Get Ready to Party with “House Party Download”
Long gone are the days when simulators were all about flying aircrafts or navigating battleships. Slowly but steadily this otherwise very specific niche has expanded to include all kinds of everyday activities, from shaving people’s faces to doing open heart surgery; the end game of course being – like with most human activities – sex. “House Party” is as close you can get to a sex simulator without it actually being porn.
Most of the time at least.
This Is How We Party!
The first thing you’ll notice about “House Party” is its unique gameplay. You are a guest at an ongoing house party that desperately needs your social graces to get really going. There are several girls in the house, and they all look and walk like professional strippers. The few guys that are also there are little more than tokens, functioning like background to your suave innuendo with the ladies.
“House Party” focuses on sweet talking and sexy interactions with the characters, giving you objectives that slowly and steadily bring you closer to your ultimate goal – getting laid. In order for you to gauge how far down the way to awkward drunken sex you are, the game provides you with three meters for every person you chat up: friendliness, sexual interest, and sobriety level. The fuller the bars, the closer you are to getting into a stranger’s pants.
By Bros, for Bros
The game draws its inspiration heavily from cheesy classics like Leisure Suit Larry, although unfortunately it leans more towards the clumsy “Magna Cum Laude” than the older, funnier installments of the franchise.
Although the main idea of the game is interesting, the actual execution feels clanky and unrealistic. The characters look and sound like walking stereotypes, probably drawn from what screwball comedy writers think that people are like, not from how actual people behave. You have your posh-and-intelligent chick, your slutty-but-sweet chick, your standard-goofy-drunk dude, and (this is for real) there’s even a skinhead dude who’s purpose in life is to beat up people that drink alcohol. Yet somehow this guy gets invited to house parties. Seen as a satire this game is brilliant; seen as a simulator it’s scary.
Do the Creep
If the overall feel of the game seems a bit forced it is the dialogues and “quests” that push it firmly into creepy territory. Your exchanges with potential sexual interests are plain and sometimes downright bizarre, a fact that makes for some weird interactions indeed.
Some of the objectives you must complete are just cruel pranks based on petty feuds between the characters, and they definitely don’t belong in the social context of actual, non-sociopathic human beings having fun together.
Now, if the “House Party” devs sprinkled this peculiar mix of social anxiety, horny twenty-somethings, and light-hearted gameplay with copious amounts of humor, it could become a fun game to play. As it is right now, it is little more than a duller version of the Sims with more realistic graphics. Then again, perhaps it would be best to go to a house party, than playing a game about one.