Indie game developer tinyBuild is back again with a fantastic new puzzle thriller called Hello Neighbor.
The basic premise is that you are just moving into a new house. Most of the houses in the area are one story (yours, in fact, is basically a room) but the house across the street has a dozen or so additions and three or four floors, and…a railway? There’s something fishy going on, so out of pure curiosity, you sneak over to try to investigate.
In the alpha version I played, the keyboard/mouse controls were fairly easy to get used to, and noting that it is an early version I’m sure there are still some tweaks to come. In fact, they warn you about glitches that may happen in the early builds. I ran into one major glitch after my first go around, and it actually worked to my advantage (slightly).
Without going into too much detail, I’ll say that there are regular rooms in the house, and then there are rooms that kinda don’t make sense for a residence. There are clear cut puzzles that when you solve them, open up items that can grant you access to other rooms. It all seems to lead to one room that’s locked up tight…what is your neighbor hiding?
Your neighbor has a fairly set schedule, and does things like water the flowers at a certain time, so you may have to use alternate entrances. I started my investigation at night, and was able to make my way around the house fairly easily. After a couple puzzles and making my way upstairs…I was caught. It’s a frightening experience, but upon being captured that’s not game over. You start again in your house, and after getting your wits about you, you can head back over. This time, however, it won’t be so easy.
Your neighbor is a crafty AI who learns from your actions and movements. Upon my second visit, the neighbor was ready for me, and he actually chased me down the street. The time after that, he followed me to my house! He climbed through the window to my bedroom and then… just stood there. Having this glitch happen was a happy accident, because I could explore the house without fear of capture, but the defenses were already up. In his house, taking a similar path as before, were barred doors, security cameras in the hallways, and even bear traps!
I will definitely keep working through the alpha and will pick up the game upon it’s official release. You can pick up the alpha at their website, and there is a pretty sweet offer at Humble Bundle right now where you can pick up the tinyBuild library and a Hello Neighbor pre-order if you pay at least $40 (limited time).
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