Review: Party Hard
Who hasn’t had the guilty crazy dream of killing his noisy neighbors? It might sound harsh, but I’ve been into that situation where after a rough day of work, a big house party prevented me from sleeping. So what’s the answer according to studio Pinokl Games? Well a bloody killing spree, with a hint of stealth and some 8-bit graphics.
Party Hard is an isometric 2D game that smartly falls between infiltration and strategy genre. At the controls of a serial killer, the player must kill all the attendees or guest of over 12 different parties, each representing a different story or campaign level. But you will have to use discretion to make sure that no guest sees you in the middle of an assassination or even found near a dead body, as they will not hesitate to reach the nearest telephone and call the police.
If a police officer is called upon to arrest you, you will have to either escape from him, or give up, get arrested and start all over again. So your main strategy is thus stab each person when the are isolated from the others. But, to assist in this task, the player can activate various level based traps, such as sabotage and blow sound-system speakers, electrify a dance floor or even use some special items such as stun bombs.
Party Hard tries to sell a fun and dynamic play. If the basic concept gives you a smile with the various elements offset in each levels, the game is not really fun to play. The action is particularly slow, if only because of the movement of the character, with the duration of each level will fit in the range of fifteen fifty minutes to finish. Unfortunately, it is mainly the only frustration that comes out of the game.
Indeed, the title requires the player to be extremely subtle in his actions while in turn, Party Hard has some parts that can be considered incomprehensible. For example, why is setting a trap discreet, when other more “visible” action – like tossing someone off a roof – don’t alert people. In both cases, I ended up discovering what is stealthy and what is not in this game, which doesn’t rely on logical thinking.
In the end, Party Hard can be frustrating to play. Traps are generally inefficient and death is particularly painful. Moreover, the levels are too often set outdoors with large open areas and force the player to try to isolate party attendees one by one, without need of strategy. We can however appreciate the music, and the variety of levels with different themes, including a pack of pretty hardcore bonus levels or some unlockable characters.
Party Hard was reviewed using an Xbox One downloadable code of the full game provided by Pinokl Games. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam and other sites. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Rich and varied levels
• Graphically "cute"
• Soundtrack is great
• A nice merge between Hotline Miami and Stealth
• Not enough content or levels
• Gameplay inaccuracies
• Some illogical game instances