Secret Neighbor, the review

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
Author and references

La Secret Neighbor review takes us back to the disturbing imagery created by the Russian development team Dynamic Pixels. Although represented with a cartoonish style, it cannot in fact be said that the context in which the matches take place Hello Neighbor was carefree, as it revolves around a neighbor who turns out to be a criminal madman and a kid trying to unmask him.

The same formula is applied to this experience multiplayer asynchronous, which after its debut on PC, PS4 and Xbox One also lands on devices iOS with a free-to-play version that however places several limits on a progression carried out only in-game, rather pushing us to subscribe to a monthly subscription of € 2,99 in order to be able to select all nine characters available instead of waiting to collect the ( lots!) coins needed to unlock them.



Gameplay

Secret Neighbor, the threatening Neighbor next to a security device.

As mentioned, the starting idea of ​​Secret Neighbor is basically the same as Hello Neighbor, in the sense that in the mode main game our goal will be to get to unmask the neighbor after gaining access to his basement. However, the mechanics change, this time declined in multiplayer with an asynchronous setting, five against one.

During the game, five users will therefore control the kids (Packer, Lionheart, Investigator, Inventor, Chief or Scout: all names that refer to their ability peculiar), while one will be the Neighbor in his three possible incarnations. What's more: through a clear reference to the blockbuster Among Us, the player who plays the villain will be able to blend in and hide in the ranks of his potential victims, only to suddenly reveal himself and capture them.



Secret Neighbor, the kids have to open several locks before they can access the basement.

Unfortunately, the iOS version of the game has a huge limitation represented by the control system: with the touch controls it is practically impossible to play with dignity, the movement of the camera is too slow and it is therefore very difficult to manage the character. Furthermore, using the touch screen you remain fundamentally disadvantaged in matches cross-platform.

Fortunately i controller Bluetooth are supported by the game and improve the experience substantially, allowing us to explore the environment (which changes randomly from time to time) much faster, interact with various objects while we are looking for keys and security cards, as well as react promptly in the face of dangerous situations.

Structure and technical realization

Secret Neighbor, the bulk of the gameplay requires opening drawers and lockers in search of keys and cards.

Secret Neighbor allows you to try your hand at a quick, personalized game or with the brawl mode, a variation on the theme in which the participants face off with a sling in a sort of deathmatch. As said, it is scenario it changes randomly every time we visit it, in order to change the position of the various objects and therefore present an ever-changing, unpredictable experience.


The enjoyment of the matches depends a lot on the ability to coordinate actions with those of your teammates, via voice chat or gestures, because facing the situation alone when playing as one of the kids is unlikely to lead to appreciable results. Sometimes beautiful sequences come out, but in general Secret Neighbor doesn't have much to give and the interactions are handled in a rather cumbersome way.


A problem also linked to the uncertainties of the frame rate, even on the iPhone 12 Pro (which moreover gets very hot in running the game), and to a really problematic rendering of the interface on smartphones, with tiny and hardly legible writings starting from the main screen . When you then move to the iPad Pro, the resolution graphics appear inexplicably lower, with very noticeable jaggies and artifacts.

As already happened with Dead by Daylight, in short, it seems that even in this case the developers have not been able to effectively adapt the Secret Neighbor experience to the mobile context, ending up overshadowing the not many positive aspects of this multiplayer interpretation. asynchronous.


Comment

Tested version iPhone Digital Delivery App Store Price Free Resources4Gaming.com

6.0


Readers

SV

Your vote

Secret Neighbor reinterprets the formula of survival horror produced by tinyBuild in the form of an asynchronous multiplayer experience, with some interesting ideas (see the ability of the Neighbor to hide in the ranks of the kids, in the Among Us style) and a structure capable of returning some satisfaction if it is possible to coordinate the actions. Unfortunately the mobile version is cumbersome and problematic where touch controls are used, it suffers from technical uncertainties and a very limiting freemium setting if you want to play without spending money.

PRO

  • Some interesting ideas
  • The scenario changes with each game
  • Playable for free ...
AGAINST
  • ... but with several limitations
  • Slow and cumbersome touch controls
  • Several technical problems
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