About Secret Neighbor
Secret Neighbor - A Game of Deception and Exploration
Trust No One.
Hello Neighbor Goes Multiplayer
Hello Neighbor is an unsettling game by design. It's one that preys on the childhood fears of what might be going on behind a creepy neighbor's door, a common sort of fear that seems primed for exploration. Secret Neighbor takes that same premise and expands it a bit, bringing together groups to deal with the same types of puzzles while also adding in an element of subterfuge at the same time.
Spot the Intruder - Concept: 3/5
The concept behind Secret Neighbor is fairly straightforward. The game takes the basic premise of Hello Neighbor - that you're a child investigating a creepy neighbor - and adds the ability the play with others. The twist, though, is that one of you is going to take on the role of the titular neighbor in secret.
The twist isn't anything new, but that it's still effective.
Secret Neighbor pulls a lot from other similar "spot the spy" sorts of games, but it does work conceptually with the great Hello Neighbor universe. The themes of distrust and paranoia work especially well in this setting, though obviously moving the antagonist from an NPC role to a player role brings with it some major differences from the main game.
Creepy but Cute - Graphics and Audio: 3/5
An awful lot of how you're going to feel about this game's looks will depend on how you feel about the original game's aesthetics. If you felt that the game hit the sweet spot between creepy and cute, you'll absolutely love the designs this time around. All of the kids look a little weird, of course, but that's exactly the point - this is an unsettling world.
If you're feeling less charitable, it's easy to say that this game is already showing its age. The visuals are meant to evoke kind of a Saturday morning cartoon feel, and every jagged edge and bit of pop in really kills the illusion. Even the sound design, which is generally serviceable, has too many moments in which things just don't come together to please everyone.
Seek, Don't Hide - Gameplay: 2/5
As the success of games like Among Us have shown, this genre of games really lives and dies by its gameplay. Just as the primary game in the series has some real glaring faults in how it works, so too does Secret Neighbor. This is a game that can and should work well, but the general lack of novelty in the game throws a wrench in the proceedings.
As with many other asymmetrical multiplayer games, Secret Neighbor runs into a problem when it has a skilled group of Kids. It doesn't take long to figure out who the Neighbor really is and once that's done, most experienced players can skate through the levels. You'll have fun if you're playing with newbies but the repetitious nature of the game kills what could be a fairly outstanding set of mechanics.
Keep Searching - Replayability: 3/5
It's fair to say that the way you feel about Secret Neighbor will be influenced by how you feel about Hello Neighbor. If you liked the first game and want more, you'll love this title. If you were put off by its design or its controls, though, you won't find much to like here. Secret Neighbor is a decent game that just doesn't quite stand on its own two feet.
Secret Neighbor is an asymmetrical multiplayer game that has a well-worn concept that isn't pulled off quite as well as one would hope.