Party Hard is an awesome 2015 indie game that flew below my radar up until now. It’s a 2d, pixelated stealth game or, if you wanna call it what it is: a dark humored serial killer simulator.
You might remember a certain game called Hatred that came out last year ….
You might also remember that this game was banned from Steam because it basically presented senseless manslaughter, in a grim, disturbing setting.
Well Party Hard is nothing like that. The game is pretty self-aware and, thankfully, knows how to be fun, quirky and to transform your gruesome gameplay into something harmless or at least less menacing to watch than Hatred.
Because let’s face it, games ARE violent. Always have been, always will be. The trick is to not get too serious about it. If you know it’s just a stupid game that shouldn’t be mimicked in real life, then you’re pretty much ahead of all the nay-sayers and snobs out there. And it’s not just games that are violent. Human history is brutal too. Just check the Bible, son!
Party Hard has a story. Yeah! I’m surprised too. It seems there’s this detective that is following a serial killer who’s been murdering innocent teens that were having loud parties all around USA. Reason being: they were making too much noise.
As the story unfolds, it seems the detective had a daughter who’s been following in the footsteps of her lover, the serial killer who the detective was actually tracking. I know, I know, so many questions. How in the hell did a daughter of a detective get to adore a mass murderer? How come didn’t the detective figure that out? Anyway, I think it’s better not to ask questions for now.
The game starts at a BBQ party where you have to slice and dice about 47 trashy teen souls. You have at your disposal you trusty blade and some improv traps.
You can set the house on fire, cut down trees, mess with the oven and electricity and even call in a few friends to help.
The cool part about Party Hard is that random stuff tends to happen often in this game. For example, in my multiple playthroughs somehow an alien spaceship came out of nowhere, with little green beings kidnapping my pixelated victims and FBI agents chasing them down.
Another time, a tornado appeared and sent living sharks right on top of the booming party I was trying to kill dead. This type of randomness breaks the repetitive nature of the game and gives you something to truly lol about.
It’s chaotic, it’s fun and there’s so much distress and movement on the screen that the sheer panic you’ve created makes you forget about where your character is or what he’s doing.
Your victims are the icing on the cake. You get to know up close and personal all sorts of weird teen dirt bags and weirdos. People dressed as Elvis, firemen, Kiss fans, Lumberjack Joes and the list goes on and on. I actually saw f-in Mario in it, playing the role of a…plumber who you can’t kill and who blocks your little escape doors and shenanigans.
Party Hard makes it pretty obvious that it’s, in fact a satire of the social life of America’s youth and the perverted nature of partying nowadays. And since it’s time to fight, for your right to party the teens continue their drinking and dancing sessions even after you kill the DJ. Because the party don’t stop. Ever!
Your awesome superpower is: the power of dance!
If you need to move the crowds of people around to secluded spaces, you need to shake that money maker. The npcs will start to resent your presence and go away. Bingo!
The most frustrating part about Party Hard is when somebody spots you. Being a stealth game, you need to kill and not be seen or associated with the murder. If you do get caught, well, fuck. You might as well restart the game.
Your little pixelated serial killer has feet like straws and he walks sooo slow. And to top that out, your running “stamina” is limited. So if a fast policeman is chasing you, 7 out of 10 times he will catch your ass and take you to jail.
Sometimes, your hero changes, so you’ll have a bit of variation here too. Because make no mistake, without constant variation and new, crazy things popping out on the screen, this game would get old really fast.
There’s quite a lot of grinding to do in Party Hard. You get 12 stages and about 50+ people to..aham..assist to the underworld in each stage. And if you’re hasty, you get caught often. So trial and error is the name of the game. And patience, a lot of patience.
All in all, Party Hard is a hidden gem that any gamer should experience. It’s fun with friends, it’s fun with family…wait, no, I need to rephrase that. It’s fun, quirky and doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you liked the more mature Hotline Miami, then you’re gonna love this one. The styles are similar: violent, mindless fun, that should never be reproduced in real life. Cuz it’s just a game, just a game, just a game…