Like the crazy kids shows that the Five Nights at Freddy’s and Chucky franchises before it offered, My Friendly Neighborhood is everyone’s favorite childhood show. Transform your memories into terrifying scenarios where you fight for your life. The result, at least based on my journey so far, is a very entertaining pseudo-horror game filled with face-slapping, self-paced killers and highly disturbing musical numbers. Admittedly it leans a lot more towards silly than horror, but so far I’ve had a lot of fun with my abundantly disturbing adventures.
My Friendly Neighborhood answers the hilarious and totally unnecessary question, “What if Resident Evil happened on Sesame Street?” And the Raccoon City inspiration is evident in everything from the shambling Muppets to the grid-based briefcases used for inventory management. The game also has a limited number of saves, requiring you to spend valuable game tokens collected from levels to save your progress, or else you’ll be hugged to death by grumpy-looking Fuzz buddies. I had to risk losing.
“My Friendly Neighborhood” screen
Playing as a handyman named Gordon who is summoned to the scene of an abandoned station where an iconic children’s show once aired, I suddenly find myself killing me with one look. I found myself trapped in a bunch of madly intelligent dolls who seemed to be trying to. That very strong premise spawned a lot of cartoonish pranks and references to my younger days watching Sesame Street, and I had a very enjoyable few hours.
But while Resident Evil is known for its dark atmosphere and terrifying moments, My Friendly Neighborhood largely downplays the genre with its brightly colored environments and extremely silly antagonists. . In one section I had to avoid the attention of an abomination like a giant Big Bird trying to devour me while collecting letter tiles to pass a spelling test, while in another , found himself in a sewer that served as a realm to super bad guys. A grumpy tenant was trying to hit me in the head with a wrench.
Most of what I saw excited me, but one annoyance was having to re-listen to the same audio from the relentlessly moving puppet over and over while I sneaked around trying to complete the puzzle. It seems to only say new things when going to a new area or level, and when it takes a while to clear one section, or when you die once or twice, you have to hear the same nonsense over and over again. I didn’t. So some of the novelty wore off in the limited time I spent.
Almost nothing about this so-called horror game is taken seriously. My weapon uses the alphabet rolodex, which fires giant metal letters at the puppet pursuers, killing enemies who scream and get ragdolled all over the room, and all the characters are demented at me. programming for kids, educating me, and so on. How to learn to count required eating your own hand. For me, who likes to laugh a lot, all of this worked out pretty well. The section I played didn’t quite hit the horror spot I was hoping for, but it largely made up for its absence with plenty of memorable laughs along the way.
But the lack of actual moments of terror is certainly noticeable, compared to a film like Five Nights at Freddy’s, which has plenty of shriek-inducing scenes despite its kid-friendly subject matter. is a very different experience. Even when I got killed by the insane Muppets, I didn’t see any jump scares or really scary moments (at least not in the first section I played), which was admittedly a bit disappointing.
Still, as someone who enjoys goofy and irreverent games immensely, I’m excited to see more of My Friendly Neighborhood and its cast of hateful characters when it debuts later this month.