Monday, 30 July 2018

Hello Neighbor ★★★☆☆

Don’t let the PEGI 7 age rating of this game fool you into thinking it is a child’s game. This is easily one of the hardest games I have ever attempted to play in my life. The aim of the game is simple: break into your neighbour’s house and see what he is hiding in his basement without getting caught. Whilst that may sound straightforward, there is a whole bunch of obstacles in your way which in turn make this the most frustrating game. The game consists of three acts, all of which contain different layouts that get more complex as the game progresses.

At first, I thought I was doing quite well. Despite having little instruction, I’d managed to enter the house unscathed and have a good run around before getting caught. However, after what felt like 2048585 attempts to even get anywhere near the basement, I was about ready to give up. A lot of the game relies on illogical puzzles that are more based on ‘trial and error’ than they are strategy. One of the main issues is the game never really explains your full capabilities. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want step by step instructions. But a few more hints of pointers wouldn’t have gone amiss and probably would’ve made the game a little bit more enjoyable. Another thing that made the game even harder than it needed to be was the point of view. Everything was so zoomed in! Normally I’d favour a first person perspective, but this one left me with absolutely no spatial awareness. I often found myself running into walls or random objects which ultimately just meant I kept getting caught. 

The thing that appealed to me initially about this game was the promise of ‘horror’. For me, a key element of horror is suspense. However, after you’ve been caught over and over again, any suspense or surprise is gone which meant the game lost its appeal slightly. That being said, as the game progressed into the final act, the game had more of a sinister feel to it that definitely satisfied my craving for horror and creepiness.

As annoying as this game was, it did keep me entertained for a long time (which is a miracle for me). It also was great to play with a group of people, everybody had different ideas and solutions for the problems – most of which didn’t work, but hey, you can’t have everything. So, if you can deal with being frustrated for a few hours (or days), then go ahead and find what’s lurking in that basement. 

Georgia Hughes

Hello Neighbor at CeX

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