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Hello Neighbor

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

Hello Neighbor is a survival horror stealth game developed by Russian video game studio Dynamic Pixels and published by TinyBuild. The goal of the game is to successfully sneak into the basement of the 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] A sequel, Hello Neighbor 2, is scheduled for release in 2021.

Gameplay

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, they will be captured. The player can 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] However, the player can use the game settings to turn on "friendly" neighbor mode, preventing the neighbor from setting these traps and causing him to be less aggressive in his pursuits. However, he is still to be avoided at all costs.[8]

The game is divided into four parts: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act Finale. The game is played in a first-person perspective, and the player must aim a reticle at certain objects to interact with them or 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. Items of the same kind cannot be stacked together in one slot.[9]

Plot

The neighbor's house as it appears at the beginning of the game.

A child named Nicky Roth is playing in the street when he hears a scream from his neighbor's house. Nicky goes to investigate and witnesses the neighbor apparently locking a person in his basement. Nicky sneaks into the neighbor's house, finds the key 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 runs into Mr. Peterson, who is the neighbor, and is captured. Nicky 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 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, he flees back to his home, though Mr. Peterson does not give chase.

Throughout both Acts 1 and 2, if Nicky 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 named Diane, a son named Aaron, and a daughter named Mya. However, the wife was killed in a car crash while Aaron killed Mya by pushing her off the roof, not knowing it would kill her, until it was too late. Mr. Peterson locks up his son in the dungeon to prevent him from getting hurt. This information was revealed in the book Hello Neighbor: Missing Pieces.

Nicky, 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, Nicky is haunted by a dark shadow-like creature and he returns to his home where he falls asleep. He is 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. Nicky navigates the house and has surreal experiences, such as learning to double jump by shrinking down and trying to turn on the light that is far out of reach. Eventually, he enters the basement, now older and more surreal. When Nicky gets out of the basement, he finds himself trying to knock down a giant neighbor to get inside a house on his back. After doing so, he must protect a younger version of himself from a giant shadow man. Each time the shadow man attacks and Nicky protects the boy, Nicky grows larger until he is able to fight the shadow man. After the shadow is defeated, Nicky sees the neighbor in a small two room house. When the neighbor spots Nicky he runs aggressively to the window as if to start giving chase, but then shrugs his shoulders and turns away sad. In the other room is a much smaller shadow man. The neighbor has boarded the door up on his side and placed a chair against it. Shadow man is seen standing right by the door on the other side. Behind him is another door with an exit sign above it.

It is implied throughout the events of the game that most of Act 3 and the Finale is a nightmare occurring in Nicky'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

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.[10] The first pre-alpha version of the game was released in September 2016.[11][12][13] The Alpha 1 version of Hello Neighbor was released on 26 October 2016.[when?][14][15][16] Alpha 2 was released on 22 November 2016. Alpha 3 was released on 22 December 2016. Alpha 4 was released on 4 May 2017.

The game went into the beta phase on 25 July 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 a full release on 29 August 2017,[17] but was delayed until 8 December 2017.[18][19]

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.[20] 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 and finale with an in-game purchase.[21]

Prequel and spin-offs

Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek

A prequel, Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek, was announced in August 2018. Hide & Seek deals with the events of the Neighbor's family that caused him to become a recluse.[22] The game was released on 7 December 2018 on the same platforms as the original game, including non-Microsoft systems.[23]

Secret Neighbor: Hello Neighbor Multiplayer Horror Game

Secret Neighbora multiplayer spin-off toHello Neighbor was announced on 10 June 2018. Set between the first two acts of Hello Neighbor, this game follows a group of friends trying to free their friend from the Neighbor's basement, each player class has a certain skillset and working together is required to get the keys needed to unlock the basement. However, one of the friends is The Neighbor in disguise and also has various class-based abilities at their disposal to confuse, trick, capture or otherwise deter the children from achieving this goal. More than a year after its announcement, the game was released on 24 October 2019,[24] and is currently available for Xbox and PC via Steam.

Hello Neighbor 2 (formerly known as Hello Guest/Late Night Shift)

Hello Guest (Formerly referred to as Late Night Shift in early development), was announced and a demo released on 14 June, 2020.[25] Hello Guest was later revealed to be the pre-alpha of Hello Neighbor 2 and on July 23, 2020 it was announced as the sequel to the original Hello Neighbor Game.[26] On this same day Hello Neighbor 2 Alpha 1 was also released, with Alpha 1.5 releasing on October 26th, 2020.[27] Currently Hello Neighbor 2 is set for release in 2021.

Hello Neighbor Animated Series: Pilot Episode

An animated series based on the game was announced and the pilot episode aired for the first time on 17 April 2020.[28][29] The pilot was watched by more than 11 million viewers within the first week, which to TinyBuild’s chief executive officer Alex Nichiporchik, demonstrated the strength of Hello Neighbor as a franchise.[30]

Hello Engineer

Hello Engineer, a multiplayer machinery-building construction game set in the Hello Neighbor universe was announced on 20 October 2020 with a gameplay reveal trailer following four days later. In Hello Engineer you scavenge and craft contraptions in the sandbox world of the abandoned Golden Apple amusement park. You’ll need to cooperate with others in order to build awesome machines from scrap, and at the same time you will have to avoid the Neighbor.

In July 2020, TinyBuild acquired the development team from Dynamic Pixels to establish a new studio by the name of Eerie Guest Studios and invested US$15 millioninto the Hello Neighbor series.[31]

Sequel

A sequel, Hello Neighbor 2, is set for release in 2021 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X.[32]

Reception

When the game was initially released on Windows, critics gave it negative 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. However on Steam the game maintains a Very Positive rating.

References

  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. ^ Arthur, Ty (11 December 2017). "Hello Neighbor Friendly Mode Changes". www.gameskinny.com. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  9. ^ Favis, Elise (11 October 2016). "Test Chamber – Trespassing Into A Stranger's Home In Hello Neighbor". Game Informer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  10. ^ Munger, Karla (1 October 2017). "Hello Neighbor...Not Exactly Welcome Wagon". www.justadventure.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  11. ^ Frank, Allegra (29 September 2016). "Hello Neighbor is a voyeuristic indie home invasion simulator". Polygon. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  12. ^ Devorre, Jordan (15 October 2015). "Hello, Neighbor! is unexpectedly terrifying". Destructoid. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  13. ^ Flint, Sean (18 June 2015). "IndieGames.com Hello, Neighbour! Encourages Breaking and Entering". indiegames.com. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Helm, Jordan (29 September 2016). "tinyBuild Officially Announce Stealth Horror Title Hello Neighbor". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  16. ^ Chalk, Andy (9 May 2017). "The Humble tinyBuild Bundle includes Punch Club, Clustertruck, and a freebie for everyone". PC Gamer. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  17. ^ Faller, Patrick (25 May 2017). "Hello Neighbor PC/Xbox One Release Date Announced; New Trailer Highlights The Creepy AI". GameSpot. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  18. ^ Nichiporchik, Alex (14 August 2017). "Hello Neighbor Beta 3 Launch Producers Update". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  19. ^ Chalk, Andy (15 August 2017). "Creepy stealth game Hello Neighbor is delayed to December". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  20. ^ Franzese, Tomas (10 May 2018). "Hello Neighbor is Finally Releasing on Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, and Android this July". DualShockers. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  21. ^ Knight, Shawn (27 July 2018). "Home invasion simulator 'Hello Neighbor' now available on mobile devices". TechSpot. Retrieved 1 August 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. ^ Miller, Chris (22 October 2019). "Hello, Neighbor's Newest Upcoming Entry Capitalizes On The One-Versus-Many gameplay stylized by Dead By Daylight, Evolve". HappyGamer. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  25. ^ "New 'Hello Neighbor' game, 'Hello Guest,' leaps out of shadows as free demo". sg.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  26. ^ Chalk, Andy (23 July 2020). "Hello Neighbor 2 is coming in 2021 with a bigger game world and 'self-learning AI'". PC Gamer. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  27. ^ Spandl, Ariana (26 October 2020). "Hello Neighbor 2 Alpha 1.5: Spooky Scary Raven Brooks". Xbox Wire. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  28. ^ MaddOx (14 April 2020). "Hello Neighbor Gets an Animated Series". FULLSYNC. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Pilot Episode Of Hello Neighbor Animated Series To Premiere Tomorrow". TheGamer. 16 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  30. ^ Taylor, Haydn (22 April 2020). "Hello Neighbor test pilot racks up 11m views in a week". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  31. ^ Takahashi, Dean (16 July 2020). "TinyBuild acquires Hello Neighbor devs and will invest $15 million in franchise". VentureBeat. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  32. ^ Hello Neighbor 2 Announced for Xbox Series X, 2021 Release - IGN, retrieved 25 July 2020
  33. ^ "Hello Neighbor for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Hello Neighbor for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Hello Neighbor for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 September 2018.

External links