Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 177 - Hello Neighbor

Today's game is one I've gone back and forth on. At first I hated it. Then I thought it was kind of ok. Then I tried to make a video to show off the good parts and the game refused to work right, so now I kind of hate it again. I'm talking about Hello Neighbor, a super crappy YouTube bait game that sucks. Read more and watch gameplay right here.

When I first saw Hello Neighbor, I thought it looked awful. It got a big (paid) push on YouTube and Twitch and it seemed like "everybody" was playing it. The problem was that no one ever got very far because the game is glitchy and broken and poorly designed and awful. It didn't look fun. And it definitely didn't look like it was worth $25.

Then it came to Xbox Game Pass so I gave it a try myself, and immediately hated it. It plays so badly. It is clunky and janky and glitchy and the objectives are obtuse and weird and it wasn't fun. I deleted it after five minutes.

Months later, Andrew came over so I thought maybe we could figure stuff out better together, or at least laugh at how awful it was. Something strange happened, though - we had fun. We slowly started figuring out the mechanics, first with Andrew at the controls and then I took over, and suddenly we were making progress. Stack a thing on a shelf, jump on the roof, break a window, use a fan to blow some boxes over onto a switch. Bing. Bang. Boom. You got a key and you're off to figuring out the next puzzle. We didn't record this session, but we really should have.

I kept playing on my own over the next few days and made more progress and discovered the game is even darker and crazier than it first appears. It's already weird with the "Rear Window" or "Disturbia" inspired plotline of witnessing your neighbor do something bad and then sneaking into their house to investigate, but it gets even crazier as you keep making progress. I won't spoil it, but your neighbor is up to some terrible stuff and the level - your neighbor's house - dramatically changes as you go through each act.

So I wanted to show off the game and prove to people that it isn't just a clunky piece of crap and actually has positive stuff going for it. I practiced the first level a few times and got it down perfectly. I knew exactly what to do. Then I tried to actually record it and everything went to shit. I was fighting the controls constantly. The neighbor was suddenly showing up in places I didn't even know were possible. The stupid boxes wouldn't blow over properly to hit a switch. Nothing freaking worked.

So. After all of that. I have returned to my original conclusion that Hello Neighbor freaking sucks. I tried my hardest to show it off and put it in a good light and convince people to give it a real shot, but it sucks. It plays bad. It doesn't work right. Don't waste your time. Screw it.