Party Hard – PS4
Developer: Pinokl Games
Publisher: tinyBuild Games
Release Date: (Worldwide) April 26th, 2016
Nerd Rating: 7.5/10
We’ve all been there before, right? Closing our eyes, trying to get any wink of sleep, when suddenly, noise! The crazy, wild house party next door wakes you from your slumber and you want to KILL! Well, okay, maybe not quite, but that sure is the premise of our game for today. You are a guy just wanting some sleep, going on a huge murder spree to stop all parties in the city! Sound like a blast? Well, it is. And now, my lovely baconeers, it’s time I wrote you a review on our subject for today, Party Hard!
Party Hard is an interesting specimen. An indie game ported to the PS4 recently, the game definitely has a lot of unique elements. The story is mostly non-existent, but you will be greeted by “cutscenes” before each level that loosely piece the game together. Now, some negatives definitely stem from this portion of the game. For one, the voice acting is pretty bad.
Of course, you will be getting a very minimal dosage of it, but it is still somewhat distracting before going into your level. Not only that, but the story really doesn’t make all that much sense. There is no logic behind the guy becoming a serial killer after the first party, and he really doesn’t have any character. Granted, these flaws can be ignored since there wasn’t a lot of emphasis put into them, I just feel as though there was a lot of lost potential in the storytelling.
Once you get past one of the several cutscenes before each level, BAM! You’re in! And boy, is this game fun and addicting! While nothing too special at first, I will say that I have not had an experience like I had playing this game ever before. The gameplay relies on you discreetly murdering every single person at each respective party around the city, each evolving in difficulty and location. The difficulty lies in you not getting caught, which is easier said than done. From hiding bodies, to triggering traps and other events, the way you go about killing is all up to you.
It is a bit limited, but I found myself coming back constantly and consistently having a lot of fun. While a lot of the game is trial and error since you will get caught a multitude of times, the overall charm of the game is not lost by replaying levels. Honestly, if anything, the constant trial and error shows you that there are a lot of ways to go about completing each different stage and there in lies a lot of the fun of the gameplay. From the multitude of the traps and the differences in all of the stages, to the evolution of the strategy and the addictive nature of the gameplay, this short game should keep you entertained for hours! In today’s huddled market, it is always refreshing to see an indie diversion hold my attention better than a lot of AAA games.
While the gameplay can get a little stale after so long, and can certainly make you frustrated on certain levels, I overall felt that the nature of the game was very rewarding to complete. Even after completing the base levels in the game, there are even more game modes to play and more characters to unlock! Each character presents a different way to go about playing and is more than just a skin rehaul which is nice to see in any video game these days. While frustrating at times, the gameplay elements of Party Hard would be impossible not to recommend for casual and hardcore gamers alike.
Some of the other big strengths in the game present themselves in the form of how the game is presented. The music is just, AMAZING! I guarantee the music in this game will have you humming along to how catchy it is. Taking a lot of influence from the 80’s, the game’s music will have to dancing with the victims all night long! Not only just the amazingly retro dance music, but the graphics themselves are refreshing as well. Looking straight out of 90’s game design, Party Hard is a wonder to look at. Colorful and vibrant, this game presents a much different look to a game than we’ve seen in a long time!
Overall, from the music, the color, and the strategy, Party Hard is an easy game to recommend. Though beating it won’t be too difficult, going back to it again and again trying levels differently is all the more fun and rewarding. For being an accessible and uniquely fun game (while having a few major flaws,) I give this game a solid 7.5/10! It’s so great seeing the state of indie games these days, and what kind of fun they can inspire over their AAA game counterparts.
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