Slip into something comfortable, dim the lights and get an early night – ready to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the following day. Well, plans never go accordingly right? Wake up at 3AM once again, pounding in your head because the neighbours aren’t exactly quiet. So what’s the first port of call? That’s right, grab a machete, some comfy trainers, and go slaughter the lot of them.
Party Hard isn’t exactly your cliché game idea, oh no, the idea is amazingly interesting. Surely something you would come up with after getting woken up at 3AM by your partying neighbours. Wait, what are you guys planning? When I first booted the game I wasn’t really sure what to expect, it seemed a bit strange to just murder a few people and be gone with the level. Luckily it wasn’t as quick and simple as that, however. despite it’s efforts it still didn’t quite hit the spot.
Machete in one hand and a whole house full of party-goers before you, that’s how it always starts. Though, now what? Well, attempting to hack them up one by one will take you all day -trust me, I tried- and as the game progresses and tougher parties unlock it actually becomes impossible to clear a level in that way. Thankfully a core part of the game is in the randomised additional interactive items around the level – bears, electricity, poison, and many more environment hazards are at your disposal. There are a few that are fixed, of course, a couple of large ones, collapsing speakers, electric floors, enough to wipe out a dozen or so of the party-goers. The res of them though, poison, fans, rotors, are placed at random, or sometimes just not at all. The negative of this is that sometimes there just isn’t a way to break up a big crowd quickly.
So, you think you can just waltz into someone’s house party and start slashing? Wrong, if someone spots you doing the deadly deed the police will be called, and if you are caught you’re out for the level. You could also fall prey to your own devious traps if you’re not careful, so you must be vigilant at all times. On top of this, the police will come should someone discovers a dead body, and sometimes they just don’t like you. You can hide the bodies, but this is a lengthy procedure as carrying a corpse to a roof, or dumpster is time consuming and there’s a cool down on using the dumping location. And, of course, you might get spotted carrying the corpse. Snitches the lot of them!
The controls, with attack set to the shoulder button (on a controller), were laid out in a way which gave natural ease to attempting the slasher route, although as I’ve stated it’s ill advised. I’ve developed a caution over 8bit games, as there’s been a lot which have really suffered in the controls and movement departments, Party Hard is definitely an exception. While I might have complained about the difficulty at times, the controls were always at a sweet spot.
I’ve found it quite hard to explain my time with the game, it’s a really unique concept, however due to the random nature of the traps it can be… for want of a better word, boring. I think worst of all, if you are stuck on a level, waiting for the traps to cycle in your favour, then you are stuck, frustrated until it does.
In conclusion, the game is great for it’s variety of hazards, and it’s dark sense of humour running throughout. The music is absolutely brilliant and the controls are smooth, but it can be frustrating due to it’s randomised and unforgiving nature.