Party Hard in a nutshell is an isometric game where you run around as a deranged serial killer murdering everyone at various parties across the U.S. There's a running story behind everything, however, where the inspector tied to the case is interrogated during cutscenes between levels. He explains the madman's goals: he just wants some sleep, and those damn parties are keeping him awake.
Players take on the role of this serial killer through stages across the United States. These include casino parties, beach parties, and even college house parties in decrepit, run-down locations. Each level runs off of a set template, meaning there are certain rooms and aspects that always appear, including the inclusion of traps and other useful tricks the killer can use to complete his deadly goals.However, everything else is procedurally generated on every restart. The number of party goers, traps available, and even some of the room's contents differ from game to game. This provides an almost unlimited replay value as you attempt to brutalize your way to much-needed peace and quiet.
The game's premise and setup is relatively simple; it's just a matter of murdering people. What could go wrong, right? Except as levels unfold, partygoers will find your leftovers and run screaming to the nearest phone; calling the authorities in the process. Being seen in “the act” will definitely lead to a prompt arrest, but even just being in the wrong room will potentially end your serial killer career. Random events can also cause your untimely demise. Piss off the wrong person at the party, and they may just come at you and call the cops out of spite. While a somewhat simplistic game in overall design, it requires a cat and mouse-like approach to really narrow down your targets.
Fans of the popular video game streamer website Twitch.tv are in a treat as well - Party Hard can be tied to your account, providing viewers the opportunity to get in on the fun. Viewers can vote to trigger random events to occur in-game. These events are level dependent, but they range from having a pizza delivery boy show up to being invaded by a SWAT team. It's an interesting feature and a great way to include the community for streamers out there.
This 8-bit stylized game is a blast to play. Every level holds its own challenges and combined with the procedurally generated pieces, no party will play out the exact same way. The game may not necessarily be deep, but it holds a unique charm in its straightforward and fun gameplay.
Note: The Party Hard review is based on a digital PC copy of the game, provided for review purposes.