Neighbours From Hell
|Platforms:||PC, Xbox, Gamecube|
|Genres:||Adventure / Action Adventure|
|Release Date:||June 20, 2003|
The premise in this side-view puzzle game is at least amusing – playing the role of Woody, you’re job is to sneak into your neighbor’s home and pull practical jokes on the poor guy until. And you win bonus points for causing mental breakdowns. Sound simple and morally reprehensible enough? It is on both accounts, but the amusing and skillfully rendered clay animations give the game a nice, agreeable visual style.
Most of the time you invade the home of your ill-tempered neighbor and scavenge for items, being careful to stay out of his way so as not to get pummeled to death. You then carefully watch his daily routines (they are performed in a very linear, robotic manner) and figure out how to best use your found inventory items to pull the funniest, most painful gags on him.
Pranks range from the mundane (eg: banana peel jokes) to masterfully coordinated schemes that have a combined result, like spiking his meals with laxatives then clogging the toilet with paper rolls. You can perform these pranks in any order but get the best result by combining them intuitively, which requires careful timing and actual strategy. Get him really, really upset and you’ll win bonus points, which are required to advance at some points.
The only problem with the game is that there’s not much of a game to speak of. The entire action takes place in the old coot’s house, which gradually changes after each level – new areas are unlocked and different activities are introduced – but the core gameplay remains the same and borders dangerously on the mundane around halfway in (when you’ve seen most of what’s on offer as far game mechanics go).
At its core it takes a lot of trial and error to finish each level, which only adds to the game’s already short playtime – around three hours or so. While the ensuing jokes here aren’t hilarious, they do have their charms (much the same way that the game itself is somewhat charming). So if it”s a simple mid-afternoon Solitaire-type coffee break experience is what you’re looking for then Neighbours from Hell might just be the perfect temporary distraction.
System Requirements: Pentium II 166 Mhz, 64 MB RAM, Win 9X/ME/2000