PREVIEW: Party Hard Tycoon

PREVIEW: Party Hard Tycoon

Party Hard Tycoon is an Early Access game with incredible graphics, catchy music, and not very catchy gameplay.

Steam: Early Access
Type: Single-player
Genre: Strategy, Management
Developer: Pinokl Games,
Kverta Limited
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release date: 19 Oct, 2017

Short description

In this game, you play as a manager of different nightclubs. You can rent places, buy and sell equipment, hire various people, and hopefully make as much money as possible. After a while, you get to hire people for more money, rent places for a higher rent, and buy more costly equipment.

Main pros and cons

I would like to start by saying that I had high expectations for this game as I am a huge fan of the original Party Hard. Now, I was aware that this game doesn’t have any similarities when it comes to gameplay.  However, the least I was hoping for was a game that would keep me as hooked as the first one. Although some aspects of this game do their job perfectly, others do not, as expected for a game that is still in early access.

Let’s start off with the main menu. I can say with confidence that this menu is among my top three, it’s just really good-looking and modern. The biggest letdown, however, came when I entered the options menu. As soon as I opened the game, I could hear my graphics card struggling. I opened the Task Manager and it showed that the GPU usage was one average at 90%. On the main menu. Yikes. Anyway, I tried lowering the settings in the options menu and I was sad to see that any meaningful graphics settings are more or less nonexistent.

When you start a new game, you are thrown into a chat window with some person, claiming to be some kind of expert when it comes to nightclub managing. This is meant to be a tutorial of some kind, but I can’t say I learned much about the game at that point. I was trying and failing very hard for the first 45 minutes and even after that, I can’t say my gameplay was a very pleasant experience. More about that later. The dialogue with the women in the “tutorial” are, in my humble opinion, very poorly written. About half the time, she appears to be an arrogant piece of sh** and when she’s not, she’s sending you smileys and motivating messages. What’s up with that? I don’t usually care much about the dialogues in games that are obviously not focused on them, but I was still quite annoyed with that.

As I mentioned previously, this game was very hard for me at the start. After the tutorial, you are given a task to reach 30 or so hype on your first night, which proves to be next to impossible, especially when you don’t have a clue what’s going on. Within the first few days, your money supply is going to fall dangerously close to zero and even if you learn to play by then, it might be too late to rectify your in-game financial situation.

The game is also extremely vague in expressing what the people who visit the parties actually want. You can’t predict what people are going to want to spend money on when the party starts, yet you are expected to spend a considerable amount on beer barrels, tables, bars and other food-related objects, not to mention decor and speakers.

On each location, you have a limited amount of electricity available. To begin with, you will want to cover the whole area with speakers, otherwise a bunch of people are going to stay as far away from the house as possible and pretend they don’t hear the music. The thing is, you can only afford this by placing the smallest speakers everywhere due to the unreasonable energy consumption by the larger ones. Fine, I guess I’ll place a ton of small speakers all over the area, that’ll work, right? Well, no. As it turns out, you only get half the hype from the small speakers, which mean less money for you.

After playing for a short while, I managed to learn at least a bit about how the game works and I managed to attract a whole bunch of people to the party. And again, there was a problem. Although I earned a lot from entrance fees, the waiter just couldn’t keep up with the rapid rate at which the tables were being cleared by thirsty guests (not that I’m complaining about them being thirsty, you most certainly have the right to drink as much as you want when you pay $80 to get in :P). This meant that guests were leaving at an alarming speed, which pretty much ruined what would otherwise be a very successful night. And there’s not a single thing you can do about it (or maybe you get told about it later in the next part of the “tutorial”).

Another bad thing about this game is just how long the events take. Especially early in the game, you will be frustrated because long after most guests have left, you still have 30% of the time or more left and there’s nothing you can do to speed things up, even if there’s obviously nothing going on anymore. It’s a shame, it really made me want to stop playing the game a couple of times, especially after having a low turnout.

Let’s focus on the positive aspects of the game for a paragraph or two, now. The most positive thing I can say about this game is obviously the graphic design. I loved the way Party Hard looked and the same goes for Tycoon this time. The developers are clearly very talented when it comes to pixel art and picking the right colors for the awesome contrast they achieved. If it wasn’t for the amazing art style, not many things would keep me playing.

The soundtrack was okay most of the time. It wasn’t extraordinarily catchy or anything, but it kept my ears busy in a pleasant way and I wouldn’t mind listening to the tracks a bit more.


If someone asked me to describe the game in one word, I would most likely produce a prolonged and overly frustrated “uuughhhhh” sound. I feel like this game is bad, although a part of me is convinced that it was me who was bad at playing it. However, after speaking to a few friends of mine who also own the game, they pretty much all told me the same thing – they gave up after about fifteen minutes. There’s just not anything really special about this game. The gameplay is tedious and too beginner-unfriendly, I just felt helpless for the first half hour of playing it. Things just aren’t explained the way they’re supposed to be and everything seems to be too difficult because of that.

Overall, I would not recommend purchasing the game unless you’re absolutely sure you’re going to like it. It feels like such a shame – I know there’s a lot of content in this game compared to the small piece that I’ve experienced, but I’ve been forcing myself to play for what felt like tens of hours, which is not something you’d want from a game.

With love sadness this time,

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