by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
Say hello to a budding engineer
Hello Engineer is the action / simulator sequel to developer tinyBuilds 2018 Hello Neighbor- basically a puzzle game that presented the goal of finding a way in to a neighbours basement and house in order to find out what he had hidden there. While inside the dwelling a creepy neighbour would roam around setting traps while trying to catch you and stop his secret from being discovered. Hello Engineer stars a group of kids that have - what can only be described as - special engineering skills. The new game doesn't take place in a creepy house with a creepy neighbour, but it takes place in a creepy abandoned amusement park inhabited by the same creepy neighbour named Mister Peterson.
A slow paced action puzzle in a sandbox game?
Hello Engineer has been in early access since mid 2021 and it is presently in near completed form waiting for a mid 2023 release date. This preview code we received allows play within a sandbox environment. Apparently the developer still has work to do on the four player multi-player part called the Story Mode, but right now we are stuck alone within the Sand Box Mode environment. The multi-player mode is geared more towards being cooperative versus playing against three other online players.
The game is described as an "action, adventure, indie, racing, simulation and sports" game where you need to "scavenge, craft and overcome challenges in the bizarre world of a mysterious amusement park." Yes, it is an "indie" production, yes it could take place in an "amusement park" and yes, it could be described as being a slow paced "action" puzzle game, but its not so much the other descriptions. Hello Engineer is an obstacle-course affair with increasingly difficult levels. Vehicle upgrade parts are provided after each level is completed. In the preview build, there was no scavenging, crafting and little in the way of engineering. Players simply put together the provided parts and construct a vehicle that can traverse the various obstacles presented. If you fail then you make adjustments to the vehicle until you are able to finish the level.
Adjusting and tweaking, that's what it takes to be an engineer!
Basically, the way the game works is that at the beginning of the game and the beginning of each level, players are shown an over head view of what can be expected. What they see will determine how to configure the vehicle in order to complete the presented task. Some simple instructions are provided and there is a tutorial available which shows how to attach the components to the vehicle. As an example, in a beginning level the requirement is to traverse a short course filled with obstacles of varying height. With that knowledge you then build a vehicle that is high enough off the ground so that it can travel over the obstacles with out getting stuck. You do this by estimating how high the chassis needs to be adjusted.
Another challenge presents a void or chasm over which boards are placed. With that knowledge you know that vehicle axle length will need to be adjusted so that both wheels make contact with the planks. If the axles are too wide and you tumble off the make shift bridge then you go back and adjust the axles until you make it over the obstacles. As can be expected, levels get progressively more difficult as you progress and vehicle adjustments become a bit more difficult to judge. Still, another example includes a set of obstacles that need to be jumped over with a ramp on one side of a canyon. The trick here is to adjust the power output of the so that the proper speed can be attained. Too much power and players could flip over, or too little and you end up at the bottom of the canyon. It is definitely a game that requires some tinkering with your creations.
Being an engineer really isn't all that hard.
Hello Engineer is a fun little game that might be better suited for the younger set. In the preview build, there really wasn't any complicated engineering required other than maybe the need to attach different coloured wires from the engine to matching colours on gears attached to wheels. Getting vehicle height, axle length, type of wheels and other precise settings on the various parts is interesting and when you finish a level in record time it will be satisfying.
Hello Engineer isn't an overly difficult game. I would describe it more as being a casual puzzle based title that presents a rather wide variety of challenges. One thing I liked is that there is no right or wrong way to do things and yes, since most of us aren't actual engineers then trial and error is the key here. Try it a few times and if it doesn't work out then try, try again until you succeed! That's what fun is all about because there is essentially no way that you won't get to the end of this game. I would recommend Hello Engineer to the youngster that enjoys building things and to the older gamer that wants to pass some time while not getting overly involved in a complicated affair.
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