Parents' Guide to

Party Hard

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Grisly mature action ruined by stale play, difficulty.

Game Mac, Windows 2015
Party Hard Poster Image

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This sneakily violent action title has moments of creativity, but its repetitive play and inconsistent difficulty make it more of a grisly flash in the pan. Party Hard isn't like your regular stealth action game, because instead of avoiding other characters or engaging only when absolutely necessary, you're trying to kill everyone else in the world. Although you can sneak around and pick off people one by one, you don't always have to be covert; you can use environmental hazards such as sports cars, exploding speakers, or poisoned punch bowls to wipe out large numbers of partiers. This can cause so much chaos that your targets will turn on each other, beating each other up or getting arrested while you kill other people. Further adding to the insanity is the option to allow Twitch users to toss in other wild cards, such as zombie invasions, aliens, or rival mad slashers who try to hunt you down.

Unfortunately, as you play these levels, you realize just how gimmicky and one-dimensional the environmental hazards are. They're supposed to be randomized, but it's possible to replay a level multiple times and get the same number of hazards (or lack thereof) in the same places, reducing the amount of replayability. Even worse, the difficulty is inconsistent from stage to stage. This isn't determined by the hazards but is a result of the level design itself. For example, the party-bus stage can be completed in under a minute, while other stages, like the rooftop or the beach, can take 15 minutes or more. Another flaw is that the decoy and stealth elements don't always work; dancing at a party inevitably seems to draw more attention to you, meaning you'll be caught faster. That isn't the biggest flaw in the game, though. Assuming you're not bothered by playing a serial killer, there's still a huge leap in logic between the "justified" killings in the first mission (that justification is questionable) and the cross-country killing spree of the later missions. The game just isn't creative enough to make you want to play through it more than once. Party Hard tries too hard to be clever, but its inconsistencies and difficulty issues pull the plug on this event's fun.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: tinyBuild
  • Release date: August 25, 2015
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: M for Violence, Animated Blood,
  • Last updated: June 22, 2020

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