SECRET NEIGHBOR BETA
Figure it out yourself.


HANDS ON PREVIEW
By JAY TEE
08/08/19

CLASS SYSTEM - You can select from one of six classes, each with very unique abilities. By default, every character starts with a torch, and a second empty slot for picking up keys, or other items. This restriction forces you to carefully consider what to grab and what to sacrifice, which definitely adds to the tension as you frantically decide what to carry in the heat of the moment.

DISCOVER THE TRUTH - The beta currently doesn’t have any proper tutorial (or even a list of mappable controls, which is a very annoying omission). This means that you could conceivably miss certain mechanics, like using chairs to block doors as one of the children, or open / seal off access to certain areas as the Neighbor. Pro tip: the clocks are actually switches!

SPAWN CAMP - Spawning all the kids in the same place can be problematic. Some secret neighbors don’t wait very long to attack!

Secret Neighbor is a multiplayer social horror title, which challenges you to break in to the infamous Neighbor’s basement from the original indie hit. The twist here is that one member in your team of six is secretly selected to play as the Neighbor in disguise. While the children frantically search for randomly placed keys and gather whatever they can to defend themselves, the title character (player controlled for the first time) has to grab and disintegrate them one by one.  Collaboration with caution is key, and you’ll quickly find yourself immersed thanks to proximity voice chat, strong sound design, and the oppressively unsettling mansion itself. There’s still work to be done; animation and visuals both need polishing, and the lack of viewable controls means you’ll be flapping around in the dark longer than necessary. But at this stage, Secret Neighbor is off to a great start.

THE BACKSTORY - tinyBuild had a big hit on their hands with Hello Neighbor, which has now been ported to multiple devices. Therefore, I feel like a multiplayer spin off makes a world of sense. As long as it’s priced appropriately, and eventually makes its way to consoles, they could be on to another winner.

CUSTOMISATION IS KEY - There’s a whole mess of [currently empty] customisable options for each class, including cosmetics and abilities. The full release will most likely expand this out, although nothing specific has been revealed regarding the method of unlocking these optional bits and pieces.  

OPEN IT UP - The beta is now open to anyone with a Steam account. So I’d encourage you to check it out for yourselves!

Don’t be fooled by the festive cheer. This game is creepy.

LOAD TIMES ARE A WINNER - Compared to some bigger AAA titles, Secret Neighbor (even in its Beta form) has a super efficient matchmaking system and well optimised load times. You’ll get into a full game extremely quickly, and the option for private, invite only rooms is a welcome addition. It feels well thought out, and crucially, it just works.

CLARITY - The onscreen controls don’t mention that stuff can be thrown. This is a fundamental oversight that meant I was completely unaware of a critical game mechanic. In situations where the Neighbor has revealed himself and is actively murdering someone, it’s super important that you know that you can throw items at him to stun / interrupt his attack. This needs to be addressed.

CUSTOMISE THE LOT - Expanded customisation options, that restrict certain play styles in private matches, would be cool.

THE BASICS - Asymmetrical multiplayer spin off, where 6 kids attempt to break into the house from Hello Neighbor.

PLATFORMS - PC

PLAYERS - Offline - 0, Online - 6

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - The game is multiplayer only, with a combined co-op and competitive flavour.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - None announced.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our reviews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery. Back of the Box is a broad overview of key features and gameplay mechanics. Get Schooled provides background info on the developer, fun facts, and views the game in a broader context. Finally, Inside Scoop is a collection of random thoughts and musings, along with hopes and concerns.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT AT THE BOTTOM, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWEET US @THATHITBOX, SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL,
OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@THATHITBOX.COM



THE CURRENT WORD

Secret Neighbor still needs some spit and polish, but the core idea is brilliant, and delivers an effective, creepy multiplayer experience.  

*Beta Access on PC, with a copy provided by tinyBuild*

The TRANSPORTER BUFFER badge is for a game that requires you to carefully manage your inventory and supplies.

The LOOT ON THE ROOT badge is for a game with lots of different collectibles, items, and other bits and pieces.

The MAYORAL ELECTION badge is for a game filled with high pressure moments that put your skills to the test.  

The COMMANDER DATA badge is for a game where death has a profound impact on your experience.

The KILLJOYS badge is for a game where you can deliberately make it so other players have a miserable time.

The ON ME! JONESY! badge is earned when getting into a multiplayer game takes hardly any time.

The LEARNING CURVE badge is awarded if you’ll need to allow a fair bit of time inorder to fully grasp the controls.

Home