Top Critic Average
Sloppy controls, an aimless direction, and atrocious level design hinders Dynamic Pixel's newest entry in the Hello Neighbor series from reaching the potential that many believe it has. While a whimsical art style and great performance across a variety of performance are great to see, Hide & Seek results in a forgettable and frustrating experience overall.
If you enjoyed the original Hello Neighbor game then you are likely to enjoy Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek, mainly because they both share a very similar gameplay structure. For me, being initially dropped into the first stage and having to figure out what to do without any real guidance really hurt my brain. It doesn’t take much granted, however, I spent most of my time getting frustrated than enjoying the game. I think this happened because the stages are so vast and the puzzles are not always obvious in methodology. Don’t get me wrong, I loved trying to fathom out Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer puzzles back in the day where the answer was usually some really strange combination of items, however in comparison, Hello Neighbor Hide & Seek is much harder! Maybe it is the first person perspective and the fact that you can’t highlight your cursor all over the screen for objects to interact with. Having played both games I did feel that Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek felt that it would have been better suited as a DLC add-on rather than a stand-alone game, especially given the price they want for it. If you love puzzle solving or are a die-hard fan of the series then give it a whirl, but for me I found it a little repetitive and too brain taxing to enjoy!
Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek is a one-trick pony that had a game built around the premise of drawing a reaction out of the player via jump scares, which it does very well. If the levels and puzzles were more focused and honed-in, there could be a logical and interesting foundation for an experiential dread and tension. Forget moving out of the neighborhood, I'd suggest moving to the next county over.
For those who simply must know what happens in the lead up to that first game, Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek is essential for filling in those blanks. However, those who are simply looking for a fun game to play are likely to be left deeply unsatisfied. Unpolished and often times confusing, it’s a weird mishmash of genres that, despite its issues, is at least helping to popularise an incredibly niche genre of children’s horror in video games.