Review – Party Hard

Party Hard 2 recently released on PC and I found it to be a worthwhile sequel that offers enough of a fresh take to keep it exciting. Not long after that, the original game has just arrive for the Nintendo Switch, allowing you to continue wreaking havoc on-the-go.

The story of Party Hard is mostly background noise for the gameplay. You play as Darius travelling to different parties to murder everyone. Because why not?


Using shortcuts too many times will close them off.

Much of my game time I spent on the Switch version has been in the handheld mode. It translates very nicely and even zooming the camera in and out maintains a clear resolution. Visually speaking, it was a bit of an adjustment going back to the retro art style of Party Hard, especially with how good the sequel looks in comparison, but that’s not saying this one looks bad, as its simple pixel art holds up nicely.

Once you spawn in the map you have one objective; kill everyone without being caught. It’s a simple premise that provides a good challenge with some strategic thinking involved. Party Hard consists of twelve levels, each with their own unique theme and setting, from a house party to a yacht and a rooftop nightclub, though they feel too identical in terms of gameplay. Each of the maps has its own environmental hazards and shortcuts to get around in a quicker fashion, by the way.


I can confirm that the bouncer will kick your ass.

Killing everyone at the party requires patience and some strategy as you wait for the best moments to trigger traps, or for a victim to come into your “kill room”. There might be a guard keeping you out of a VIP room so you’ll have to find a way to deal with them early on, for instance. Unfortunately, clearing out the last dozen or so partygoers can bring the game to a crawl as you wait for the AI to do something other than sit around in a group, something a lot of other stealth-heavy games also suffer from. Clearing out an entire level is satisfying, though, especially if you have failed it multiple times prior.

Stick around a murder or get caught taking too long to trigger a trap, and a party goer may call the cops on you so you can’t just sprint around and hope to get away with everything you do without consequences.  Unlike its sequel, getting caught doesn’t feel as punishing as it’s easier to get away, either by running away, using shortcuts or changing clothes. This doesn’t work all the time so, don’t be too comfortable getting caught: Party Hard‘s overall difficulty feels much more fair compared to the sequel, but there is still that element of trial and error lying around.

Party Hard on the Switch is a blast to play. Even though some of the changes in the sequel make it better to play the original still holds up on its own. It’s not exactly a must-have for the system, but you could do a lot worse with a few spare minutes of your time.


Graphics: 8.0

The simple but effective art style still holds up on the Switch, be it portably or while docked.

Gameplay: 7.5

The “kill everyone” objective keeps things simple whilst also providing a suitable challenge.

Sound: 8.0

The soundtrack is great, but it does get a bit repetitive after a while.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s still Party Hard, a blast to play, so it’s a good time but it’s definitely not a must-have at a full price. A decent time killer.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Party Hard is available now on Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Party Hard was provided by the publisher.