Reviews

Neighbours Back From Hell

If you played PC games in 2003-2005, you probably remember the classic Neighbors from Hell by JoWood. A game that had easy gameplay but a catchy idea and fun graphics. Now, after years, HandyGames brings this classic to life in the remakes of Neighbors Back From Hell.

And what was the game all about? About two neighbors who don’t like each other and in the style of a TV show, one did each other badly. You walked through his apartment, collecting things, setting traps, and trying not to get caught in them and catch you at the same time. You then watched his entertaining reactions with the audience. For, as they say, mischief is the best joy. And this time you will do badly both in his house and on vacation in a series of environments that came in the second game. The two parts are connected here.

Despite the connection, don’t expect extra long gameplay, even if it depends on how you find finding traps, combining them and moving forward. You can really go through it in 2 hours, but only if you know what where and how to prepare, if you look for and try combinations of traps for longer, it will also be over 8 hours of fun. Personally, despite playing both games, I ended up somewhere over 10 hours. 

When playing, you get into a fight between two neighbors again, but this time with a few changes and simplifications compared to the original. Namely, the game is now without time limits and with more lives. You are no longer strictly limited to catching everything in a few minutes, not even if a neighbor catches you once. You now have three lives. It’s less challenging, more suitable for current gaming audiences. However, it is a pity that the authors did not give the opportunity to turn on higher difficulties.

However, this way you still have a lot of fun looking for and creating traps for your neighbor. In each level you have to watch the neighbor, observe how he moves, between which rooms and what he does so that you can move around the house while he is elsewhere. Then you look for things you can pick up and use. For example, you can take soap and place it so that it slides somewhere, you screw something down to kick it, or you apply glue to the binoculars to stick it, you put dynamite and similar pieces on the cake instead of a candle. At the same time, it is ideal to chain these things and prepare them right after each other, so that the neighbor literally blows up the blanket from anger.

At the same time, in the first levels you start at his house, which was purely the first game, but later a neighbor goes on a trip around the world with his mother and you go out with them. You will do it wrong on a boat, or both, and then in other places where you stop, such as the beach or the Great Wall of China. However, it is a pity that some levels have been omitted. Specifically, a tutorial was omitted from the first game, which is not even necessary, but also three later tasks. It’s hard to say why, but these home levels have been repeated and will not necessarily be missing. 

What may be missing from the game is a bonus that would liven up the game and possibly indicate a sequel. As we know, it was originally planned, but at one time it came out of it. In the story, the final animation indicated a departure to a deserted island. We will see if the game will be a success now and if the authors will continue the series.

The view is detailed and especially nice. The authors did not rework the visual, they probably had the original materials at their disposal, so the game looks practically just as detailed, sharper and still very entertaining. From environments, traps, to humorous character animations, they now go in double framerate.

In contrast to the unit, the menu in the game has also been adjusted, where the inventory has been changed, the coins for burning the neighbor are not on the right, but on the top, and some details have been added in the scenes. A nice addition is zooming far into the whole scene and you don’t have to scroll and watch where the neighbor is. To be clear, it’s all 2D pre-rendered graphics, no 3D engine. So it will go fast on any PC. While the levels are pre-rendered, the cut animations have remained in their original poor quality, but they still don’t show much and will suffice. 

The sound page has been preserved from the original game, it may be improved, but it sounds the same, from the memorable title music, through the effects, to the sounds in the game. Don’t expect any conversations here. You didn’t come to talk to your neighbor.

Overall, it’s a very nice remaster, which does not significantly improve the game and cuts some more demanding elements, but the fun remains and the visual is nicely reworked into a modern form. The game offers content from both original titles and is enough for several hours of fun. It is a pity that it does not add anything new or bonuses, but hopefully this remaster may be a sign of further sequels.

A great remaster of an old classic puzzle game, nicely reworked for a new audience and hopefully something more in the future.

8/10

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