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Hello Neighbor has made a bit of an impression since its announcement, and now you can play it: it’s time for the Hello Neighbor open alpha.

It’s hard to know what to say about Hello Neighbor, really. On the one hand it’s an inspired idea, taking the hackneyed horror movie trope of outwitting a single predatory adversary in a house and putting a fresh spin on it, which is an exciting prospect. But on the other hand, the player is kind of a jerk.

Yes, you’re trying to sneak into your neighbour’s house because you think he’s up to no good – the dude is definitely hiding something unsettling in his basement – but it’s unusual to be the home invader in this scenario. The protagonist isn’t the one Macaulay Culkin-ing their way around an empty house, trying to foil the creep who’s trying to sneak in. You’re the creep. You’re sneaking in.

Other than that, though, the Home Alone analogy is a good one. Hello Neighbor has ‘puzzles’ to solve and lateral thinking required to outfox your adversary, and making use of the environment in whatever way you choose is the only way to succeed. You might find success on one occasion with a clever gambit – by throwing a rock through a window to make a distraction, then nipping in through the open door while he comes out to investigate, for example – but don’t get reliant on it: the next time you try it, your neighbour will have an inkling of what’s going on, and is more likely to catch you in the act.

That’s the beauty of Hello Neighbour. It learns. And now, you can learn more about it, by signing up for the Hello Neighbor open alpha.

As with other rogue-ish survival games currently doing the Early Access rounds – like the splendidly creepy (and not entirely dissimilar) We Happy Few or the shiver-inducing The Long Dark – the developers really need our help. They have plenty of ideas of what works and what doesn’t, but in-house play-testing can only do so much: the idea of the Hello Neighbor open alpha is to get as many people as possible playing the game, testing as many possibilities as, well, possible.

Get the Hello Neighbour open alpha and bust it to its absolute limits. It’s what the developers want.

You can download the Hello Neighbour open alpha by signing up for their newsletter. Seems fair.

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