8
Our overall verdict "silver"

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Ending the party one person at a time

You know what it’s like when you get home from work; you just want to kick back and let your hair down. Maybe invite some friends round, have a few drinks and perhaps even listen to the latest Calling All Astronauts album. But before the party has even started that 85 year old bat Marjorie from next door is knocking on the door complaining the music is too loud. Calm down, granny, it’s only 9pm! What’s it like on the flip side of that coin? Well from poor old Maj’s point of view she’s gone to bed nice and early (at 6pm) so she can wake up feeling refreshed and go get the daily newspapers (at 3am), but at 9pm she’s abruptly awoken by noise coming through the wall. Thump, thump, thump, THUMP, it’s those bloody neighbours next door playing their music again. Thankfully this time Marjorie has only given her neighbours a scolding. It could have been worse. In Party Hard it is much much worse.

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Developed by Pinokl Games and published by tinyBuild Party Hard is a game where you assume the role of someone who’s at the end of their tether. You’ve had enough of the annoying neighbours next door having loud parties until the early hours; you need your beauty sleep. You’ve tried putting ear defenders in, you’ve asked them politely to keep the noise down, you’ve even called the cops but none of this has worked and the parties still continue. So you decide to take the next logical step to stop the party – kill everyone. Guests, hosts, DJ’s, waiters, bouncers, pole dancers, bikers and more. If they’re at the party you’ll need to snuff them out.

Party Hard has twelve parties in various locations around the USA and using your faithful knife you must sneakily pick the party people off one by one. You can charge around killing everyone in a frenzied style but it wouldn’t be long before the cops turn up to bust you. To succeed you’ll need to be more tactical and wait for the right moment to end a life. Use the skills you’ve honed playing Hitman – look for the people who are on their own with no one around then quickly dispose of the body.

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Killing time

In Party Hard you can also make use of the semi-procedural environments to kill people. From horses that will deliver a fatal kick to your victim when spooked to tinkering with ovens to blow up unsuspecting waiters, there are various ways to kill. As the dead bodies start piling up people will start noticing and become suspicious. Good job you’re at a party where you can dance your way out of trouble. So throw your hands up in the air, do your dad dance and blend in. The contents of rooms are also randomly generated and this works really well too. For instance a bedroom in one playthrough might be a drug making facility in the next.

The graphics are a 16 bit pixel top-down style similar to Hotline Miami but each party is a single screen affair will loads of detail and the music in the game is actual pretty decent. Seriously, it will make you question whether you want to end the party or join in.

There are twenty one bronze trophies to unlock and many of these are kill-related which is not a surprise as that is what Party Hard is all about. None of the trophies are particularly difficult to pop and you’ll be surprised at how fast you rack up 1,000 kills for the “Butcher” trophy.

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Conclusion

Party Hard is one of those games that is hard not to enjoy. It hooks you in right from the start. There may only be a dozen parties to crash but due to the semi-procedural environment and random events it seems like more. So to paraphrase the wise Andrew W.K. “When it’s time to party, grab your knife and Party Hard.”

NelMaNo Rating – 8/10

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NelMaNo is a family man and a long time gamer. He’s a typical Yorkshire man who won’t judge a game until he has given it a fair crack of the whip(pet). Follow him on twitter @NelMaNo