A Puzzling Challenge
“Shut up, Meg!” Yes, that’s loveable buffoon, Peter Griffin. No, this isn’t an episode of the hit animated comedy, Family Guy, it certainly could be. Lion Studios’s third-person puzzle strategy game The Girl Next Door plays out like an episode of the show. In fact, let’s envision this as an alternate reality where Meg Griffin is the star. Even Stewie Griffin would pause at the conundrum filled experience The Girl Next Door offers.
Gameplay, And Making the Correct Choice
The Girl Next Door is a game that requires a bit of thought from the player. You are tasked with guiding the main character, who is nameless, so we’ll just stick with Meg, through a series of scenarios. The decision you make determines whether the story advances or if you’ll have to start over for making the wrong choice. Sounds a little perplexing doesn’t it? If you’ve played games like the Girl Next Door before, however then you pretty much know what you’re doing.
Speaking of which, making the wrong choice is a little frustrating, because what the appropriate choice, is not always obvious. For example, in the game’s opening level, Our hero Meg, (boy does that feel weird to say. Peter would have a fit!), stumbles across a woman who is trapped in her flooding house. There are two options to rescue her. Players can either kick her a board that should allow her to float to safety or open a cabinet that houses a plunger. Which option is the best? That’s up to you.
Let’s say you decide to kick her the board. Seems like a good choice, right? Well, it would be except for one small problem, there’s a window! Kicking the board to the woman causes her to float right out the window, presumably to a horrible death. However, if you open the cabinet you’ll find a plunger that you can use to drain said water and save this poor, unfortunate individual. Because using a plunger drains water instantly just like in real life.
Completing Chapters, Earning Money and Ads
What’s a game without some sort of reward for the player? Basically, with the completion of each level and subsequent chapter, players can earn in-game currency that they can use to spend on items. Generally, the amount of money varies anywhere between $200 for each completed level and $600 for each completed chapter.
How do you feel about ads? Everything seems to have them these days and The Girl Next Door is no exception. What makes these little buggers annoying though is that if you want to progress to the next chapter or say, collect that money I mentioned you must watch ads. The ads are anywhere between five to thirty seconds in length. If you make a wrong choice during the course of the game and want to avoid a game over, you either have to spend all of that hard-earned money you’ve collected or watch an ad. Talk about frustrating! My advice is, do your best to avoid the wrong choice.
Extras and Overall Impressions
There are a few extras that are offered for the player. Skins can be used during the game to change Meg’s appearance and the money you earn in the game can be used to purchase things for your home, like flooring, curtains, clocks. Your home serves as a kind of hub where you can add these fine items you’ve purchased and even select levels should you want to play through them again.
Overall, The Girl Next Door is a fun, albeit not very challenging puzzle game. The character designs are similar to what you’d find in an animated show, like Family Guy. Lion Studios does a decent job of making the experience feel as linear as possible. Ads are frustrating due to their varying length. Likewise, choosing the wrong choice adds to that level of frustration, because making the wrong choice means you have to restart the chapter. While not game-changing, it’s good for several hours of brain-teasing entertainment.
Is It Hardcore?
Not even close.
The Girl Next Door is a fun, but not very challenging experience. Lion Studios does a decent job in making the story as linear as possible and though ads are frustrating the game is still good for several hours of brain teasing entertainment.