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Hello Neighbor

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Hello Neighbor
Hello Neighbor Beta Logo 2017.jpg
Developer(s)Dynamic Pixels
Publisher(s)tinyBuild
EngineUnreal Engine 4[1]
Platform(s)
Release
  • Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
  • December 8, 2017
  • Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS, Android
  • July 26, 2018
[2]
Genre(s)Stealth, survival horror
Mode(s)Single-player

Hello Neighbor is a survival horror stealth game developed by Dynamic Pixels and published by tinyBuild. The aim of the game is for the player to successfully sneak into the basement of their neighbor's house to uncover a secret.[3] The game's artificial intelligence (AI) modifies the neighbor's behavior based on the player's past actions, such as setting traps along paths the player followed in a previous attempt.[4][5][6]

Gameplay[edit]

In Hello Neighbor, the player finds themselves moving into a new house across the street from a mysterious neighbor who is behaving in a paranoid manner and seems to be keeping a secret in his basement. The player's task is to break into the neighbor's home and solve a series of puzzles in order to gather the items needed to unlock and access his basement. As the player explores the neighbor's house, they must not be spotted by the mysterious neighbor, or they will be chased down, and if the player is not quick enough to hide or escape, will be captured. The player can also stun the neighbor by throwing objects at him for an easier escape. If the player is caught (or suffers a serious injury), they will be sent back to their own house and will have to break in again. Upon starting again, the player must be more careful, as the neighbor will deduce movements from the last attempt to set up traps.[7]

The game is played in a first-person perspective, and the player must aim a very small reticule at the center of the screen at certain objects to interact with them, or use the reticule to throw or use a currently held item (for example, throwing a ball at a window or aiming a crowbar at nails to remove them). Up to four items can be kept in an inventory space, while items of the same kind cannot be stacked together in one slot.[8]

Plot[edit]

Act 1[edit]

A child named Nicky Roth is playing in the street when he hears a scream from his neighbor's house. Nicky Roth goes to investigate and witnesses the neighbor apparently locking a person in his basement. Nicky Roth then sneaks into the neighbor's house, finds the keycard to the basement, and enters. He finds that the neighbor has converted his basement into a makeshift underground dungeon, but finds no sign of any prisoner. Nicky Roth then runs into Mr. Peterson, (the neighbor), and is captured.

Act 2[edit]

Nick wakes up, finding himself locked in the neighbor's basement dungeon. He manages to escape his cell and reach the surface, only to find that the neighbor has erected a massive fence around his property to prevent escape. Nicky Roth is forced to solve a number of puzzles in order to find a way to escape the neighbor's property. Once he crosses the fence, Nicky Roth flees back to his home, though Mr. Peterson does not give chase.

Throughout both Acts 1 and 2, if Nicky Roth is caught by Mr. Peterson before he can finish his objectives, he will have vivid nightmares about the neighbor's past. In these nightmares, it is revealed that the neighbor used to have a family consisting of a wife, son named Aaron Peterson, and daughter named Mya Peterson. However, the wife was apparently killed in a car crash while Aaron Peterson killed Mya Peterson by accident. Mr. Peterson then locks up his son Aaron Peterson in the dungeon to prevent him from getting hurt.

Act 3[edit]

Nick, now a grown adult, wakes up in his apartment. He is evicted from his apartment, so he decides to return to his old family home. He finds his old home in disrepair while the neighbor's home is also nothing but a pile of ruins. While inspecting the ruins, the man is haunted by a dark shadow-like creature and he returns to his home where he falls asleep. The man is quickly awoken by a child's scream, and he discovers the neighbor's house is back, but now larger, more complex, and more surreal than before. The man navigates the house and has surreal experiences, such as battling a giant version of the neighbor and protecting his younger self from a giant shadow. Eventually, the man finds the exit and wakes up to find that the neighbor's house is still a ruin.

It is implied throughout the events of the game that most of Act 3 was a nightmare occurring in the man's head, and that his escape from the house signifies him finally coming to terms with his kidnapping as a boy at the hands of the neighbor.

Development[edit]

The game was released as an alpha build on Dynamic Pixels' website in 2015. It was later approved for sale as an early access game by the Steam Greenlight program and a Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund further development. The studio signed a deal with tinyBuild to publish the game.[9] The first pre-alpha version of the game was released in September 2016.[10][11][12] The Alpha 1 version of Hello Neighbor was released on October 26, 2016.[when?][13][14][15] Alpha 2 was released on November 22, 2016. Alpha 3 was released on December 22, 2016. Alpha 4 was released on May 4, 2017.

The game went into the beta phase on July 25, 2017.[citation needed] For Halloween 2017, a promotional mod was released including multiple elements from the indie game Bendy and the Ink Machine. The mod includes a black and yellow background, ink, music from the game and multiple appearances of Bendy.[citation needed] The game was originally set for full release August 29, 2017,[16] but was delayed until December 8, 2017.[17][18]

The game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One on 8 December 2017. A timed Microsoft exclusive, Hello Neighbor was later ported to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and mobile devices.[19] The mobile versions of the game are only supported on a limited number of devices and come with a free trial that allows the player to play through Act 1, with the option to unlock the remaining two Acts with an in-game purchase.[20]

Add-on[edit]

On June 10, 2018, tinyBuild announced the first add-on to Hello Neighbor, called "Secret Neighbor". Secret Neighbor is a multiplayer horror game that takes place between Act 1 and Act 2 of Hello Neighbor. The game follows a group of friends trying to free their friend from the Neighbor's basement. However, one of the friends is a Neighbor in disguise. The game is scheduled to be released in Q1 2019 [21]

A prequel, Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek, was announced in August 2018 with a planned release in December 2018. Hide and Seek deals with the events of the Neighbor's family that caused him to become a recluse.[22] The game was released on December 7, 2018.[23][24]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPC: 38/100[25]
XONE: 42/100[26]
NS: 39/100[27]

When the game was initially released on Microsoft platforms, critics gave it mixed reviews, admonishing its gameplay, control scheme and technical performance while some praised the story aspects and art style. Ultimately, the game received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Metacritic gave it "generally unfavorable reviews" and gave a score of 42 out of 100, 39 out of 100, and 38 out of 100 for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, respectively.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Calandra, Nick (5 October 2016). "Hello, Neighbor – 10 Minutes of Unedited Pre-Alpha Gameplay Footage Released". OnlySP. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  2. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (10 May 2018). "Hello Neighbor Is Coming to Mobile Devices in July - Bleeding Cool". Bleeding Cool.
  3. ^ Pereira, Chris (4 May 2017). "Hello Neighbor, The Game About Sneaking Into Your Neighbor's House, Debuts New Alpha Update". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  4. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia (29 September 2016). "A Horror Game Where The AI Learns From Your Every Move". Kotaku UK. Future Publishing. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  5. ^ Chalk, Andy (23 November 2016). "Watch the guy next door get creepy in two new Hello Neighbor trailers". PC Gamer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ Lemon, Marshall (1 October 2016). "Hello Neighbor is a horror game about breaking into someone's house". VG247.com. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ Cosimano, Mike (1 February 2017). "Hello Neighbor is a horror game for cowards". Destructoid. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ Favis, Elise (11 October 2016). "Test Chamber – Trespassing Into A Stranger's Home In Hello Neighbor". Game Informer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  9. ^ Munger, Karla (1 October 2017). "Hello Neighbor...Not Exactly Welcome Wagon". www.justadventure.com. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  10. ^ Frank, Allegra (29 September 2016). "Hello Neighbor is a voyeuristic indie home invasion simulator". Polygon. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  11. ^ Devorre, Jordan (15 October 2015). "Hello, Neighbor! is unexpectedly terrifying". Destructoid. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  12. ^ Flint, Sean (18 June 2015). "IndieGames.com Hello, Neighbour! Encourages Breaking and Entering". indiegames.com. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  13. ^ Delahunty-Light, Zoe (6 October 2016). "Are you the villain in Hello, Neighbor? The AI thinks so and learns your tactics to hunt you down". Games Radar. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  14. ^ Helm, Jordan (29 September 2016). "tinyBuild Officially Announce Stealth Horror Title Hello Neighbor". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  15. ^ Chalk, Andy (9 May 2017). "The Humble tinyBuild Bundle includes Punch Club, Clustertruck, and a freebie for everyone". PC Gamer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  16. ^ Faller, Patrick (25 May 2017). "Hello Neighbor PC/Xbox One Release Date Announced; New Trailer Highlights The Creepy AI". GameSpot. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  17. ^ Nichiporchik, Alex (14 August 2017). "Hello Neighbor Beta 3 Launch Producers Update". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  18. ^ Chalk, Andy (15 August 2017). "Creepy stealth game Hello Neighbor is delayed to December". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  19. ^ Franzese, Tomas (10 May 2018). "Hello Neighbor is Finally Releasing on Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, and Android this July". DualShockers. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  20. ^ Knight, Shawn (27 July 2018). "Home invasion simulator 'Hello Neighbor' now available on mobile devices". TechSpot. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Secret Neighbor - Hello Neighbor Multiplayer Horror Game". Secret Neighbor - Hello Neighbor Multiplayer Horror Game. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  22. ^ Lane, Rick (31 August 2018). "Hello Neighbor is getting a prequel". PC Gamer. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  23. ^ Clark, Dean (4 December 2018). "Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek Set To Launch This Friday". GameTyrant. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  24. ^ Good, Owen (6 December 2018). "Xbox Winter of Arcade lineup announced". Polygon. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Hello Neighbor for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Hello Neighbor for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Hello Neighbor for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 September 2018.

External links[edit]