Indietail – Party Hard

It was another rainy day when she walked in like the Great Depression. She was a blonde that would make a bishop kick out a stained glass window. In a situation like mine, one only grows fond of moments like these when trouble approaches and you feel the thrill of breaking out of your daily life.

my try at the whole hard-boiled detective monologue thing from noir movies.

In today’s review, we’re taking a look at Party Hard, a tactical stealth slasher game about a mass murderer who’s killing people at parties across the United States. His motive? Getting his revenge on those pesky party-goers that are so loud when he’s trying to sleep.

Developer:  Pinokl Games, Kverta
Publisher: tinyBuild
Genres: Indie, Strategy, Stealth, Slasher
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Reviewed on: PC (Windows)
Available on: Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Fire OS
Copy was purchased

Party Hard‘s story is about Mr West, a former police officer who is being interrogated by other policemen on the case of the previously mentioned party-mass-murderer. He’s telling the officers his story of tracking down the killer.

One of the early levels in which we need to kill 47 innocents for being too loud at night.

The killer, or rather the protagonist, is travelling from one party to the other, covering all kinds of possible settings, all unique and stunning. There’re roof-top-parties, BBQs, boat parties and many more, all with their own music and graphic styles! Your ultimate goal is to “Kill them all” as the game tells you in every level, as well as “Not getting caught”.

In the beginning, you’re going for the stealth-approach, picking off targets that are separated from the group, like a dangerous predator going after their unaware prey. In later levels, you’ll have a hard time with this approach once groups of 50 and more people are being thinned out so that you just slash your way through them.

As for gameplay, you usually try to make use of items, traps and other methods to kill those monsters that have robbed you of your sleep. Every time you (re)start a level, some elements of it like events, traps, items and even bouncer-positions are procedurally changed, which leads to an always fresh experience with different opportunities to plan out your hunt. It’s always unique and challenging – sometimes more than other times, though always beatable! Items range from fresh clothes that change your appearance and help you escape the police to smoke screens to actual bombs or poison. There’s also traps like trucks running over your targets or other ways to kill masses of poor youngsters. Now and then, you’ll get events that make it easier for you, like a bear just randomly passing by and killing everyone for you, U.F.O.s kidnapping humans or even Zombies contracting a virus, turning other humans into more Zombies that are more dangerous but also can be killed in broad public without behaving suspiciously.

Only eight more left at this Ranch BBQ…

There’s also the mechanic of carrying sleeping or dead bodies to hidden places, boxes or manholes, leaving no evidence of your doing behind. You sometimes may even leave bodies behind, so that someone finds it and frames someone else for the murder. Another mechanic, you’ll encounter is “listening” for tactical purposes, and “dancing” for comedic ones.

After every successful mission, you’ll dance to the beautiful sounds of Party Hard‘s soundtrack while engulfing in a moment of comedic relief.

The level-map is designed like a detective board with clues and the like that connect the parties to other parties in the case.

But let’s talk about flaws.

Every game has flaws and with Party Hard it’s mostly the repetetiveness of levels. While levels all are unique and quite fun when you first encounter them, there’s still a bit of a redundant aspect to clearing them after you used up the traps and items to clear most of the victims and now have to clean up with your knife. Quite often I got caught with only a few targets left and ended up getting really frustrated about it, as I had to restart again.

I’M ON A BOAT!

Also you’re not able to influence people to move somewhere with your own methods. It’s mostly random and you either have to wait for the party goers to pass out so that you can carry them away or you wait until they’re seperating themselves from the group or you dance near them and hope that they’re disgusted by your dancing style and walk away. The latter option is what you’ll mostly use, since the first two options are RNG-based and take a lot of time….as well as patience. But even the dancing option can result in them getting angry at you and fighting you, or them actually liking you and joining in.

The deck’s covered with corpse bags and I just fed one of the party guests to the sharks.

The fact that you aren’t in control of all that much apart from corpse-moving and traps, becomes quite bothersome when you suddenly are left with five suspicious targets near a bouncer (for example).

In one of the levels, you’re able to play as Mr West’s daughter, Katie, who’s a fan of the Party Killer!

Party Hard was released in 2015 and quite controversial at the times, after all you go to a party and kill innocents for no reason, right?
I, however, find that it’s actually quite fun to play, as it doesn’t take itself too seriously while also being an interesting title with a mix of the playstyles of Hitman and Deadbolt. The art style is great, the levels become more and more challenging and on top of that, there’re also unlockable characters, a bonus DLC, a sequel and tons ‘n tons of replay-value.

I’d recommend buying Party Hard if you’re a fan of games that don’t take themselves too seriously but still surprise you with an engaging story that really has those Detour and Stage Fright vibes in its narration,

but

on the same train of thought I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who gets frustrated quite easily or who’s not patient enough for runs that may take a bit longer. I really want to recommend to everyone but I can’t. It just lacks in some aspects and the fact that it’s getting repetetive after you’ve been caught a few times on the same level….it’s bringing the game down a bit.

I guess, the middle ground here would be to recommend the game when on sale if you are intrigued by its Hitman– and Deadbold-like features, the cool story and the phenomenal soundtrack.

Anyways, cheers!

Note: Because of some saving-shenanigans with WordPress the final paragraphs didn’t get published which I only just now (August 20th) have noticed. Excuse this little mistake as I’ve overlooked it.

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

2 thoughts on “Indietail – Party Hard

Add yours

  1. I really thought I’d love Party Hard (it reminded me in concept of a low-poly Naughty Bear), but my interest in the core gameplay waned after struggling through the first few levels. I really loved the story bits during the intermissions though.

    Liked by 1 person

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