There’s something sinister going on in your new neighbor’s basement, and it’s up to you to find out. Hello Neighbor is an upcoming Stealth horror game developed by tinyBuild, the minds behind platform games No Time to Explain, Speedrunners, and Cluster Truck.
The premise is relatively simple, as the goal is to unlock the neighbor’s basement by solving puzzles, while simultaneously avoiding the man whose house you’re breaking into. I took the time to sit down and play a little over two hours of the game’s Alpha 1 build and these are a few of my impressions.
While the premise is simple, the game doesn’t hold your hand, offering very little in the tutorial department. With the exception of a few instructions written on the walls of your house – giving the players small tasks as a way of button mapping- I was pretty much on my own once I figured out the controls.
The lack of instructions, coupled with the fear of being caught by the neighbor, makes seemingly simple puzzles warrant multiple attempts, as some puzzle will reset after being caught. Each failure also creates a new hindrance for the next attempt, as the adapting AI placed multiple traps, blockades and inconveniences to slow me down.
Regardless of how many times I was caught, the dread that accompanied the neighbor gaze and the subsequent chase renewed levels of terror I wouldn’t have imagined possible. The background music associated with getting caught drummed up the terror to hair-raising lengths, as I jumped through windows – also broken by yours truly – and hid in dressers hoping to drop my BPMs down to a normal pace.
The art style of the game did a lot to mask the simple fear involved in the game, as it seemed the Pixar-esque world couldn’t possibly scare me. The cartoon nature of the game also allowed for a few nightmare sequences to sneak up on me – occurring after either multiple failed attempts or sleeping to escape the neighbor’s clutches – that exhibited other unique angles of scares the game may use once finished.
After multiple failed attempts and a few changes of clothes later I reached the end of the current build (the longer of two ways). Hello Neighbor is a refreshing take on both the stealth and horror genres, with the added fun and brain work of the puzzles involved.
Don’t just take my word for it, though, as a pre-alpha demo is available for everyone to play free of charge. If you can’t get enough, don’t fret, as there is an early alpha access for $29.99 which includes access to the pre-alpha, alpha, alpha 1, Beta and Final Build.
Set for release in Summer of 2017, the game is currently listed on Steam’s page for a PC-exclusive release. Be sure to check back to TheNerdStash for more build previews and other information regarding Hello Neighbor!