Review – My Friendly Neighborhood

Ever since the release of the original Five Night at Freddy’s, the Mascot Horror genre has been one that has slowly grown over the years. Whilst I’m not personally the biggest fan of the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise, the concept of taking a child-friendly setting and putting it into a horror twist is incredible. The idea has helped to pave the way for games like games like Choo-Choo Charles, with its horror spin on Thomas the Tank Engine, and the awful Hello Neighbour franchise, which has a very family-friendly look despite the dark subject matter. It’s also a genre that’s been relatively unexplored. My Friendly Neighborhood takes the likes of Sesame Street and piles A LOT of Resident Evil on top of that.

My Friendly Neighborhood Ricky

Seems like a nice place.

You play as Gordon, a contract worker sent to the site of a discontinued TV show called “My Friendly Neighborhood” after it suddenly starts broadcasting over different channels. You arrive to disconnect the antenna and stop the broadcast. However, Gordon quickly discovers the show’s set is overrun by murderous puppets. It’s an interesting premise, especially as you start exploring the set with a bunch of wacky characters, and whilst it’s not the most engaging plot, it’s very self-aware.

When I say this game takes a lot from the Resident Evil franchise I really mean that and in the best possible way. My Friendly Neighborhood is a survival horror game that has you roaming around a series of interconnected levels, gathering key items and solving some puzzles. The level design is surprisingly fantastic, with plenty of backtracking, puzzles, and secrets to find. The puzzles themselves aren’t overly complex, and you will be done with them fairly quickly, but they are still creative enough to make them interesting and keep the game moving at a solid rate. Each of the My Friendly Neighborhood‘s zones has its own distinctive look and feel, with a boss-like enemy that will appear in each area. To put it bluntly, it’s basically Resident Evil 7: Biohazard with puppets. And I mean that with praise.

You aren’t alone in the neighborhood either, and you will find the murderous puppets roaming around. These puppets are your main threats throughout the game. To deal with them, you will very quickly get equipped with a wrench, which whilst functional can be a little bit cumbersome to use, since getting too close to the puppets will cause them to grab you and send you flying backwards. It can be tricky to gauge just how close they have to be, due to some awkward animations, but creates a risk factor to close encounters. So instead of relying entirely on melee, you will pick up a few weapons throughout the game that are wonderfully suited to the world.

My Friendly Neighborhood Bolt Cutters

My Friendly Neighborhood recognises the bolt cutters as the ultimate door opener!

The revolver weapon is a typewriter-style launcher that fires off the Alphabet, letting you know how much ammo you’ve got left in the mag. Once you’ve killed a puppet it won’t stay down permanently, and instead will get back up as soon as you leave the area. To permanently dispatch an enemy puppet, you will need to use some of the precious tape resources to tie them up. Combat isn’t the strongest part of My Friendly Neighborhood and can feel a touch repetitive. There are only a few regular enemy types to deal with and a very small variety of weapons overall, not to mention some disappointing bosses to dispatch. However, through the roughly five-hours it takes to complete the game, it does remain engaging enough, but I doubt many will seek out a second playthrough.

As for the horror, don’t be expecting too much here. It’s not like Five Nights at Freddy’s, which can often be relentless. Instead, it is a much more relaxed horror experience that relies on the tension of running out of resources, of which there is very little, especially when you increase the difficulty of the game. That’s not to say there are no scares at all; an occasional well-crafted jump scare can catch you off guard, especially when the game doesn’t really go that direction. My Friendly Neighborhood doesn’t excel at horror, but it doesn’t try to, instead relying on a strong level designs and limited resources to make you think strategically.

On the technical side, My Friendly Neighborhood isn’t terribly impressive, with some flat texture work and some rudimentary effects. But where it lacks in technical prowess, it makes up with the design. It’s hilarious to see a puppet flailing around trying to murder you, and when you inflict a kill shot the overly exaggerated ragdoll effects really sell it. All whilst bleeding letters of the Alphabet like a Seasame Street nightmare. In the end, it’s a game about murderous puppets, and keeps it as PG as it possibly can, but there are still quite a few surprises sprinkled all throughout the game.


Hello Neighbor….hood.

As for the sound design, there are some issues. Namely, when exploring the larger zones you will sometimes be annoyed by the almost constant chatter from the puppets. However, this is a minor complaint when the dialogue itself is so well done, with some hilariously dark lines that are spewed at you whilst a murderous puppet is flailing around after you.

My Friendly Neighborhood is a very surprising game, taking elements from the mascot horror genre and actually making use of its potential. Whilst it’s not really a horror game, and you shouldn’t be expecting much in the way of scares, it’s unique atmosphere and homage to the Resident Evil franchise are worth celebrating. The story, setting, gameplay, and level design all work well together to deliver a unique experience.


Graphics: 6.5

Exploring the set of a cancelled puppet TV show immerses you into the world, but the visuals themselves feel often lacking in finer details.

Gameplay: 7.5

If you like the gameplay loop from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, then you will probably enjoy the very similar one found in My Friendly Neighborhood.

Sound: 8.0

Despite some repetition in the sound design that can get annoying. The puppets can be hilariously dark and well acted.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Fantastic level design with a great premise makes My Friendly Neighborhood a must-play for fans of the mascot horror genre.

Final Verdict: 7.5

My Friendly Neighborhood is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC with an RTX 4070, Ryzen 5 3600X and 16GB RAM.

A copy of My Friendly Neighborhood was provided by the publisher.