Heighborhorde ReviewPublished & Developed by Fermenter GamesRelease Date 6th June 2017Price £3.99
Fermenter Games, a 3 man outfit have seen fit to work at bringing couch co-operative fun to the Xbox One, intent on people gathering together to reminisce their youth. In other words, a game with low resolution graphics and solutions weapons to combat equally ridiculous enemies thrown at you wave after wave as you arrive to last as long as you can and ultimately defeat the final boss. A simple gameplay mechanic and one that can be a massive amount of fun if executed correctly. Does Neighbours fit the bill?
With emphasis on the co-operative element, it's good to see that Fermenter have taken into account that people like myself may not have friends living nearby, or any at all. It's the former I swear. Some mates arrive at your humble abode, beers to support and Neighborhorde. Does this equate to a fun filled evening? Well yes as it turns out. The more people will naturally mean more fun, and if you're unlucky enough to have few friends or controllers then AI bots will assist you on your quest to defeat waves of enemies. Although saying that, they sometimes suffer a momentary lapse of attention and leave you to perish while they themselves get squashed rather quickly. With a lack of an online component implemented, people like me have no one to rely on in their hour of need. Sure couch co-op gaming is somewhat of a rarity this days and it's nice that Fermenter have tried to recapture the glory days of multiplayer gaming. But with Xbox Live my only way of securing regular gaming goodness with friends, I had to for the most part rely on the boys as they fumbled around, stole my weapons I was about to pick up and ultimately and predictably die. Still, when it works it is good fun.
Between each wave you can either unlock a new passive power up or choose a new weapon into the fray, and the weapons are rather silly. From pillows to a trumpet even a gumball machine, and many more oddball items, they are at your disposal to save the local Neighborhood. There's not just the one location either, as you get awarded tickets after each run to use in the shop to purchase new locations and clothing items to customise your character. Although these are limited with only 3 new locations to unlock, it could become old quick for you if you have few gaming buddies available to come around and play.
Without question, it is a game developed on a budget and unashamedly so hoping to rely on its merits to draw you back in for another go. With a 'pick up and play' ideal at its core and quick loading times, you can rest assured that it won't be long before you're battling Robots, Ninjas, disembodied feet, lunchladies and Zombie Abe among other things. Naturally there are plenty of enemies to despatch and boss fights to partake in and once you spend any amount of time playing, you'll quickly discover that it's a far from serious affair. Just some grown men wanting to be kids again creating a game that they want to share with the world for a low price. Who can blame them, especially when you unlock the paper airplane to throw at encroaching danger, or your slingshot, or what about some cymbals and your boombox? Neighborhorde has pretty much any silly weapon you can imagine. Just why is there dog poop?
I can honestly say that yes it's fun, silly unadulterated fun and what it's not the best looking game, and weighs in light on content, you can still have some friends over for some gaming fun and just not take anything seriously. If you want a deep and engaging experience with a well written narrative then you will be looking in the wrong place. But the fast paced and frantic action as the hordes bear down on you will make you work together as a team and stay in the friend zone. A small circle that if you stay a part of, then you will heal and have a better chance of staying alive. Perhaps the only friend zone you would wish to be included in.Graphics
Low resolution and soft pastel like colours adorn the world of Neighborhorde. This can put many people off a game in an instant. But when the game is as ridiculous as this title, just dive in without a care. Weapons look close enough, and with an almost cartoon-like appearance to your foes it doesn't matter of much.Audio
Nothing special, and the voice that counts down is quite horrific. My kids have adopted that voice now, and it pretty much haunts me by the minute. It does the job by being there when it comes to the sound effects an harks back to the olden days of gaming.Gameplay
Working as a twin stick shooter it's surprisingly easy to just grab your controller and start playing. Nothing hard to learn and responsive.Replayability
If you're gunning to unlock all in game content and achievements, then you will have a fair few hours to invest. Wth the addition of co-op gameplay this adds to the value for money. But without any online component, it then detracts from this a bit.Achievements
Not too easy and not too stressful either. You will need to unlock all wearable items and other locations for some Gamerscore. Beating the game on Easy and Normal are straightforward enough of your skill level is high enough, and you get the best weapons along the way. Then a mighty 10,000 kills achievement will be there to grind for should you wish. A good mixture.Summary
For the price, you can't really argue. Yes the visuals won't appeal to everyone, but I've always been a champion of gameplay first over graphics. It's a game that thrives off being ridiculous and not looking to fit in anywhere. If you and your friends like engaging in dumb fun and some beers then it may just be the game for you.
A copy was provided for the developer for review purposes.