When Party Hard came out, the premise, a mass murderer psychopath destroying party after party, brought some morbid fun. But without the killer, what kind of game could you have? Why not a party tycoon game?
Party Hard Tycoon is (duh) a tycoon game, so there isn't much of a story. Basically you're a big party planner, and around town, you need to make each type of party you host tailored to the crowds you attract. You get texts from various clients about upcoming parties, and generally, you grow bigger and bigger and eventually plan big time. It's the typical tycoon setup for a premise, but with a few neat twists.
I had no problem with the controls. It's point and click. You need to be careful in placing things so guests get all they want, but that's more of a mechanics things. On a regular computer, it's pretty straightforward.
The mechanics and gameplay are interesting. Just like a tycoon game, you buy things for different places and move up. In this case, parties. By hosting parties, you make money, allowing you to buy better decorations to draw in people, entertainment to get people to stay, and food/drink, also to keep them stay. You also unlock special employees to keep guests entertained and in line, new venues to allow more people and new party themes, for more profit and bigger challenges. To plan parties, you need to place objects, like speakers, so that their range overlaps with other services, like fog machines and drink areas. There are lots of variants, but its a quick gist. Overall, this is quite fun, and does offer a fair challenge in setting up.
The graphics in Party Hard Tycoon are exactly the same as in Party Hard. It's 16 bit retro, but with a few modern touches. With all the different themes and objects, you get a wide variety of different things, so it isn't copy/paste people/objects everywhere – like any tycoon game, there's only so much difference you can put into the game. The art is....a bit horrendous though. During cutscenes, we get more stylized art that's really weird and a bit off-putting. If it was just 16 bit like last time, I'd give it the same grade, but by including really strange art for loading and a few other places, it's just at “could do better”.
Not much has changed in the music and sound department. You still get that techno music in 16 bit style that sounds like it would get repetitive, but it really doesn't. And unlike Party Hard, no real cut scenes – so it's all 16 bit sound and music. And it totally works.
Frame rate was fine, but I did have a few issues with a few mechanics. One was object placement. Even after playing many parties, the 'range' around each object never covered enough. Sometimes, the circle would go through walls so people in another room can hear like it's just fine, and sometimes it wouldn't. It almost seemed random. Other times it was impossible to retain guests because of the open concepts. They always wandered around in patterns, and it was either a little dodgy NPC movement, or it was random. These were rare, but when they happened, they happened. Overall pretty polished, but still with a few kinks here and there.
Overall, Party Hard Tycoon was a fun and addictive game. It gets a bit repetitive (Especially if you've played Party Hard), and some parts weren't up to snuff, but in the end, it worked and was fun. The dynamics of tailoring a party to guests was especially cool. It's an obvious case of 'reusing most of the game from last time to make an entirely new one to make some money', but unlike others, there's real thought and heart in this. If you're a fan of tycoon games, this is a unique one. And if you're more casual, that's fine too, as there's lots to love.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
This game was provided for the purpose of review.