Party Hard (Xbox One)
It's 3:00 a.m. Your neighbours are having a loud party. Stop them. Party Hard is tinyBuild's award-winning stealth strategy game about ruining parties by any means.
-A (not)serious story that follows a series of murders throughout the USA
-19 unique levels with random variations on each one
-Use traps, cause explosions, become a ninja
-Multiple unlock-able characters
-Local co-op multiplayer
-Special random events, like a bear coming in and killing everyone for you
-Trigger the DEA, SWAT, paramedics or firefighters to come and ruin the party
About 15 hours for main story, but can be replayed a LOT
August 25, 2015
Xbox, PC, PS4
Developer: Pinokl Games, Kverta
Genre: Action, Strategy
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Play Station 4,
Rating: Rated M
Price: $12.89 on Steam
Wild and action-packed, Party Hard largely took both YouTube and Steam by storm when it first came out. Hours were poured in and mods were made for this addictive murder spree. While much of the hype has died off, is Party Hard still worth the possible addiction?
The whole game is about murdering partygoers. There’s blood, dead bodies, various kinds of homicide, and lots of death as a result of direct player actions. While the pixel art helps the game not be very graphic visually, there’s still plenty of red pixels after you throw somebody into a giant saw.
During the cutscenes, characters will swear. The f-word and others are used throughout the game, but not to the degree that they cannot be ignored.
There are pixelized strippers in one level dancing around a pole, and some party-goers will go off to make out (mainly to give you the chance to sneak up and kill them easily).
Many of the parties you go to hint that alcohol is being consumed, but you never have alcohol and drinking isn’t a part of the game itself.
This is a super, super fun game. That is about all the good morals I can get out of Party Hard. Please don’t do anything that you ever do while playing this game in real life.
I remember finding Party Hard. It was already 10 at night and my friend was over for a sleepover. In a mad race against the onset of boredom or tiredness, I purchased what looked to me like an interesting pixelated strategy game. 20 minutes (or was 2 hours?) in, my friend and I had laughed, cried, and traded off the Xbox remote so many times, we’d forgotten what sleep even was. I remember looking at my then bright green wall, seeing the golden streaks of sunshine, and genuinely being confused that the sun was already starting to rise. Come to find out, it was 5 a.m. We hadn’t looked at a clock in 8 hours because who cares about time when you only have 5 people left to kill? I know I don’t.
Party Hard is based entirely on the premise that you are a guy who’s tired of being awakened by loud parties. While the actual story is entirely skippable (wait—there was a story?), the gameplay itself is immediately addicting. I totally get being frustrated by being awakened in the middle of the night by rowdy party-goers. Now, while I personally won’t be going on a murder spree, you as the player get to go across the nation doing just that.
From backyard bonfires to casino pool parties, you’ll be finding the best ways to kill parties consisting of 20-50 people with your knife, wits, and whatever you can make happen. The tutorial is 5 seconds long, and then you’re right into the action where the beautiful formula comes into play that I simply can’t get enough of. While you are totally going on a homicidal murder spree, there’s enough thinking involved in your rampage that it’s fascinating but not so much that it’s exhausting. You’re hacking and slashing enough for me to say it’s action-packed, but you also have to strategize that hacking enough to where it feels more fulfilling when you win. Emphasis on the WHEN you win. Some levels took my friend and me 30 or more times to get through, while others only took four of five. However, the levels do like to randomize their events, accidents, and people, which makes the trial-and-error much less tiresome, especially when you’ve played the house party 10 times and on the eleventh load there’s a golf cart out front. You wanna know how many people a golf cart can kill? THIRTY (if timed right).As you go across America, you’ll encounter different kinds of parties which will, in turn, require you to apply different strategies. Even so, there are always tons of ways to approach every level. There’s different little power-ups you can get, different accidents you can trigger, and different methods you can use. Wanna kill 20 people by just hanging out in the sawmill during the outdoor party? Great plan. But that that sound boring, so would you rather trigger all the accidents and watch the world burn? Also a completely viable option. But the parties and their challenges vary enough so that you won’t be able to always do the same thing. This clever way of forcing you to be creative once again makes the gameplay super addictive.
As you continue playing, you’ll unlock other characters you can go on your murder sprees with. The different characters force you to employ even more kinds of strategies and face even more challenges. For example, the cop allows you to carry bodies without suspicion, but you can’t use traps, and the ninja allows you to be super stealthy and fast but you can never be seen by anyone. These new challenges only make this game more exciting. Especially on PC, Party Hard never really ends. There are mods, DLC, local multiplayer, and so many features that make each experience something unique. Even if you get through all the levels, you will definitely want to go back just to see how else you could have beat the game.
So… this review has frequently discussed murder extremely casually. This brings me to probably the biggest concern about the game: just how violent it is. There’s nothing moral about this game. You’re clearly the bad guy who is killing tons of innocent people, annoying or not. Considering this was one of the first games I really got into, my mom was understandably concerned. She wasn’t used to hearing discussions of how exactly murder 50 people without getting caught. So, if you are a concerned parent or younger individual, it’s simply something to be aware of. However, this game is so incredibly outlandish that it’s not like the more realistic kinds of violence found in games like Grand Theft Auto.
Another strike against Party Hard is its story, which doesn’t even really exist. I almost entirely forget what it even is. Just click an extra button and ignore it. There’s something about a cop and he’s trying to catch the killer, and there’s a daughter at some point? You can’t see my confused face right now but it is definitely there. Beyond the original premise, any story isn’t really needed and just 30 seconds wasted that I could’ve spent killing more people.
Party Hard is an addictive, fun, probably questionable game that will provide you and your friends hours upon hours of entertainment. It’s great for a quick game before going to school, an all-nighter, or some serious stress relief. While mom or the kids may not want to hear about you slaughtered 50 people, you will inevitably bond with anyone you play Party Hard with. The thought and creativity that was put into such an outlandish game are wonderful.
Alright, I think I’ve written enough for this review. Can I go back to playing now?
+ Addictive gameplay
+ Fun and challenging
+ Fun to play with other people
+ Can be replayed for hours
- Very violent
- Some adult language and settings
- Forgettable story