Coming up with original and new ideas is not an easy task, we’ve had FPS this and RTS that so when something a little different lands on our desks we’re always keen to check it out. JoWood sent along a review copy of their up and coming title Neighbours Form h** and I’m finding it hard to categories this one so we’ll leave it up to you once you’ve read the review.If you’re like me and had the neighbours down to complain because you were playing your games too loud at 3AM and you have never had the chance to take revenge then this game should strike a chord. Neighbours from h** follows a fictional TV show where the game’s character Woody needs to torment his neighbour by playing tricks and generally being a nuisance. The game is presented as a TV show with audience laughter and quirky comedy sit-com music which is all doneto good effect.I say it’s hard to categorise this game but if you remember Spy Vs Spy on the good old Apple IIe then you’ll probably relate to this. The play area is a side view of the neighbours house so you can view all the house floors and rooms as if someone had sliced the outside wall away. At the start of each level the player is given an overview of what the neighbour plans to do in this particular episode and it’s up to the player to avoid the neighbour as he moves around the house while at the same time causing all kinds of mischief. Dotted around the house are various objects hidden in various locations such as drawers and cabinets. Woody, the game’s character which you control, must collect these items and then use them on objects around the house and get the neighbour to either use your traps or spot an area of destruction such as a vandalised painting. What’s so appealing about the game is the character’s actions and tricks. The game will appeal to the older audience with its toilet humour but kids should get a kick out of this game as well.When the neighbour, who’s a grumpy old git, comes a cropper he becomes enraged which causes much hilarity with the audience watching the show. The more tricks you manage to pull off the higher your rating is with the audience. If you’re clever enough and have figured out the neighbours movements then you can lay tricks in quick succession and if you keep the neighbours anger bar up and above the base mark before he finds the next trick you’re awarded bonus points. The trick to this game is watching very closely what the neighbour is doing and where he’s going to move next. This is helped by a picture of the neighbour in the bottom right of the screen which features thought bubbles, these indicate what he’s thinking of doing next. Woody will have to sneak around the house and stay out the neighbours way, if you’re spotted the level is over and it’s back to the start. Moving Wood involves pointing and clicking where you want him to go or simply click on an object to pick it up. While many of the same tricks are used in subsequent missions, this actually works well to ease you into the gameplay and helps get your head round how the tricks work.The concept behind this game is sound and it does play really well, you don’t have to get the neighbours anger rating up to 100% for every level, you can miss a few tricks but it’s always best to make sure you try and complete as much as possible. If the time runs out on the level clock for a particular level and you’ve not completed the tricks, you need to do it all over again. If you fail and have a few attempts, you know what order to carry out the tricks and you can complete the level pretty quickly. If you’ve completed before the time you can head to the front door and exit the house to end the episode and not bother waiting for the clock to tick down.As far as the graphics go Neighbours from h** is simple enough. No 50000 polygons per second here, it’s all played on well drawn backgrounds and objects with some great character animation. The game’s characters are quirky and adult enough to make older gamers want to check the game out. The game’s sound is spot on for what the developers are trying to achieve. The laughter from the audience and the sit-com style music ads a slapstick element to the gameplayWhile Neighbours from h** is more than likely going to be an acquired taste, this game has its own sense of charm and what’s more it does actually make you think, which is not something that can be said for a lot of games these days. I guess the best way to describe this game is ‘puzzle’ but without the tedium of most puzzle games you see. If you’re looking for something a little different then I suggest you take a look at this game, it made us chuckle more than once which surprised us.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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