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About the Story
You're cornered, trapped. There seems to be no escape. You aren't in a jail cell. No, you're in the cocktail party from hell and only by using your wits and luck are you going to get out of this suburb alive.
4th Place - Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7
Jay Is Games
The best part of Party Foul is the humor. It's very dry, tongue-in-cheek stuff, most provided by your less-than-desirable company. It's worth trying all the actions you can think of everywhere, on everyone, just to see the sort of response you'll get from your fellow party goers.
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This game hit all the right buttons for me right off the bat. It provides just enough framing to set the stage, give you a sense of your character, and set up your motivation. Add to that that the concept is genuinely funny and the writing is crisp and enjoyable, plus the existence of a tutorial mode for those new to interactive fiction, and you've got the makings of a real winner. How the game plays out fell somewhat short of that for me, but not by a whole lot.
-- Irfon-Kim Ahmad
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Number of Reviews: 7
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
We've all been in this situation. Stuck at a dull party trying not to be rude to the hosts or the people around you, with people all around you wanting to tell you their life story. If not, this is a great way to experience the torture with out actually going to a party. Imagine that, right in the comfort of your home! Anyway, this story was really a riot to play because I've personally been in this situation (not quite on the same scale though). The humor level is well maintained, quiet, sneaky, but intelligent.
The most impressive part for me, was how well implemented the characters were through the whole adventure. All of the characters reacted to the environment around them. When you find an object or complete a part of the puzzle, the characters act accordingly in both speech and their actions. ( I was fairly amused when Beth blamed everything on me) although the characters generally talked between themselves, the conversations varied, and although Beth's favorite topic was her pregnancy (and all of the characters had their favorite topics), the speech was non-repetitive with characters in the room jumping from subtopic to subtopic with a seemingly endless conversation.(Spoiler - click to show) example is the host worrying what your husband will do after you turn off the power Not only was the speech good, but (Spoiler - click to show) the actions of the characters were just as well. I was pleasantly surprised when I dropped my drink, the host took a few turns to clean it. well done.
The puzzles were very unique and strange. The logic and reasoning of the puzzles was slightly off, but in a quirky sort of way. Some of the puzzles required a lot of searching for the answer, then hitting yourself when you finally found it. They were certainly out of the ordinary and at times difficult to find, but once you got even the slightest lead on how to perform the task, the puzzles became quite easy. I liked a lot how the host would take objects away from you which you needed for a puzzle, and it caused me to frantically try to solve the puzzle before she took the objects away.
This is a nice short game so errrr... Cheers!
Party Foul is not so much about solving the puzzles, as it is about keeping them solved. As you try to accomplish the three main tasks in order to leave the cocktail party of doom, you will be constantly swarted by the hostess. You must time your actions accordingly with those of the hostess, so as not to have her undoing everything you've accomplished. That aspect of the game infuriated me to no end, until I realized how to hold off the annoying woman: (Spoiler - click to show)Make a mess that will keep her occupied for a few turns. Once I got around that issue, I found the game to be rather enjoyable.
The conversation system wasn't too extensive, but it got the job done. What I found most endearing in Party Foul were the responses of the hostess to the PC's blunders and attempts at carrying sharp objects. The responses varied and got more exasperated and humorous as the offending actions were repeated.
The puzzles are well-clued and not too difficult. All in all, Party Foul is a polished, but rather mundane game. I would have given it three stars if it wasn't for the well-characterized NPCs. They each have their own personal quirks and witty responses. The tidbits of information the player learns about them brighten up the experience and in some cases (Spoiler - click to show)-Frank's drinking problem, for one-add a refreshing dose of realism. Party Foul is no masterpiece, but itís a good way to spend twenty minutes.
The premise of the game is well executed: throughout the game you feel like you're being held in place by the sadistic forces of hell as you try and escape. Perhaps the best quality of the game aside from the premise was the puzzle quality. None of the puzzles were overly difficult and as one reviewer mentioned the hardest part was the timing aspect. (Spoiler - click to show)I probably had to spill on the order of 8 drinks before I was able to get the celery secretly hidden away in my purse. The reaction when the Ron see what you've done to his celery is priceless.
The game took me longer than I think it would most people (an hour or so), it started to get irritating towards the end with the timing aspects simply because once you know how to solve the puzzle the process of executing it is rather mundane.The story didn't remain strong compelling throughout, the implementation however was spot-on.
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"The sun has gone. It must be brought. You have a rock." [--blurb from Competition '99]
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