Reviewed by Brett
Publisher – tinyBuild Games
Developer – Dynamic Pixels
Category – Puzzle, Action, Adventure
Release Date – July 27, 2018
Would you be my? Could you be my? Won’t you be my neighbor?
Everybody’s had a strange neighbor or two. That guy that’s always up late, maybe making weird noises in the night, maybe giving you awkward glares. Well that’s how Hello Neighbor begins, except you outright see your neighbor holding a woman hostage and since your a nosy kid your going to find out exactly whats going down inside that house. But how strange does this neighbor get? Follow along for a glimpse inside the mind of a killer next door.
Your a young kid that has just moved into a new neighborhood. Your quick to notice that your neighbor across the street is pretty strange. You also hear screams and come to find out by trespassing on his property and peeking in his window that he has someone locked in his basement. Being the nosy kid you are its up to you to figure out exactly what he is up to and what he is hiding.
Gameplay in Hello Neighbor initially revolves around you sneaking into the neighbors house and trying to make it into his basement. To do this you will have to find keys to unlock doors and solve numerous puzzles designed to keep you out, all of which is much easier said then done. All things in Hello Neighbor all solved by finding the correct items to use in order to progress, which in and of itself can be quite challenging to figure out.
Like really hard. I did my fair share of head scratching during this game.
Most everything in the environment can be picked up and used, lots of it will be junk, like garbage can lids, paintings, cardboard boxes, but everything also serves its purpose. Boxes can be stacked to gain access to hard to reach places and pretty much everything can be thrown to cause a distraction or break a window. The controls of doing this is where I had some issues with the game. The detection of how you interact with objects can at times be infuriating. Trying to use an item can be hit and miss. Often you will find yourself with an item in hand that you know needs to be used in a certain area and it will take numerous attempts at making it work, this is mostly due to having to have the exact angle right.
While dealing with all of that the neighbor is always on the lookout for you and will setting traps to help stop you. He knows that your snooping around and if he catches you your sent back out to the street and on occasions will be taken to another area where you will get a glimpse into the neighbors past. If he spots you the music will change and you will know the chase is afoot. You can slow the neighbor down by throwing objects at him or you can just outrun him and hide until he cant find you.
The game is split into chapters and will take you from the house to the basement and into the future where you are grown up and have come back to face the neighbor and his new deliriously designed mega house. You will also have to traverse through nightmare segments where you will gain key abilities needed to defeat the neighbor.
Peewees Playhouse on an acid trip
I actually really quite love the cartoony, somewhat abstract colorful art direction of Hello Neighbor. Nothing is too over the top but the slightly off and pleasing aesthetic helps keep the game from being overly in the horror realm. Abduction, murder and pure insanity aside this helps the game somehow be more for everyone than if it was a more realistic direction. Although I don’t think that I would mind playing a game like this with high end graphics filled with ultra violence and viscera.
My time with Hello Neighbor was both fun and angering. Controls left me wanting a tighter experience and a complete lack of hand holding left me stuck in several circumstances. In the end however I came out mostly enjoying the ride. It is without a doubt a unique experience but Hello Neighbor will not be for everyone. Challenge seekers may revel in the task at hand and if you have the patience required in figuring out how to navigate the neighbors fun house gone wrong, you will probably enjoy your time. However if you have no patience and hate problem solving this game is certainly not for you. I in the end recommend giving it a go but beware the challenges and possible frustration ahead.