tinyBuild games returns with a twist release on one of their previous titles. Sure, you may have run through a party as a sadistic murderer trying to make things quiet so you could sleep. But somebody must throw these extravagant meet and stabs, and that person is you. Or rather me, since they were kind enough to send us a copy of the game.
On the surface, the game seems like a grind sim, holding parties at the same location until you can grind enough for larger venues. But after playing the game for only a little while, I realized that there was a deeper planning to it. The game divides not only the venues, but also the guests into categories from underground punk rocker to high priced socialite. And everything influences how you can get these people into your party.
The earliest discovery, yet the most easily overlooked is the cover price of just getting into the party. The game doesn’t have a tutorial mode, at least not in the version that I was playing. So, it was easy for me to overlook that charging maximum entry price to a dilapidated shack was causing people to not want to come. But, when I lowered the price, I realized that I was getting more people into the building. And that’s the secret to winning this game, is getting people into the venues. The more people that are in, the more hype is generated causing more people to arrive at later parties as well as earning you more likes in social media.
The game feels more organic, closer to how something will happen in real life. If a party has 300 people invited, but generates 600 dislikes, you’re less likely going to want to be at a party managed by that same planner. While on the other hand, a party with a small handful of people that cause your phone to melt from the constant tweets about it will drive people into the doors regardless of the cover price. And that’s where this game stops being a game about mechanics and I feel it honestly becomes more of a strategy game. Requiring constant planning around days when venues are open as well as special bonuses that may be active on those dates that affect what items you purchase, to how much you charge at events.
You’ll also need to match themes with not just the venue of the place, but you’ll how much money your attendees will probably be carrying. Want to throw a party with $100 plates and even more expensive booze? Then you’ll need a theme that shows people carrying that much cash on hand into the door. Otherwise, it’s a down vote, for each person that can’t afford a bite of food or sip of drink. You won’t feel the effects right away, they did pay to get in after all, but you’ll slowly start to see that your invite pool starts to slowly drain. Until you’re only hosting events for that biker goon and vampire waiter (actual staff from the game) you hired to try and make you money.
On the other hand, it was a little annoying not knowing this. But then again, I should have realized that, given the creators of this game, weren’t going to play to any established molds in their games. Their system forces you to think far more long term than just grinding to get the biggest speakers, in the best venue with the highest tier of booze money can buy. And the simple fact that the game puts speed bumps and obstacles in your path that it forces you to actually play the game, will annoying for speed runs, gives it a far richer experience than most other sims of this style that I’ve played. You also can’t think of the sprites on screen as just bags of money, but as actual people that you need to please if you want to have any success. I think that honestly, this is one of the most accurate to true life games that’s out there today.
I wish I had more time to play this game, to really enjoy the richness, and get rich, of the gameplay I know that it’s promising the further in that I go. I have to say that if you’re expecting to be able to automate this game, like I thought I could, you’ll want to change your approach to this game because it will only punish you for it. But if you’re a risk taker, and like to think of the end goal when planning your first move I think you’ll find the game as rewarding an experience as I have. It’s out on Steam today guys, so if you’ve ever wanted to scream why nobody is at your party even though you can see them walking on the street outside, you’ll want to jump on this game. See you all on the dance floor!