A stealth action game is not a genre that would normally appear on any list of games I might pick. I am notoriously bad at stealth games – the best I’ve ever been is playing the Batman: Arkham games where the stealth is almost entirely optional. As that is the case, I approached Party Hard with a little caution.
I should explain more, as many of you probably won’t have heard of this game at all. Party Hard is a stealth action game where you have to kill everyone at a party. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. For example ,the first level has 47 people in it – this is not a game that starts you with an easy objective and works its way up. But that is a good thing.
There’s no hand-holding here at all. You just start on the first map armed with a knife and a set of interactive elements around the map, and it’s your job to kill everyone without getting caught by the police or killed by one of your own traps. And that’s the simple beauty of this game. With no tutorial or hints, you just try things and see what happens. And that sort of approach is incredibly appealing to me. I like games that allow me to experiment, which this certainly does.
The interactive objects are a big part of each level as well – whether it is pushing over trees, driving over people or using phones to call in some outside help (which can be anything from bodyguards to gangs to exterminators – and all of those are in the first two levels), these elements add a huge amount of extra strategy to the game. And it helps that they don’t stay the same from attempt to attempt. Most of them do, sure, but some things will be in different places, some things are removed completely, some new things are added. It really gives the game that “one more go” feature, which you need, because (unless you are far better at this than I am), it’ll take you a few tries to find the best way to clear the levels.
Graphically this game follows the retro style and as a late-30’s gamer, the pixel art aesthetic really speaks to me. However, I was concerned at the start of my playthrough that it would cause me significant problems as I was worried it would be hard to see what was going on. And I was very pleased to discover that I was totally wrong. I tried this game in both TV mode and handheld mode, and both were easily viewable and playable. You also get the ability to freely zoom in and out on the map, which is very useful when trying to plan intricate manoeuvres.
Now, this is usually the point where I bring up any issues I have with the game, but to be honest I don’t really have anything! The sound and music is pretty good – not memorable per say, but it definitely adds to the atmosphere while playing. The levels bring enough different mechanics, architecture and problems in so that you have to keep thinking throughout the game, and the ability to eventually play as five different characters with their own weapons, abilities and design really adds. Plus it has in-game achievements, and I often enjoy those.
And I haven’t even mentioned the local co-op. I’ve not played it much, but I did try it out briefly and it was a great time. This is definitely a game you can sit down with a friend and enjoy for a chunk of time, as there being two of you make it entirely different to being on a solo killing-spree.
So all in all, I highly recommend this game as being a very good time indeed. There may come a time where I get fed up of playing it or find that maps start to get similar to each other, but it’s not an issue that I’ve had so far, and I’ve played this for quite a long time already.
Party Hard is definitely worth your money, so head to the eShop now and add some serial killing fun to your Switch library!