Come Meet Your New Neighbor

The lyrics to the opening song of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” end, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?”

Just as great as Mr. Rogers was (God bless that man), the neighbor in the game “Hello Neighbor” by Dynamic Pixels and tinyBuild (being released for personal computers and Xbox One Dec. 8) is pretty much the opposite of our dear PBS Kids host.

Not only is this neighbor a shut-in who doesn’t even want to welcome you into the neighborhood after you just moved in, you have a sneaking suspicion that some demonic activity resides alongside the creepy individual across the street.

Like any new individual who moves into a new place, you go and break into your neighbor’s house to snoop around.

Almost every single game nowadays has an artificial intelligence (AI) working against or for you at some point during the experience. The big difference that the AI of “Hello Neighbor” has compared to many others is that it is procedural, meaning it learns how the player plays and what tricks they like to use. The AI then creates traps and obstacles based on what the player does. In essence, the AI gets smarter and harder the longer you play. I can imagine that this would force a player to continually be creating different ways to enter the neighbor’s house. I did mention that your new neighbor is creepy, didn’t I?

“Hello Neighbor” is classified as a stealth-horror game according to the home page on its website. I can say that this game is precisely what Dynamic Pixels and tinyBuild says it is. I have also watched a few Youtubers play the game. By seeing them recoil in surprise and fear as their locations are discovered and the neighbor runs toward, or mechanical sharks jump at them, I agree with the classification.

Another feature that the game holds is the graphical and artistic styles implemented. The game has the look and feel of a Pixar animation movie. The closest Pixar character I could compare the neighbor to is Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible of “The Incredibles.” The only differences being that the neighbor has less muscle, a more prominent head and can apparently grow to be as big as a house.

This game looks like it is entertaining to play and will have an intense gameplay experience.

Will you be an excellent nosy neighbor and discover the dark secrets hidden inside your neighbor’s house?

To once more reference the opening song to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together, we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?”

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