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Party Hard Review (PS4)

Sleep eludes you but the party goers can't. As a man with a strong dislike for the party scene, bring down each one until there's nobody left. With a dozen locations and multiple ways to end the lives of your victims, how successful are you at both killing and escaping prison?

Party Hard Review

Introduction

Party Hard, developed by Pinokl Games and published by tinyBuild, is a pixel styled action stealth-slasher game where you play as a man who has grown annoyed of the late night partying that has deprived him of such valuable sleep. Pick up the knife and put an end to it all at each of the many unique locations. Use traps to your advantage in cutting down the crowd even quicker. You can buy the game on Steam or Xbox Marketplace or PlayStation Store for $12.99.

Gameplay

Once you pick the map you wish to carry out your evil killings on (you'll have to unlock them one at a time), you show up just outside as the party is getting crazy. People are dancing, some are passed out in random rooms, and the rest are doing any other typical club/house party socializing. You'll have a counter in the top left that lets you know how many people there are at the scene, plus how many people you have killed. How do you kill them you might ask? The standard option is to simply walk around and stab them. It's a quick press of the button and an instant kill. Other than that, though, you're able to sabotage many different things around the building.

Depending on the layout and some slight randomization, you'll be able to poison the punch bowl, blow up the speakers, tip a gas canister over and cause an entire room to go ablaze, put a show car in drive so it'll ram through the display and run people over, or maybe you'll blow something else up. These are only a handful of the options of course. Each map will have one or two things unique to itself, but they'll all have a dozen other things to use for killing. You'll be able to pull the control let's trigger to see them all at any given moment. The biggest issue you'll have to worry about is someone seeing you kill somebody and calling the police. You get a short burst of a sprint, but generally, if you can't cut them off or kill them right away, they'll call the cops.

Party Hard Cruise Ship
When an officer shows up, you'll get a handcuff icon hovering over you letting you know you are being pursued. The only way to escape is by jump through windows or trap doors. It's an easy escape as the cop will quickly give up before being able to circle all the way around (you can jump back through if you need to), but you only get one free pass as a maintenance guy will show up and block it from being used again. The faster you kill, the better your score will be thanks to a score multiplier. Combos are difficult though since killing too fast will result in sloppy work, ultimately causing you to be seen.

The game is really fun and interesting but quickly gets repetitive. My first time playing it had me addicted since I got arrested roughly 30 times before being able to kill everyone at the party and I wanted to succeed. Once you learn the tricks and general mechanics it gets a little easier but still holds its difficulty throughout. It's interesting all the different locations you'll play, and potential killers to play as, but the replay value lies heavily in overcoming the initial challenge of each location. The repetitive part of it shows as you play longer and realize all the traps and animations are recycled throughout.

Party Hard Campgrounds

Sound and Graphics

Playing as a killer who has grown unbearably annoyed of parties, it's pretty evident that you'll be slicing your way through, well… parties. Every location has a giant dance floor somewhere where you'll find at least a dozen of the soon victims dancing as well as a DJ. He'll be in the back blasting the loud techno styled music. From the moment you show up on the scene to the moment you leave, the music is playing loud and proud. You'll hear sound effects on top of it, though, such as the police sirens, the vulnerable screams, and explosions. During the cutscenes, the officer narrating the cross-country search for you will play out like any traditional investigator versus serial killer and it's well done.

Designed in a pixel style, there's nothing spectacular about the graphics other than for a pixel designed game, it's really good. I'm personally hard to please when it comes to many games with the pixel design, but this title made it work effectively and almost tricked my eyes into thinking something a little better because the gameplay can be incredibly good when you first start playing (even after a few times). Blood splatter, fire flames, and the art of stabbing part goes about as well done as you could expect, but again, nothing that screams "perfection." Everything served it's purpose or more for the game.

Party Hard Club Party

Conclusion

After the second level you've seen just about all there is to see in regards to how you kill. The title doesn't thrive from its diverse gameplay, but from the small murder sandbox feel and challenge it provides. It's very simple so what you see is what you get. Replay value will be measured by a personal appeal to the replaying of similar locations, using the same traps, and evading police in the same tactics. I genuinely really like playing the game and find myself putting it on my TV screen for 15 or so minutes in between other games (even after completing all of the locations) as a little change of pace. It's unique and truly enjoyable in moderation, and one to give a try at some point or another if it sounds even a little interesting to you.

PROSCONS
 + Great concept  – Grows repetitive if played to long in one sitting
 + Fun gameplay – Lacks trap diversity
 + Outstanding performance (little to no bugs) – Lacks party music diversity
7.5
Good

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