Hello Neighbor

In Hello Neighbor, you live in what seems to be a perfectly normal neighborhood despite one factor – your super creepy neighbor across the street.  The aforementioned neighbor has something buried in his basement, and your sole job is to find out what it is.  Can you out-wit the creep across the street, or will you fall short and get kicked back to the curb?

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The Good

The entire concept of Hello Neighbor intrigued me, and on its surface, it is a very cool game.  The AI of your neighbor learns throughout the game, and will plan more and more for your repeated attempts at getting into his home and learning his secret.  For example, he will trap an area that he knows you previously used to enter his home.  This was what drew me into Hello Neighbor, and for the most part, this feature works very well.

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Hello Neighbor is difficult, in the best ways possible.  You have to think ahead and make decisions that will impact the ability of the AI to catch you.  Once in a room, do you close the door (which makes a bit of noise), or do you leave the door open and risk your neighbor more easily sneaking up on you?  The most important thing about these decisions is that you need to make the right one the first time because of the AI’s ability to learn (or, like me, you will be restarting quite a bit).  I loved this mechanic of the game, because it takes away your ability to play recklessly and you genuinely need to plan ahead.

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The Bad

While I ran into a very limited number of flaws, they had pretty significant impacts on how much I enjoyed the game.  The biggest one I ran into involved the consistent function of the basic controls of the game.  There are very few controls to the game, but the one for picking an item up and/or interacting with items in the world (RB on the Xbox One) did not work consistently for me.  Sometimes, I just had to be within the general area of an item I wanted to interact with, whereas other times, I had to have pinpoint accuracy.  Other times, I was right on an item I wanted to pick up, but no matter how many times I clicked or held the button, it wouldn’t do a thing.  I had to restart the game completely for this function to work again – and as one of the few functions of the game, this was incredibly aggravating.

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At one point, I appeared to fall into some alternate room-world.  I could not figure out how I had ended up in alt-world, if it had any purpose, and (most importantly) I could not replicate it.  I wouldn’t mind something like this, if I felt like it added something.  My inability to replicate it left me more confused than curious.

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The Achievements

I would really love to comment on the achievements.  Nothing would make me happier.  There’s only one problem – the achievement list is even more confusing than alternate room-world that I fell into.  I don’t mind a vague, intriguing achievement list (and at first, I thought this one was intriguing), but Hello Neighbor really leaves a lot to be desired in regards to following through.  I feel like even getting one achievement in Hello Neighbor is going to require some sort of guide, and unfortunately, I cannot comment beyond that as I haven’t been able to figure out any of them so far.

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The Verdict

Despite being a very intriguing game with a lot of potential, Hello Neighbor has a few major flaws (least of all being the $30 price tag).  Largely due to the finicky controls, I found myself more frustrated with this game than I did enjoying it.  For the plot and intrigue, this game may be worth the go, but I would wait until you can get it at a much better price.

2-5outof5

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