Game review: Party Hard – ‘kill’ teens at party next door without leaving your couch

Filled with throwbacks to the ’80s, cheeky asides and gruesome thrills, Party Hardgives players akitchen knife and licence to sneak next door and kill everyone, disposing of the bodies before anyone catches on

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 June, 2016, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 June, 2016, 8:00pm

Party Hard

Pinokl Games

3.5 stars

We’ve been waiting our whole lives for this game, but we just never realised it. All those years watching ’80s slasher flicks and their sequels – Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street – wondering where was the appeal, what was the purpose of it all, when the truth was so abundantly clear: we wanted to be the killer. We wanted to know what it was like to slaughter groups of sociable teens in their sexual prime. Party Hard, thank you for satisfying our sociopathic tendencies in a virtual setting.

Before you call the cops, hear me out: it’s all very tongue-in-cheek and the screenshots alone here should ease your worries. Like some bizarre mix of top-down cult favourite Hotline Miami and the stealthy world of the early Hitman games, your sole goal is to sneak into your neighbour’s party and kill everyone.

Simple enough, but you’re appropriately only armed with nothing more than a kitchen knife, slashing guests and disposing of their bodies before any of the non-playing characters catch on.

You’re also given ample opportunity to set up complicated and often comical traps: calling up the pizza guy to distract your victims, poisoning the party buffet, goading a nearby horse to go on a rampage, letting loose cars to mow down all in its wake, rigging electrics so everything blows up in a glorious mess. The choices here are creatively abundant, and it’s only when the possibilities dry up, does the game become a bit boring, as you wait endlessly for the last few revellers to fall into harm’s way.

It’s not a major negative – every stealth game has its drawbacks – but it certainly slows down the previously breakneck pace, especially considering all 12 of its levels could easily be completed on a lonely Saturday night.

Ukrainian developers Pinokl could easily patch the end or add some DLC content to make up for the shortcomings, and its immediate cult status makes us certain they will.

Filled with throwbacks to the ’80s, cheeky asides and plenty of gruesome thrills, Party Hard is exactly the kind of game to keep you up at night and far away from slaughtering those nearby merrymakers. The game is available for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and if you’re far from the life of the party, at least you can give them a hard time right here.