Party Hard – Review

Title   Party Hard
Developer  Pinokl Games
Publisher  tinyBuild Games
Platform  Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Fire OS
Genre  Action stealth
Release Date  April 26th, 2016
Official Site

partyhardrev1At some point we’ve all had a neighbour’s party impact on our sleep. That was certainly the case for me growing up in London. Of course, being English, what we do is ride it out and eventually get to sleep because the alternative (going round there and KILLING EVERYONE IN THE FACE) is frowned up by the law. Party Hard isn’t a grumbling-into-your pillow simulator. It’s a game where you mingle at various parties and pick off the partygoers with either your knife or some handy environmental traps and dispose of the bodies before anyone realises what’s up.

Simple cutscenes explain the premise. A cop is being quizzed about a failed investigation into the case of a serial killer known as the Party Hard Killer. The story itself is very plainly presented but is worth following, and it introduces each of the game’s ten or so levels. Each level is a single screen affair and is seen from above. Once you’ve found yourself (usually in the bottom left of the screen), you’ll need to start investigating the level to see where the traps are, where you can dispose of bodies and any shortcuts for evading the law.


That’s right. You can’t just go around murdering everyone. It’s a party with usually 40+ guests and so killing undetected isn’t always that easy. If a partygoer sees you kill someone, they’ll rush to the nearest phone and will call the police. The police will out run you, beat you down and arrest you, so you want to remain discrete. People will leave the dancefloor and so you just need to remain patient and pick off the people at the edge of the group. In some ways, that’s kind of the problem with Party Hard. Each level plays the same and really the only attribute you need is patience. People will come to you eventually. If you get bored and start taking risks, you’ll run into trouble every time. Aside from one trophy, there’s no reason to rush.

partyhardrev3The gameplay is fun for sure, but samey and a bit thin. What the game needs badly is a multiplayer mode and given that the best couch multiplayer game of all time, Hidden in Plain Sight, isn’t on PSN, this could have made Party Hard the best party game ever. There’s irony for you. Instead, you just get a relatively small number of levels that all feel mostly the same and, ultimately, the whole thing becomes kind of forgettable. I’m still chasing down trophies on it, which adds some longevity, but if you’re not a trophy hunter you’ll be done with this in a day or two. The other thing is that it’s yet another 2D retro-looking affair, with basic graphics and a banging electro soundtrack. It’s all well and good but the formula is getting kind of tired. In fact, it died in its sleep a couple of years ago and is now placed in a chair while its son murders people wearing its skin.

The premise is good though and the core gameplay is fun, but if I was the developer I’d be studying netcode and figuring out how much of Hidden in Plain Sight I can rip off without getting sued.

  • Fairly fun stealth gameplay
  • Tight controls
  • Reasonable sense of humour
  • Lacks variety
  • Weak presentation
  • Crying out for multiplayer options

Party Hard is a fun but forgetable murder 'em up with a sense of humour but it stops short of being remarkable. There's something here that's worth expanding into a sequel but at the moment this is a pretty thin package that will no doubt be half the price in a couple of months.

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One Comment

  1. Lorna Lorna says:

    Love the concept of this, and I really like the retro-style graphics. Shame the gameplay didn’t quite live up to the promise, but I may splash out on this one anyway, as the concept is just so cool.

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