My Friendly Neighborhood is a survival horror game that has you roaming around a series of interconnected levels, gathering key items and solving some puzzles. The level design is surprisingly fantastic, with plenty of backtracking, puzzles, and secrets to find.My Friendly Neighborhood wears its inspirations, sure, but it’s more than just a horror game made friendly for a younger audience. Its themes of non-violence, its goofy characters, and its approach to horror all convey much more depth than you — or certainly we — might’ve expected.
- Initial release date: July 18, 2023
- Platform: Microsoft Windows
- Developers: John Szymanski, Evan Szymanski
- Engine: Unity
- Genres: Adventure game, Indie game, Puzzle Video Game, Shooter Video Game, Adventure
- Publisher: Dread XP
How we play in My Friendly Neighborhood
In My Friendly Neighborhood, we play as maintenance professional, Gordon. For the last job of the night, he travels to a derelict television studio to disconnect the transmission tower on the top floor. It has spontaneously started airing a canceled children’s TV show over the normal TV broadcast.
Upon arriving, Gordon doesn’t look too surprised to see that the puppets are alive and hungry for deranged hugs. In fact, rather than feeling horrified at his situation, he seems mostly just annoyed and inconvenienced. He just wants to finish the job, go home, and watch TV. The puppets have other ideas.
our expectations may be that this is a hide-and-seek kind of horror game where you navigate the studio while avoiding confrontations with murderous puppets. That’s not the case. Instead, as I mentioned earlier, it has more in common with Resident Evil. we have weapons that fire deadly letters, and the puppets mostly just inhabit the halls, waiting for you to alert them. You then have the option to take them down with your alphabet or just avoid them and conserve your ammo.
If you choose combat, however, they won’t stay down. They’ll be back up the next time you enter the room. You can make sure they stay down by duct-taping them, but tape is in short supply. In a way, it’s sort of like the Crimson Head zombies in the Resident Evil remake, except you won’t be spared kerosene with a chance headshot.
Really, though, the non-violent angle has more to do with the game’s overall message. It takes place in a different world, in a city that once waged war against its Northern Neighbor in a parallel to the Vietnam War. There’s a lot about corporate overreach, humankind’s collective obsession with negative media, and the resultant need to dull our pain.
The whole climax of the game is, unfortunately, a bit of a stumble. The last act of My Friendly Neighborhood is visibly less polished than the first parts of the game. Certain parts of the plot aren’t as fleshed out as they should be. There’s a moment right near the end where you can viscerally feel the message of the game, but rather than knock it out of the park, My Friendly Neighbourhood chooses to bunt.
Although Slant Magazine said My Friendly Neighbourhood “isn’t all that scary or all that tense”, they praised the game’s setting as “truly exceptional” and said that it showed “a tangible love and care” in bringing it to life. Polygon similarly called the worldbuilding “remarkable” and praised the strategic choices players have to make. They recommended My Friendly Neighbourhood to people looking for survival horror games that are “light on gore and heavy on spine-tingling thrills”. Adventure Gamers described it as “Resident Evil with chattering Muppets” and recommended it as a “charming and genuinely fun” game made by people who are clearly fans of survival horror. Hardcore Gamer recommended it as “a pleasant surprise and a genuine delight”, praising the story, characters, visuals, and puzzles.
Years after a children’s show has ended, the studio begins broadcasting again. Players control a repairman named Gordon sent to investigate the signal. When now-sentient puppets from the show attempt to hunt down and kill Gordon, players must evade or defeat them while solving puzzles. Defeated puppets revive when players re-enter a room unless Gordon’s limited supply of duct tape is used to permanently incapacitate puppets.Gordon can find and use several improvised weapons, such as a shotgun-like weapon that shoots letters of the alphabet.Limited amounts of other power-ups can also be found, including items that allow players to save their progress in the game. It is played from a first-person perspective.
Also be sure to check out our article on another horror game that is visage if you want to know what the game has in store for you then head on over to our detailed article on it by clicking here.
if you got something out of this article and would like to stay in touch to stay updated with all the latest happenings from the world of gaming, we highly suggest that you follow us on our social media pages (Facebook | Twitter) Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel which would be highly appreciated. Happy Gaming!