There is no hiding the fact that Party Hard is violent. Violence in video games is always a bit of a touchy subject with people. I personally don’t believe that video games that depict violence encourage people to kill, but I will say that if you’re a parent you may want to check this out first. I have reason to believe that the six-second pitch for this game went something like. “Have you ever had noisy neighbours? Have you ever wanted to stab them? Well, now you can”. Now we here at GeekOut do not encourage you to stab your noisy neighbours. A much better way to solve that problem is to try talking to them first if that fails then maybe consider dialling 101 and talking to the police about the situation.
Developed by Pinkol Games and published by TinyBuild, Party Hard was the result of a game jam, one of those “Build a game in X days” events. Now not all games that get made in this way evolve into full products but you may remember that we have reviewed both HackNet and SuperHot, both of which came out of game jams and are pretty good. You start the game with a little tutorial that teaches you the basics of walking up behind people and stabbing them or using the environment to your advantage by pushing people into fires or setting traps. The controls are simple and work really well on a controller, but as per the clue in the title of the game, Party Hard is by no means easy which I really appreciate.
When playing the game you soon learn that you can’t just go in and stab everyone. If you’re spotted killing people or other party goers find your victims then they will call the police who will turn up and look for someone to arrest. It’s quite fun getting away with murder, so to speak. You can also manage to trick the police into arresting the wrong person! However, if you are spotted then you can try to make your escape. Run away from the police for a long enough time and they give up the chase or alternatively you can try to jump out of a window or head through a cellar. Don’t come to rely upon these exits, if you use them too often when you’re being chased, a vaguely familiar man in blue overalls with a red shirt and a large moustache armed with a wrench appears and closes off the exit.
The game adopts the current popular pixellated style, which you might think is not much to write home about, but I rather like it. At the end of each level is a little cinematic which tries to explain the Party Hard killer, but really does not add too much to the game itself. There are some fun cameos from the patrons starring people from Breaking Bad, Michael Jackson, Darth Vader and more. The ultimate goal of each level is to be the last man standing so you can go home and get back to sleep. When you’re done with the main game I guess it opens up more characters which include a ninja, a cop, a female character and a butcher. However I have yet to get past the third level so can’t really tell you what it’s like to play as them. There is a fully fledged level editor where you can create your own level, with traps, party goers, security and all sorts. The creative among you will love this, which allows you to share the level with the rest of the world via Steam workshop, so you can make your very own house party to share with your friends.
Is it fun? Yes.
The challenge is pretty high but I don’t feel like I am being punished for no good reason, it’s usually because I have taken too big a risk. Coming up with strategic ways to reduce the crowd is fun and I can just fire it up for a few spare minutes, no need to sink hours and hours into it which I really like. It’s also really nice to have levels that are designed for a change, I have played so many rogue-style games with their random elements often ending in disappointment. Do I feel I got my money’s worth? Well, I paid $4.49 USD for it which is about £3.20. Given the difficulty, along with the presence of a full level editor, I actually would pay full price for this. It’s well worth £10 in my opinion but then again, I’m a bit of a bargain hunter!
Love and rockets