I’ll admit when I first heard about Party Hard, I was skeptical.
The premise (kill everyone at a party) seemed hyper-violent and unwarranted. I’m very glad to say I was wrong. Party Hard is one of the most refreshing tactical and stealth games I have played in years.
If you can’t view the video:
Developed by Pinokl, Party Hard‘s plot features a “hero” hell-bent on shutting down obnoxious parties that shatter the piece and quiet of the neighborhood. Instead of calling the police, the player kills everyone at the party using stealth, a knife, and the randomized game environment. Party Hard‘s narrative follows the killer across the country. The story is deliberately silly and unbelievable, the voice actors are hilarious, and there’s plenty of self-deprecating humor going around to lighten the mood. It’s a major part of what makes the game unique.
In terms of gameplay, Party Hard is a lot of fun. You have to commit the crimes without being spotted by other partygoers. To do this, you can wait until someone’s alone, but be sure to hide the body afterwards to avoid drawing attention. You can also make the deaths of obnoxious partiers look like an accident – push them off a building, on to a barbecue pit, or have them run over by the runaway golf-cart. One of the great features of Party Hard is this interaction with the game environment – plus it’s randomized, so even if you replay levels, they won’t be exactly the same. You can even herd partiers to their doom by showing off your less-than-stellar dance moves. If you slip up and the cops are called, you’re arrested, and you’ll have to repeat the level. When playing Party Hard, patience is a virtue, and knowing when to strike is vital.
The game’s 8-bit graphics and fun music help keep Party Hard from getting too serious. One criticism I have is the learning curve. Party Hard‘s tutorial level has you kill a handful of enemies, and then the next level has you murder something like 50+ people. A more gradual ramp up in scope would be appreciated by players new to this kind of stealth and strategy game, since you’re forced to repeat the level if you’re caught red-handed. I also wish there was more environmental interaction – it’s my favorite part of the game.
Party Hard is filled with over a dozen levels, and even included special random events, like a bear appearing and killing everyone for you. It’s solid value for the money.
Party Hard is priced at $12.99 for Xbox One, PS4, and Steam for PC. It’s also available on a number of mobile platforms. A trial of the game is available, and you can even play Pinokl’s game jam prototype at http://www.tinybuild.com/partyhard