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Neighbours From Hell (PC)

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    3 Reviews
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      02.02.2008 15:41
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      Good and novel fun.... for a while.

      This game is set out as a cartoon style reality television show where you have to go about playing various pranks and tricks on your next door neighbour. It is more of a puzzle / platform game where you have to work out the available tricks, to be performed using various objects that are left about and working out a strategy in which to use the objects. As the game progresses through the levels you may need to set up two tricks in order to trigger the third one.

      The game is very original and is surprisingly addictive though it is not particularly durable and you will probably find yourself getting bored of the same old thing after a week or two. Some of the pranks can be quite entertaining though as you wrap cling film over your neighbours toilet seat, glue the pages of his books together and swap his soap for hair growth cream.

      The graphics have a very strong cartoon feel and are not particularly impressive but too much detail would probably ruin the gameplay anyway. The soundtrack and sound effects are not the best but there are a few amusing little sniggers each time you successfully pull a prank and watch your neighbour lose his temper then come running about looking for you. Don't get caught though because he'll beat you up!

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        24.09.2006 15:26
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        An interesting concept - about time something good came from reality TV.

        ‘Neighbours from Hell!' - Whilst looking to see if anyone had any interesting stories on this subject, I stumbled across the game of this title. It is addictive, but disappointingly short. Based on the phenomenon that is reality TV, you are a character called Woody who trespasses in his neighbour’s house, wreaking destruction.

        Hilarious, you might think. But; I have begun to identify a little with the neighbour. On a superficial level, the string vest needs the attention of Trinny and Suze or some gay blokes, but he struggles with yoga in order to get his weight down. (At least he’s trying to do something about it.)

        While I am not keen on his enjoyment of blood sports, his mistreatment of pets or his pipe smoking, this poor man has many redeeming features. He is handy around the house, loves his mother (and likes to make her presents), enjoys quiet afternoons in front of the telly with a beer and generally seems to keep himself to himself. Unlike other men, he cleans up spillages on encountering them and fixes broken household equipment the minute it goes wrong. Not once do we see him wrecking Woody’s house. If he catches Woody, then he does give him a bit of a kicking, but he’s no Tony Martin.

        Woody, conversely, deserves little sympathy from the viewer. Short and weasly with a sense of humour that seems to focus around blocking toilets and putting drawing pins on chairs, Woody repeatedly endangers the neighbours life with electricity and shotguns. He also likes to do that pointing in the air victory dance reminiscent of The Office’s David Brent. Woody is supposedly taking revenge. We never find out why this revenge is actually required, let alone justified.


        GAMEPLAY:

        The game has fantastic graphics, but is really little more than point and click gameplay. This suits me, I love a pretty game and I need only one hand free to use the mouse and can therefore eat chocolate with the other one. The music is appropriate and the sound effects are good for a giggle without becoming annoying.

        There is an element of timing required to complete the tricks, alongside a devious mind. Playing the tricks in the right sequence will really provoke the neighbour to boiling point. It’s funny in places and the detective element is a great way to get your brain in gear. Who would have thought simple household objects had so much potential for mischief? But then who would expect to find nitroglycerine in the medicine cabinet?

        There are obstacles in the form of pets and stealth is required to get past these. They add another dimension to the game, although you wonder why the neighbour chains them up – surely they’d be more use if they could attack.

        The most irritating aspect (apart from the length of the game) is the fact that you’re often too busy trying to rig up the next trick to enjoy the results of the last one. The ‘trick camera’ is intended to provide a solution, but this only scrolls to the neighbour’s suffering as it happens and if you’re in a hurry to do something and you need to use the trick to delay him, that’s no good. It would be better if you could watch a replay instead.

        Also, once you work out what to do with a particular item, you’ve cracked the puzzle. Some items appear over subsequent levels and you do the same trick with them a few times over.

        This is exactly the kind of game my brother and I would have loved as kids. Admittedly, we fought over it a bit this summer as adults. This is because it allows only one player at a time. For example you can begin a game, do a couple of levels and save it. Another person wanting to play on it while you’re otherwise occupied can’t start the game from the beginning, as this would erase your completed levels.



        DIFFICULTY:

        The game is divided into three seasons, each season a little harder than the last. Your ratings allow you to win the Bronze, Silver or Gold ‘Neighbour Award’. By the third season, you have to do a little more legwork, time your tricks right and occasionally hide to avoid the neighbour.

        For some reason I thought there was another page of levels and rushed through the episodes. They don’t take long to complete and they’re pretty easy.

        Now, I like easy games for the following reasons;
        Who wants to play a game that’s so fiendishly hard and complicated that you lose your patience and abandon it (Legend of Zelda)?
        You should be able to work out what to do and do it quickly – gleaning a sense of achievement – rather than have to consult walkthroughs and websites.
        Why make a game that takes so long to complete that you don’t even remember the start? Surely it’s in the interest of the designers and manufacturers to make a game that finishes relatively quickly so that you rush out and buy the sequel.

        But, Neighbours From Hell is perhaps a little too easy. What I didn’t realise until I’d completed it, was that the time limit is optional. The time limit function makes the game more challenging and that had been switched on for the duration of my game. So, it’s possible to make this game even easier.

        It’s designed for those aged 3+, which probably explains why it’s as easy as it is. From an adult point of view, the game can be completed in one sitting.


        PRACTICALITIES;

        This game is made by JoWood (makers of Spellforce and Gothic) and is available for the PC, X-box, Playstation 2 and Gamecube.
        It retails at around £13.99 for the X-box on Amazon, but they no longer seem to be selling new copies for the PC. Due to the short lived nature of the game, you can pick up copies in as new condition on Ebay or Amazon for pennies.

        PC Requirements;
        Minimum:
        Pentium-compatible MMX processor, 166 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 8-compatible graphics card, 16 MB of video RAM, DirectX 8-compatible sound card, 4x CD-ROM drive, 130 MB free space on your hard drive
        Recommended:
        Pentium II-compatible processors, 266 MHz., 128 MB RAM, Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 8-compatible graphics card, 16 MB of video RAM, DirectX 8-compatible sound card, 4x CD-ROM drive, 130 MB free space on your hard drive

        Neigbours from Hell 2 is out now, as is ‘Neighbours From Hell : On Vacation’. And I wouldn’t mind getting either for Christmas!

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        • More +
          08.09.2003 00:55
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          I originally saw this game on a demo, played it and thought, hey! this is fun. So as soon as it was released, I bought it and installed it and played it. The basic premise is this: You are the star of a new gameshow called 'Neighbours From Hell' and you have to play all sorts of tricks on your neighbour without getting caught. If the 'audience' likes your show, then you get taken up for another, harder, 'season'. Easy enough. And that's the problem, it's too easy. Put it this way, I finished the whole thing in one weekend (I know, I have no life...) Once you get the hang of what need to be done, it's a walkthrough. Sure, the tricks get harder and I was stumped for while working out what needed to be done, and timing is an issue in the third (last) season; you have to be careful, but once you've worked out what to do it's just the formality of waiting for the neighbour to fall into your tricks. The graphics are GREAT, and the music really sets the mood, but I was left with a sense of 'what now?....' basically it's a point and click strategy, but once you've solved the puzzle, the challenge is gone. Overall, I don't think that this game is worth the money. It's too easy in places, over far too soon and there's no joy in revisiting the levels like you have in some games. It needs more levels, no game should only last 1 weekend.

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