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Review: Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue (VR)

Hello Neighbor has come to VR, bringing the hide-and-seek, stealth mechanic to virtual reality. Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue certainly creates a creepy and suspenseful atmosphere in VR. However, there are a few times when glitches have taken me out of an otherwise scary and immersive experience.


As you probably have guessed, the game's premise is that you and your friends must break into your creepy neighbor’s house to save your friend. There is a short tutorial before the main game starts, allowing you to try the different gadgets or skills teach of the kids possess. The tutorial also teaches you how to maneuver in VR and switch between characters using a walkie-talkie.


After the tutorial, you take on the task of saving your friend. Each one of the children has a different ability, and you’ll need to switch between each to complete puzzles in the game. This is one of the things that I like about Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue, as it almost feels like a Metroidvania. Each kid's different skills or tools vary, from a slingshot, and magnifying glass, to a flashlight; each will help you solve puzzles. For example, you may need a password to get into a room. You’ll find a set of targets that you’ll need to shoot with a slingshot to reveal the code to the room. As mentioned before, you switch between characters by using your walkie-talkie. Once you click the walkie-talkie on, you can rotate through the characters and pick up where you last left them. There are plenty of hiding spaces that you’ll want to use to keep the character safe until you need them again. When you see the hiding places, it’s also a good indicator that you must switch to a new kid.

You’ll need to distract the neighbor if you are going to get past him. Sometimes it’s playing a record player in a different room, so he comes running in, checking out what made that noise. Of course, seeing this all play out in VR adds to the panic-like feeling of getting past him.

The fact that you can move around and interact with the environment plays into the tension the game creates. Climbing walls or walking across rickety beams adds an element you can’t feel outside VR. And the music helps build the tension and keeps you on your toes when the music becomes intense.

I did experience a few moments of frustration. For example, I discovered, by mistake, how to use the walkie-talkie. Another kid gave me the walkie-talkie, but I didn’t realize how to access it. As a result, I found myself stuck until I finally looked down and saw the item on my belt. It took me a minute to realize I was teleporting between kids when I clicked the walkie-talkie. That’s just one example where I wasn’t sure what the game wanted from me. The game could have done a better job explaining what is expected.

I also got motion sickness from moving around in the game. To be fair, you can move ahead by using the right stick, which will leap you forward. But in a game where sneaking around is essential, I didn’t want to jump into an area, not knowing what was in store for me. VR motion sickness isn’t new to me, but I have played many VR games where I move around quickly and don’t get sick.

The most frustrating issue was the game-breaking bugs. On more than one occasion, I found myself stuck in a wall. Sometimes it was due to falling off a platform and respawning to the last safe place, only to find myself unable to proceed because the game didn’t know my location. Other times, I couldn’t maneuver around because the game thought I was running into a wall. I was able to wiggle my way out of the wall a few times, but most times, I had to restart the game.

Final Grade: B-

Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescure creates an immersive VR experience. The cat-and-mouse-like game with the neighbor certainly feels creepier in VR. And for the most part, the developers did a fantastic job building a game around exploration and puzzle-solving features. But the number of times I needed to restart the game due to the game thinking I was stuck in a wall or out of bounds took me out of the experience. Nevertheless, it's worth checking out if you are a fan of the series.

Review code provided by Mighty PR



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