This one’s a bit odd. You have to promise not to give me a weird look when I tell you what Party Hard is about, okay?
Here we go. Party Hard is a stealth puzzle game about going to a party and killing everyone there in creative ways, while eluding capture by the authorities. Then going to the next party and doing it again. And again. And again.
Yes, it sounds horrible and creepy, but the surprisingly quirky sense of humor, lighthearted visuals, and over-the-top, goofy scenarios make it feel like a campy horror film you should laugh at, not be afraid of.
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How It Works
- You choose a level and your character starts at a party filled with people. The exact details of that party change each time you play the level.
- The party house/boat/beach/rooftop is filled with objects you can interact with. You can do things like poison the food, push someone into a pool of jumping sharks, call in zombies for backup, and stuff bodies into an apparently bottomless ice chest.
- You can use shortcuts to climb over walls, sneak through trap doors, or crawl into windows in order to move around the map safely. Theey let you avoid bouncers, ditch cops, and quickly distance yourself from a corpse.
- Your character can also directly kill people, but the method varies slightly per character, which changes as you progress through the story. Spoiler: It seems to mostly boil down to just stabbing them.
- You sneak around the party, finding ways to isolate people, kill them, and then either hide the body or distance yourself from it before it’s discovered. This is often very hard due to how open and crowded the parties are, and the ultimate challenge is to orchestrate the scenario so someone else gets blamed for your crime.
- As you progress, you’re put in exponentially more dangerous situations that require a lot of forethought, and failed attempts, to solve the puzzles. Even simple levels require a lot of patience—if you get arrested, you have to start the entire level over again.
Why You Should Play It
- It’s not as creepy as you think. I swear. It’s actually a pretty lighthearted game with tons of goofiness and humor to keep it from getting weird.
- Each level is stuffed with entertaining toys to play with, and you’re constantly given feedback and recognition for your choices. It reminds me a bit of the Sims. In my runthrough on the casino level, the vault room got robbed by a gang with a lookout driver. I could try to intervene to protect the vault guard, try to steal from the crooks, or just leave them alone. Each choice had different impacts on the level.
- Even the most morbid of options open to you is doused in silliness. It’s a dark premise, but things like dancing pandas, zombie outbreaks, and outraged reactions to your flashy dance moves keep things lighthearted and very clearly not set in the real world.
- The puzzles are genuinely clever. Each time I load into a new map, I spend a few minutes just playing with all the toys to interact with on the map. What happens when I go through this trap door? Why is that bear wearing gold necklaces and dancing on a table? Brainstorming ways to combo all of the randomly generated gizmos together to solve larger problems is super fun and challenging. I lost many, many times on later levels, and I never once felt bad about it.
- If nothing else, we have to agree that Party Hard is unique. The premise is dark comedy mixed in with a cheesy ’90s horror movie, and the stealth strategy is fresh and interesting. The world feels more alive and malleable than most RPGs I’ve played, and I’ve laughed plenty of times. Maybe that makes me a terrible person, but I think you’ll enjoy it too.
Get It Now!
- Win a copy of the game by answering the trivia question on the show! Email me your answer to enter!
- Costs $13
- Official Site