Neighbours from Hell Review
Give the neighbours hell!
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 1st October 2003
Neighbours from Hell
- Developer: JoWooD
- Publisher: JoWooD
- Release Date: 30th May 2003
It's not unusual for neighbours to become good, close friends, popping over for a BBQ everyone now and then, going round for a cup of tea a couple of times a week however there are also the neighbours who truly hate each other, they despise everything from each others fences to their hedges to the length of their grass to the colour of their front door and its these not so friendly neighbours which are evidently more entertaining!
Neighbours from Hell is a new game show and you play the main character, Woody. The idea is to push up the ratings by playing tricks and laying traps for your lonely, grumpy, short fused neighbour causing hysterics for the audience and despair for your neighbour.
The game begins with an extremely short tutorial allowing players to get to grips with the controls of the game from moving Woody around to laying traps and picking up objects. Thankfully as the controls are very simple the tutorial is over very quickly and you can set about causing chaos in your neighbour’s house.
There are 14 episodes for you to play through and each one begins with Woody sneaking into the neighbour’s house. After a short applause from the audience you take control of your evil little comedian and begin looking for objects and opportunities which can be used against your neighbour.
The house starts off pretty simple with a basic variation of rooms such as the living room, bathroom, hallway and kitchen but as the game goes on other rooms become unlocked such as the basement, bedroom and study. Useable items can be found all over the house in drawers, medicine cabinets, fridges etc and there are numerous ways to trick your neighbour from leaving a banana skin on a slippery floor (causing him to fall) to replacing his deodorant with hair restorer (causing him to become…well rather hairy!).
Each trick causes your neighbour to see red and lose his temper and if you can set your traps in a consistent manner, ensuring that your neighbour stays angry throughout without getting a chance to calm down you will score extra points and hence draw higher ratings for that episode. Thankfully your neighbour normally follows a certain routine throughout the episode and a thought bubble above his head can also give you an indication of where he will be heading next. If your neighbour happens to catch you in his house you will receive a rather violent beating and the show will end so do yourself a favour and stay out of his way!
There are other elements in the gameplay that makes things a little more difficult for woody too such as timed episodes and pets! Your neighbour keeps a varied selection of pets from parrots to pigs to the good old’ faithful house dog and these pets return their owners love and affection by protecting his house. Thankfully, despite being no Sam Fisher, Woody is able to use a little stealth around the house enabling him to sneak very slowly and quietly past watchful pets. If however you do wake up a pet they will make a racket and alarm your neighbour who will then sprint to the room you are in to see what is going on, if you don’t get out fast enough you will be caught and another thing to remember is whilst sneaking past sleeping pets you are moving at snail pace, not good if your neighbour happens to be heading for the room you are trying to sneak out of!
Neighbours from Hell boasts excellent graphics with characters and environments set in a distinct cartoon style. Animation is superb and on the whole the game runs very smoothly and looks clean, crisp and well presented.
The games audio features a mix of game show style music and household noises such as the microwave beeps and the blaring TV. Characters voices have been acted out well from the snide giggle of Woody when he lays a trap to the blabbering shouts of despair from the neighbour when he falls for something!
On the whole Neighbours from Hell is an excellent game with a solid idea behind it and severely addictive gameplay. My only problem with the game is how incredibly short it is, there are 14 episodes to play through but once you get the idea of how to play the game these episodes can be completed within minutes. I personally managed to finish every episode in the game within 4 hours and sure you can go over them again and try and improve the ratings but once they have all been completed it leaves little else to carry on playing for.
Neighbours from Hell is a good game, controls are easy to master, the humour works perfectly and graphics and sound are excellent, its just such a shame that the game is so short lived and this takes away so much replay value from the overall game (unless you don’t mind replaying the same episodes of course!).
Anyone with a sense of humour will love this game and although it is relatively short you should at least take a look to see what the game has to offer, a quick dose of fun, especially if you happen to have a neighbour from hell!
Review Score: 8.4/10
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