When asked to recommend a game to a friend you normally do so by comparing it to something else played before. For this very reason it's hard to compare Neighbours from Hell with other games, because it's in a genre all of its own, and whilst almost being a platform or puzzle game, the terms donít do it justice - Neighbours from Hell is simply better than that.
Neighbours from Hell should instantly appeal and strike a chord with anyone who's lived near to an noisey, annoying,nosey or just down-right irritating neighbour, and let's face it we almost all have. Quite often you've probably wanted to get your own back on them, or just make sure that they can't go about doing their annoying habits which are driving you around the bend.
So that brings us to star of the show Woody, who enters stage right in a sitcom style TV show, with a ripple of applause from the audience. The scene is set in the house of your disagreeable neighbour Joe, and sees you maneuvering Woody secretly round his rooms performing mischievous tricks. Each and every part of the game is easily controlled via the mouse as you direct Woody to various items in each of the rooms setting up dastardly pitfalls for the grumpy neighbour.
Because itís quite platform-like in appearance everything is shown in a cross section view, and there are no camera angle problems which often blight other games which try for a far too fancy 3D approach. Three television show seasons give a clear structure to game play and as time progresses more floors of Joeís house are available for your prankery, and gives you new locations in the house to search for comical things you can use to torment Joe, such as laxatives in the medicine cabinet, soap flakes to swap with fish food, a host of things to use as a way of creating the comedy.
By impressing the audience using tricks, you receive the points to unlock the final season in the show and there are three seasons in all. Each season only contains a few episodes and this really is the main problem with the game - once you have found the order of the steps needed for each section, itís going to be over all too quickly. Admittedly by letting you pass without having completed 100% of the tricks it does leave a perfectionist-return option open to you, but there really isnít any additional incentive to do that.
Despite being limited to just the single house and having restricted characters Neighbours from Hell does look the business - two dimensional pre-rendered backgrounds and three dimensional leads make the game feel cartoony, and everything is superbly detailed but never appear too fussy. There's a very appealing look, with flailing arms, goggling eyes, banana skin slips are integral to the experience.
Even with the big-band cheesy music the game is relatively addictive, but you could have it wrapped up in hours rather than days, and you'll soon be looking for add-ons and sequels only a day after buying it - lovely as it is, there just isnít enough there. Humour is sadly missing from far too many games, and Neighbours from Hell comes across as distinctive and well-crafted, but youíll be wanting more to do all too soon, which is probably just as well that there's a sequel in the works for later this year.Overall score: 6 out of 10
Recommended Price: £19.99
Available: NowBuy Neighbours From Hell from Amazon