House Party

I’m not one who shies away from sleazy video games. I once got talked into reviewing Monster Monpiece, a game where you rubbed the PlayStation Vita’s touchscreen to remove women’s clothing. (My review is no longer online, but here’s a review that someone else wrote, in case you’re interested in checking out the game for yourself.)

More recently, I played Wife Quest, a game where spanking misbehaving demon-ladies is a gameplay mechanic, and even my Sims playthroughs tend to get… well… spicy?

So when I saw that House Party was finally out of Early Access, the fact that it’s basically a game about trying to get laid at a party wasn’t a turnoff for me. In fact, I bought the game on my main Steam account, and I even let one of my friends play it at my place, so I’m not being at all discreet about playing House Party (there are recommendations in the community that you should maybe be discreet about it…)

When you fire up the game, you’re met with this wall of text:

House Party - Warning

In short, this game has tons of nudity. You can disable that, of course, but all that does is put up digital blurs over the most offensive bits of anatomy. You’re still going to be seeing a lot of skin if you’re even remotely successful at completing your objectives.

The basic premise of the game is that you arrive at a house party, and you’re trying to sleep with as many of the guests as possible. Yeah, saying it’s kind of sleazy is like saying that showing up to a job interview in a clown costume would be kind of ridiculous. This is a game that centers all of its action around good, old-fashioned act of coitus.

But the thing is, despite its off-putting premise, House Party is actually a ton of fun. The characters are well-written and well-acted enough that you find yourself getting invested in their personal drama. Madison and Ashley are sisters who are constantly plotting against each other, for example — which one of them will you side with? Brittney has a crush on Amy, so you can either try to build a bridge between them, or try to sabotage their blossoming romance. And what’s the deal with Frank, who’s determined to not allow anyone to drink at the party, despite the fact that Patrick shows up completely “schwasted” (in the game’s vernacular)?

House Party - Frank

Honestly, I really enjoy existing in this game’s bizarre social universe. The setting is small — just a single house and its backyard — but it’s crammed with tons of secrets to discover. One of the sisters has a pet snake hidden behind a locked door, while another keeps a diary of secrets locked in a safe in her bedroom closet. There’s an mp3 player hanging from a ceiling fan, which you can actually knock down if you obtain a… ahem… specific item… You can invite more characters over to the party, and you might even get the Game Grumps to drop in (quite literally). And apparently, someone may have murdered a cat.

The puzzles and stories in this game are so detailed, in fact, that you can easily forget that you’re trying to boink as many of the characters as possible and just spend hours exploring and experimenting. I mean, if you can forget that there are breasts bouncing all over the place…

What I’m getting at is that there’s actually a charming game here. Sure, the gleeful overabundance of debauchery is probably going to repel a lot of players, but anyone who looks past that is going to find a pretty enjoyable party sim. There’s some level of jank here, even after it’s five-year-long Early Access period, but even so, it’s not nearly as janky as I expected (I was honestly anticipating that this would be comparable to Internet Cafe Simulator 2).

So if you’re specifically looking for something in the vein of, say, Leisure Suit Larry, you should definitely check out House Party. But also, if you just want a good party sim with interesting characters and a whacky universe of hijinks and oddball puzzles, there’s a genuinely fun game here.

But also, nudity. So much nudity.

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