My Friendly Neighborhood – PC Review

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My Friendly Neighborhood was developed by John & Evan Szymanski and published with the help of Dreadxp. Begin investigating an abandoned film that has begun broadcasting again in this new survival horror. Released on the 18th of July this year, players can pick it up on Steam for £24.99.

There’s a lesson here

What caught my eye with My Friendly Neighborhood is it looked fresh and unique compared to many other horror games. Yeah. I understand that fighting against undead creatures or grotesque science experiments is scary. But it’s nice to see some developers trying to make cute things into more dark and twisted variants. Some examples that come to mind are Bendy And The Ink Machine and, more recently, Poppy’s Playtime. Unlike the other games mentioned, My Friendly Neighborhood isn’t episodic. 

Ricky the sock puppet is protruding from a small stage. The subtitles belong to the main hero Gordon the handyman.
I have a job to do.


Players take control of Gordon O’Brian, a handyman tasked with going to an abandoned studio to switch off a broadcasting tower. Players will first investigate the hotel, where they’ll meet the charismatic sock puppet called Ricky. He explains that it would be a catastrophe if you switched off the antenna after he coughs up a key card and then leaves.

One of the enemies players will face off in the game. They stand in place unless provoked.
You came to the wrong neighbourhood!

After picking up the key card, we begin exploring the studio. Scattered around the different areas are notes that give players some information about My Friendly Neighborhood. Some are letters left by employees, and others are newspaper clippings. There are also secret tapes that players can find and will unlock cheats to use on a new playthrough.

Weapons & Items

While exploring My Friendly Neighborhood, one of the earliest weapons players can find is The Stenographer. Unlike a regular pistol, this gun uses Letter Indexes as ammunition. Once fired, it will shoot a materialized letter at enemies, and after several hits, they will become unconscious. I enjoyed how creative the weapons were in the game besides the wrench. There are no ways to upgrade weapons in the game.

I am holding the pistol called The Stenographer. The surroundings look like a child's drawing.
One of the guns in the game.

 When taking damage, the player can drink a bottle of Health-O-Lax, which heals them up by one on the health bar. When eating a chocolate bar, players gain a temporary speed boost. Chocolate bars are scattered around the map or at the Hotel vending machine.

Saving your game

Scattered around in My Friendly Neighborhood are safe zones. In these zones, the player can usually find a healing station, save station and tool bench. You can find tokens throughout the studios that let the player use the stations. The healing station will fully heal you while the other saves your game. The tool bench serves as a storage unit for any excess items you have. 

The inventory in My Friendly Neighborhood. Some of the items found here are Letter indexes that serve as ammo and some keys.
Just like in Resident Evil.

The player’s inventory works similarly to the Resident Evil franchise. You can rotate some items around to fit all the items you need. Any item that no longer has any use, like the bolt cutters, will display a tick in the top left, meaning you can discard it and make room. There’s no way to upgrade the carrying capacity in the game.

The puzzles and enemies in MFN

The puzzles in My Friendly Neighborhood offer a fun challenge for players, with some requiring some real thought. For example, the works punch-out machine had you using math to figure out the correct time on the clocks and then use shapes to create the correct card. Most of the puzzles will have players returning to previously visited areas to find new items to use, such as the mask puzzle that has masks scattered around the offices. 

Though it is hard to see the head of the large bird creature is shown lurching over a metal fence.
One of the large puppets searching for me behind the set.

When going from each area, enemies will spawn, and when defeating them and leaving will cause them to respawn. To stop this, the player can find duct tape and use it to lock them permanently in place. Some enemies can’t be taped down, for example, Goblette, a giant green puppet in the shape of a coin purse or the dogs found in the garden area.

Graphics & Audio

The designs of characters, items and weapons all stood out in My Friendly Neighborhood. The overall aesthetic reminded me slightly of a mixture of Hello Neighbor and Hello Puppets. The characters were in between comically gaudy and unsettling. The bird named Pearl’s design was brilliant and intimidating in how she towers over you. The way the puppets flopped around and moved in disjointed manners at times did well to make me feel uncomfortable.

Several small puppets block my way through a small corridor. When approached they will jump at the player.
You got any games on your phone?

One of the creepiest examples was a puppet named Norman folding himself in half and swinging his torso wildly to beat on a locked door. I love the designs of the guns and the Health-O-Lax bottles. The health bottles reminded me heavily of the Vigor bottles in Bioshock Infinite.

Audio and references

The voice acting is quality too. Each puppet natters endlessly, even when bound in duct tape. Listening to the goofy and upbeat tone of the characters while describing some heinous things catches you off-guard from time to time. Ricky’s voice acting is my favourite. He’s incredibly charismatic and upbeat even when speaking about something serious, and overall a funny and entertaining character to listen to.
Another small but nice touch I enjoyed was the sound effects for the stairs. The way Gordon’s footsteps sound changes when going upstairs, and the audible speed of your footsteps also changes.

I am looking over at the giant monster that looks like a coin purse. I'm holding a wrench as my weapon and I'm hurt.
The area layout reminds me of the first Resident Evil mansion.

I noticed that there were multiple homages to the first Resident Evil. The layout of the hotel lobby and corridors, alongside the colour choices of the wallpaper and flooring, seemed similar to those of the mansion. Though they serve no purpose, typewriters are scattered throughout the levels too. Even when entering and exiting doors, it plays a brief cutscene of the door opening and zooming into it, again similar to those in RE1. If this is truly a homage to the first Resident Evil game, as I suspect, it was brilliant yet subtle!


Finishing My Friendly Neighborhood took me a little over eight hours. I spent two hours looking around for various secrets. The game has many to uncover, some I haven’t even found yet. One of the secrets I found fun was the Mouse cave. Depending on how good you are with puzzles will affect how long the game takes. I was stuck on the safe puzzle in the Rec Room for half an hour before finally getting the solution.

One of the many secrets found the game. seen here there are a large amounts of mouse surrounding a table with a light beaming down.
One of my favourite secrets.

Final Thoughts

My Friendly Neighborhood was honestly a breath of fresh air. The game doesn’t put pressure on the player with needless chase scenes. Puzzles are well-made and not too challenging. The characters and voice acting are excellent and left me laughing and feeling uncomfortable. One issue I had was that the save areas weren’t visible on the map. But this was fixed during my time playing. The addition of the map changing to blue when the player has picked all the area items is a great feature a lot more games should implement.

The story could do with some work, as I was still left wondering why the puppets were sentient. I jumped several times, which was great as the game doesn’t use jump scares much. The game ran well with no issues at all.

I am awarding My Friendly Neighborhood the Thumb Culture Gold Award. If they expanded more on the story of the puppets, I would have given it a Platinum. 

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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