By: Ted Chow
When the house next door is partying all night, keeping you awake and won’t listen to your demands, the solution is always to go on a mass killing spree and put everyone to sleep for good. Party Hard is one game that capitalizes on that notion and rocks those pixel graphics to the sound of the techno beat. If you enjoy some isometric gameplay and letting your wild side loose, Party Hard will keeping you raving all night long. Cue the strobes…
Controls for the game are pretty simplistic without any extra fluff or complexity. Allowing for both keyboard and controller play, Party Hard is a game that caters to multiple play styles and does a great good keeping it user friendly. Both experiences felt smooth and one wasn’t overly lacking over the other.
Party Hard has an intrinsic charm with the pixel art and the corresponding techno rave beats. It is rather akin to A Night at the Roxbury with that ’80s feel prevalent in the game’s presentation. While the pixel art isn’t groundbreaking, the harmonizing techno soundtrack really sells the overall immersion. If there was room for improvement it would have to be the cheesy voice acting, but then again, it seems to fit the fictitious representation of an ’80s parody.
Party Hard puts you in the shoes of a disgruntled and sleep-deprived individual who was driven mad by the constant fun and debauchery of parties throughout the world. As such, you’ll hop from party to party to cleanse the world of the cancer that has seeped into the hearts of man.
Of course, this is probably the delusions of grandeur that the main character is fantasizing and he probably just wants to go to bed, as is the nature of video game logic. Whatever the reason, you will go about finding interesting ways to kill party goers in order to advance the storyline.
The game is more tactical than just going on a killing spree as going gung ho will lead to an instant arrest from the cops. There is definitely a level of patience needed as you wait for opportunities to come your way.
You will have to take advantage of drunken individuals passed out, people that stray from the eyes of others, and also use the environment to your advantage by setting fires, tampering with food and other hijinxs.
When all is said and done, there’s more strategic depth than initially meets the eye. Some levels also require multiple retries as crucial environmental interactions may be needed in order to finish off your kill quota.
Disposing of bodies and evidence also needs to be taken into consideration. If dead bodies are left lying where individuals walk, it can spell disaster if the suspect is found to be you.
Luckily, there are ways to advert some catastrophic circumstances by running into the shadows so that police stop chasing or even calling in a bodyguard to take a policeman out for one time only. However, these avenues of escape are limited within the level, so they should only be used for extremely tight binds.
With no multiplayer, the game is solely a singer-player experience, and it does its job at keeping a player invested in the moment. Much of it is a combination of some sick techno music to go along with your mass genocide; nothing like techno to inspire murderous tendencies?
There is a great sense of fun and achievement for pulling off the perfect murders, even if it may take more than a few retries. Points and achievements are also available for the completionists who want to enjoy the game to the fullest extent.
Party Hard is one of those indie titles that doesn’t take itself seriously and just provides the player with hours of fun. The soundtrack sells the immersion and makes repeating levels palatable even after the first run through. Overall, Party Hard is a fun game that will relieve those suppressed feelings you might have when the neighbors keep you up all night.