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Neighbours Back From Hell

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 20 - 2020

Ready to play pranks on your annoying neighbour once again.

 
While many remasters and remakes make some kind of sense, or at least are expected, others seem to come out of the blue, reminding players of games that they once played and then moved on. Neighbours From Hell originally launched way back in 2003 and proved quite popular at the time, with gameplay that could be best described as a cruel version of You’ve Been Framed with an Aardman visual style. While the game was fun, as was the sequel, and it made an appearance on most platforms over the years, it is not a game that I would have expected as a remaster. But Neighbours From Hell is back in the imaginatively titled Neighbours Back From Hell from Farbworks, which also includes the sequel Neighbours From Hell 2. Once again, it is time to play pranks and cause havoc for that annoying neighbour, all in the name of entertainment.

 


 
This remaster is all about a simple visual upgrade, not touching the gameplay at all as far as I can tell. This is no bad thing as the gameplay was always the star of the show when the original games launched. Neighbours Back From Hell uses an almost claymation visual style that feels incredibly British, and the remaster brings everything into HD, along with increasing the framerate for the animations. It still all looks a bit quirky, but has not aged too badly for a 17 year old game.

 
Neighbours Back From Hell casts the player as Woody, a particularly cruel young man who has had enough of his annoying neighbour and vows vengeance. Rather than simply phoning the authorities, Woody’s revenge involves sneaking into his neighbours house, and other locations, and playing pranks on the neighbour to drive him to despair, all while having the whole thing filmed by a crew for a sadistic TV program. It may seem a bit much, but what starts with whoopee cushions will quickly lead to broken bones.

 


 
Due to the TV show setting, the game is split into episodes and series, and the player will have to perform a certain number of pranks in order to progress. Played from a side on view, the player will begin by having access to only a few rooms of the neighbours house and will have to find the objects needed for the next prank before setting them up and watching the hilarity. The problem is that the neighbour, Mr Rottweiler, is still around and Woody will have to make sure he avoids him. Getting caught will see Woody lose a life, which is no good for the ratings at all. Avoiding Rottweiler is made that little bit easier with a small icon that shows what he is going to do next, which gives the player time to plan their escape.

 
The game plays like a point and click adventure with a stealth element, and is quite easy to get to grips with. However, things will not stay that easy, as more and more elaborate pranks need to be set up, and more rooms become available. The pranks are pretty juvenile and in some instances outright brutal, but will raise a smile in those who like that sort of thing.

 


 
This is a bundle of two games though, and with the episodes from Neighbours From Hell 2 included, yet more is added. For starters, the sequel saw Mr Rottweiler head off on holiday, and thus Woody followed him to ensure there is no break from the torment. This changes up the setting from the Rottweiler house to include a variety of different holiday destinations, including a cruise ship. The pranks are perhaps even more elaborate. However, the biggest wrinkle in Woody’s plans come from the fact that Rottweiler’s mother is on holiday with him, giving the player not only another target for their pranks, but also meaning they will have to be aware of what each Rottweiler family member is up to in order to stay hidden. Keep an eye on what they are doing and take any opportunity to set up a prank, then sit back and wait for the medals.

 
Neighbours Back From Hell is quite a unique game, with an interesting visual style and gameplay premise. It is not the most taxing of games, and while it does get more difficult as the game progresses, it never gets overwhelmingly hard. The result is a game that most players will be able to breeze through in five or six hours. The gameplay does feel a little dated now, but it is certainly unique and a good way to unwind in short bursts. Perhaps the most off-putting aspect is the juvenile sense of humour which will turn some players away.

 


 
Neighbours Back From Hell is the remaster that I didn’t expect. Bundling the two games into one package and giving them an HD upgrade means this is the best way for anyone who missed Neighbours From Hell and the sequel to unleash their inner prankster. Also, players with a fondness for the originals can revisit Mr Rottweiler and make his life hell once again. Not for everyone, but the best version of this unique strategy title, Neighbours From Hell is back, from hell.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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