rumored to go bump in the night.
2. Among the Sleep
Among the Sleep does a tremendous job of tapping into a child’s deepest fears, particularly during the twilight hours when behind closed doors. Its premise, although miles apart from My Friendly Neighborhood, centers itself around a young child stuck between reality and an endless nightmare—an alternate dimension in which its inhabitants resemble those closest to home.
On paper, Among the Sleep isn’t quite the horrifying episodic exploit you’d expect it to be. In the virtual flesh, however, it’s slightly more disturbing, and as such littered with several layers of though-provoking themes and morals. It’s survival horror from a child’s perspective, and it executes it surprisingly well.
1. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Frictional Games has a habit of conjuring award-winning survival-horror stories that depict creatures and themes in a way the average creator couldn’t dare fathom. Such is the case with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, the follow-up chapter to the universally praised Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Story-wise, their a few field goals apart, but mechanically, they’re one and the same; littered with bone-chilling encounters, thought-provoking puzzles, and mounds upon mounds of lore.
A Machine for Pigs takes you to 1899 London, roughly sixty years after the events of The Dark Descent. Playing as wealthy industrialist Oswald Mundus, you find yourself alone in the remnants of your once-lavish estate, robbed of your memory and tethered to a series of flashbacks that relate to a mysterious machine. With your children calling out for you to find them and plunge deeper into the estate, you must take your first steps and decipher the events that brought you to present day.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.