There’s a quote I remember hearing once upon a time, it went something like this: “It’s all fun and games until someone calls the cops. Then it becomes a new game; Hide and seek!”
To be honest, I think this quote summarizes Party Hard quite well, as it’s all fun and games being a serial killer at a party, until someone calls the cops on you for killing a dozen party goers…wait…let’s back up a second.
Party Hard is a tactical stealth game developed by Pinokl Games and published by tiny Build Games.
In Party Hard, you play the role of a serial killer who is trying to get some peace and quiet and have a nice sleep…unfortunately for him, a party next door is making that ‘good night sleep’ a dream on it’s own. The solution…murder everyone.
In Party Hard, like the above mentioned synopsis, you are tasked with killing every single party goer at the parties you visit. Entrusted with only a knife, and a mask to conceal your identity, your goal seems simple, however the goal is anything but. While it is easy to kill any random party-er with your knife, the problem is being subtle about it, as if you kill anyone in full view of another person, they will rush to call the cops, and like attempting to eat a sandwich made with nails, thumb tacks, and super glue…it only makes things worse.
Here’s a simple equation to remember: Murder + Witnesses = Cops
And you don’t want to do that, cause cops at a party is never a good thing, especially not for a serial party killer…literally.
So forget that equation and learn this one instead: Stealth + Creativity = Success.
Believe it or not the game is more akin to Hit man more than it is to say, Hotline Miami (Although ut has a somewhat similar look and vibe). While the game looks like an arcade game visually, the actual meat of the game is more about using your surrounding environment against the party goers to subtly kill them off one at a time. In doing so, you can have fun using the many opportunities to kill people by doing one of the following: Electrocution, fire, Poisoning the keg of beer, a spooked horse caving someone’s face in, turning on a truck and setting it loose on random party goers who dare to stand in front of it, busting up some poor souls bike to get him mad and go bananas on other party members, etc.
Yeah there are plenty of opportunities to kill other people with the environment that you can use to your advantage, but the game also has other random variables that can help you out, or not depending on what happens. For example, the first time I played the first ‘Party’ I was trying to figure out how I would execute…heh…’execute’…a plan on taking everybody out…and then it happened…a swat van showed up…why? Well to -murder- break up a group of drug dealers at the party….wait what?
I know right? That was the first thing that caught me off guard, but honestly that’s something I do really like about this game, every time you play a party, or re-play which is more like it, as you will die/get arrested…a lot, the level will randomly change a set of variables in the level, such as the fore mentioned drug deal, there are other level variables such as drug labs, rooms with gasoline cans, chainsaw wielding psychopaths, bank robbers, etc.
Another thing that will help in the murdering, is random items that can be found in the level as well as acquired by the shady black market dealer guy that will appear at every party, and what he gives you is also random as well, and the items range from melee weapons that can kill multiple people at once, or stuff like poison, flash bangs, a change of clothes, and other such items that can assist in helping you up your kill tally.
One problem I do have with Party Hard is that the random level variables, is that they aren’t totally random, as it if a certain variable, appears that you recognize, you can expect it to happen in the same exact place, at the same exact time, and in the same exact way, every time that variable appears…which is a shame, because if these were to be totally random not only what variable appears, but where it appears in the map, it would make for a totally random experience that will totally change the way you play every time…unfortunately that’s where it sort of falters.
While the game is pretty good, and it gives you that rewarding, warm feeling in your heart when you beat a level, it feels great, because all of the levels in the game are most definitely difficult, so when you finally beat a level, it feels like you earned it. However the problem I mainly have, is that while certain things in each level can be different from one another, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of samey, repetitive actions, and I think that mostly stems from the limitations of being a 2D overhead tactical game, but there’s never really that feeling of total surprise when playing every level, because the core game play as a whole is pretty much the same in every level, so if you played the first few levels, you’ve played them all, they just look different, have different music, and more people to kill.
Albeit that said, I did enjoy the game quite a lot, the music is great if you are into that synth/club music, there is plenty of value content wise, there are unlock-able characters with different qualities to play as, plenty of levels, and to top it all off (At least if we are talking pc here) custom levels made by the community for you to play with.
Overall, if you were to ask me if this game was worth it (which you are if you even bothered to read this far into the review) I would most definitely say yes.
If you have a good PC, an Xbox One, or a PS4, and even IOS and Android devices, it’s definitely a game that will give you hours of fun. I’d say, from time to time, it’s worth it to Party Hard.
A PC copy of Party Hard was provided by the publisher. To learn more about our score,read our review policy.