Games that glorify mass murder don’t exactly fly over with gamers – just take a look at how a game like Hatred is perceived – but dang it, TinyBuild actually has an interesting take with its game, Party Hard. Instead of simply letting you slaughter innocents by the buttload, the game asks you to cleverly take out people using different means, whether it’s by going up and stabbing them, or using one of the nearby items to set off an unsuspecting trap, like setting people ablaze with a barbecue grill.
Okay, so that doesn’t exactly make mass murder a fun activity – deep down, the dark theme is still there. But the game is presented in an 8-bit style décor, so you don’t have to worry so much about blood and guts as much as you do strategizing your next move and avoiding the cops whenever they come rolling by. (Or, better still, taking out people quickly enough that they never get to call them in.)
The game has 19 different levels to choose from, with 12 of them revolving around the main story. It’s a decent story, but you’ll have a tough time getting there. That’s because Party Hard only has the one general difficulty setting, and it’s hard as nails considering that some of the technical aspects of the game can be setbacks. Case in point – trying to stab someone, only to miss and having them kick you enough times to render you unconscious. Or getting busted by the cops. Eep.
The rest of the gameplay is okay, but these technical hiccups can be frustrating on top of the already escalated difficulty settings – and as a result, you may not see the game through to the end. But even if you do, get ready for a letdown of an ending. It’s like you build up to a big party surprise, only for it to be nothing. Well, poop.
The idea of taking out a room full of people may be a daunting task for some, but there are those that can really make the most out of the experience if they have the patience and persistence. Not that I’m egging it on, mind you, but if you take a gamble with Party Hard, it might pay off. Again, though, you’ll need to deal with a few technical shortcomings in the process – something that could’ve easily been cleaned up with a quick patch.
At least the game’s visuals, when they aren’t being held back, are entertaining, with a lot of different partygoers mimicking everything from passing out in the bathroom (like a real partyer!) to playing around on the computer, just asking to be killed. Furthermore, the music’s not bad either, even though it gets a little repetitive. And there aren’t enough sound effects to go around.
Party Hard does have its merits (again, not glorifying REAL killing here) with unlockable characters and extra challenges, but that’s if you can deal with its technical problems and heinous difficulty. If that sounds like a party to you, have at it. Otherwise, we’ll be back online fragging friends like normal people.