The only objective in Neighbours back From Hell is to be the biggest jerk as possible to your unsuspecting neighbour (or neighbor without a “u” if you are in America). Seriously, instead of being called Neighbours back From Hell, this game should have been called “a-hole simulator.”
For whatever reason, the playable character hates his neighbor and wants to make his already sad life even sadder and more depressed. Super creepily and filled with loads of potential jail time, Woody breaks into this neighbor’s house and ruins his day by setting traps Kevin McCallister-style. He isn’t looking at really hurting him but just wants to inconvenience him to the point of extreme frustration. For example, the first few stages will task the player to sneak into the kitchen and fill his beer with laxative. As he runs to the bathroom, the player can remove the toilet paper and place soap on the floor so he slips and hurts himself. It is European physical humor that often involve bowel movements in one way or another, you know, because that is always funny, right?
Gameplay is simple and only really involves one button and some minor trial and error. Walking around and clicking on things will add items to the player’s inventory, then click on another thing in environment to potentially activate the trap you are supposed to set. The most disappointing aspect is having to repeat the same traps throughout an entire episode. Although the player can finish each stage by walking back to the entry point, the game tries to encourage the player to piss off your neighbor fully by including a star system. Filling the rage meter will 100% that particular level. Since the gameplay is rather boring, the neighbor and traps repeat, and isn’t actually funny, I didn’t have the tenacity to earn all the stars so I am not sure what it might unlock, if anything at all. At least it is pretty easy to earn most of the Achievements if you are willing to sink in a little time.
The claymation visual style is very Wallace and Gromit although pixelated. Even though it is now in HD, it is easy to tell this was ported from a console of the past. The musical score also lacks as there isn’t even music in the menu screen. Navigating each environment is also a little touchy, making it occasionally difficult to find or click on certain objects throughout each stage. There were plenty of timed I accidentally walked through a door and the neighbor saw me trespassing in his house, beat me up, and punched me into a different room. This is another weird aspect of the game. If you catch a criminal in breaking into your house and setting childlike traps, wouldn’t you call the cops instead of pushing him in a different room and continuing your day as if nothing happened?
There isn’t much to Neighbours back From Hell as the player will eventually solve each situation by randomly clicking on things on the environment. When initially released as a simple PC game, sure, it might have been fun for a short burst, but there isn’t much here to enjoy in 2020. Designed solely around Three Stooges style physical humor, the novelty wears off quickly. You’ll probably have more fun grabbing a drink with your real life neighbor, hanging out in your garage/driveway/patio playing cornhole, than venturing through this repeating quest.
Also available on Switch, PS4, and PC.
Also Watch: Chicken Run (the movie)
Don’t Forget About: Hello Neighbor
Also Check out: Crazy Machine Elements (Xbox 360)