Review: Party Hard

Ever had one of those moments when you’re having a quiet evening in and you feel super relaxed. You go to bed and at 3am in the morning a neighbour is having the loudest most obnoxious party ever. Sure you could go and ask him to turn it down, perhaps even calling the local council. Or you could do as in this game, put on a mask and go to murder everyone at the party.

It’s stealth-ish pixel art as you make your way around the party trying to get out of line of sight of folks to stab them. You can hide bodies to stop alerting the other party goers but if they do find one they’ll freak out, call the cops and carry on dancing.

You can blend in by getting your groove on – aside from this and stabbing your arsenal is limited to using traps in the level to try and kill the party-goers. You must kill everyone to win, and avoid the police as they are your party pooping party poopers. It’s pretty cool at first, the initial level is your classic house party, you can set a golf cart off to mow down loads of people, kick folks into bonfires, set an electrical trap, start a fire – you’ve got quite a few different mechanisms at your disposal however once they’re gone, they’re gone and I often found myself with maybe only half of the people left and only my standard knife attack to take them out. You can’t really lure anyone either so you have to wait until they go for a little walk and take them out.

The music is pretty good, Hotline Miami-esque. It’s provides a good backdrop for the action and can tide you over once you get to the waiting game but as the pace really slows down it’s at odds with the soundtrack. This is the biggest issue I have with Party Hard – the underlying mechanics are fine although a bit limited but they resort to bare basics very quickly and then it’s a patience game. This is a bit of a shame really as I enjoyed the start of each level then got bored. One mistake and you’re starting all over again, and when you’re patiently waiting for 30 odd characters to take a stroll it becomes tiresome.

There’s some good fun to be had here but in fairly short bursts. There are some good bits which occur at random intervals – one time there was a drug deal gone wrong and the SWAT team were called who took out a load of people for me which was helpful. You can also get a fumigation team to gas half of the level too. There are lots of funny references too – Ronald McDonald is walking about and if you keep jumping out of windows to avoid the cops then Mario will board it up so you can’t use it anymore. Random, weird, but amusing.

Ultimately it’s a test of patience. It’s not the longest game to get through but you need to be willing to stick it out to see it all.

Reviewed on PS4

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