Hello Neighbor 2 is a stealth puzzle game developed by Eerie Guest and tinyBuild.

In this follow-up to Hello Neighbor, you are a journalist solving puzzles to find missing children while avoiding your suspicious neighbors. The scope has been expanded from a single house to an entire neighborhood, and while more does sound like better, the flavor of the original is severely toned down this time around. The tension and horror-lite theme is almost completely gone in the visuals and the music, seemingly as a tradeoff to the micro-open world.

While you can go to any house at any point in time, the houses have a specific order in which they need to be completed to gain entry. For a game that hinges on its puzzle clues being given through the environment, this is a wise decision. But even with its thoughtful linearity, Hello Neighbor 2 struggles to establish its rules and limitations, leading you to lose focus or break the game at times.

Generalizing, there are four kinds of puzzles. Some are self-contained and neat like in the starting area, and others, like the chalk drawings, require keen observation skills; both lend themselves well to ecstatic “Aha!” moments, and you truly feel a sense of respect for and from the game. Then there are the puzzles that feel as if they’re thrown in without much thought for how they meld with the rest of the game. The puzzles that really take the wind out of your sails are the simplest ones, where you have to painstakingly deal with the AI neighbors.

The AI offers little challenge and many nuisances. They’re a step down from the original where there was a minor semblance of computer and player trying to outsmart each other. Now your character movement is too agile and the map offers you plenty of ways to get out of danger, so the puzzles where you have to coax the neighbors away from a specific room feel like the worst moments. Genuinely, the best moments are when the AI gets stuck in an endless loop of closing and opening one door, leaving you to take in the environment and solve the puzzles at your own leisure.

Some of the puzzles are engaging and fun to solve through minute exploration, but, taken as a whole, they’re not good enough to overcome the sheer annoyance of dealing with the AI. I wouldn’t recommend this to fans of puzzle games. I wouldn’t recommend this game to fans of stealth action games either, because the AI is not threatening in any capacity. Horror fans, feel free to sit this one out as well; the unnerving story is still present in cutscenes but noticeably absent during gameplay.

However, I’m well aware that this game got its start on YouTube and has a cult following. At the risk of alienating everyone else, Hello Neighbor 2 is clearly made for MatPat and his lore finder fans to feast upon. This game’s sprawling world of lore is clearly for the Game Theorists, and I truly believe they will love every open-ended question and every inch of insight this game lays out before them.

Hello Neighbor 2 is available now for $39.99 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and PC and is available on Game Pass.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Hello Neighbor 2.

You may also like