Party Hard Tycoon: Partying is Hard
This is a Guest post by Bill Cooney @Whoistheraccoon on twitter
By now the “Tycoon” genre of games has gone through almost every conceivable incarnation. There’s been Pizza Tycoon, Video Game Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, Mall Tycoon and of course that one where you build roller coasters. One of the newest games to attempt to cash in on the Tycoon model is “Party Hard Tycoon” inspired by the game of the same name. This time instead of murdering partygoers, like in Party Hard, it’s your job to make sure they have a good time at your party. Instead, after a few hours of playing you’ll be hoping for a murderer to show up and take care of all your ungrateful guests.
To start off, Party Hard Tycoon looks great. The graphics are a pixilated homage to the original Party Hard game. It’s colorful 80s aesthetic flows throughout the game and the menus and loading screens are also gorgeously illustrated, save for one of the loading screens that features a caricature of Donald Trump wearing lipstick. That one was just disturbing.
The animations and sound also look impressive. Music changes depending on what kind of party you have and I found myself actually liking a few of the background songs. The animations, like before, recall the original Party Hard, minus the blood and gore of course. Which kinda means it not really party hard at all, since that was a major attraction of the first game.
Party Hard Tycoon looks and sounds great, but game play is another story. To start off, the tutorial is done is an SMS format, which gets really annoying, really fast. It takes forever and gives players a wall of text when all you really want to be doing is partying. On top of that, the tutorial is almost useless. Sure, it tells you about different aspects of the game, but it doesn’t really tell you how to use those aspects together to advance or make more money. I like my tutorials to actually tell me about the game, rather than just throw me in the game.
Once you make it through the tutorial, it’s finally time to party! Or, at least set up for your party. The parties start out small, think house parties here, and move up until you’re filling up nightclubs and larger venues. I like the idea of this, like any good tycoon game you really should have to start small and move your way up in the world. If its true for theme parks, and hotels, you better bet its also true for amazing murder parties.
The main goal is to make guests at your party happy. This is accomplished through placing speakers, lighting effects, tables and décor around the party area. Various personnel, such as a lighting technician or MC, add hype and entertain party guests. Sounds simple enough, except for that no matter what you do, most of your guests will hate your party and leave. Throwing one party after another also gets incredibly repetitive, this is ALL you do in the game, and made me rethink any dreams I had of becoming a full-time party planner.
Think you made the door price just right so the maximum amount of people will show up? Most of them will exclaim, “It’s too expensive!” the second they step inside, no matter the price. Think you have enough tables set up for guests? Wrong, as soon as you start the party, guests will leave hungry before your waiter has time to set any of the tables. What about all those speakers and cool lights? I had guests literally standing in front of a speaker ask, “Where is music?” before walking out disappointed. Oh and there’s never enough “hype” for at least half of your guests, which means they leave disappointed too.
Party Hard Tycoon’s campaign mode isn’t much better. It’s timed, I think, somehow? I’m not really sure what the parameters were on the campaign because each time I played, the campaign would just randomly choose when to end. Sometimes it would end after my second party, and sometimes it would give me a few weeks before pulling out the rug from under me. If I had a lot of money, a little money, it didn’t matter. The campaign ended when the campaign wanted to and there was nothing I could do about it.
In the end, Party Hard Tycoon looks and sounds great and that’s about it. The game play is frustrating and repetitive and the campaign mode makes next to no sense at all. In the end this game is kind of like partying: It’s a good way to waste some time, but there are better things out there you could be doing or playing.