Party Maker Review
In Party Maker, you take on the job of cleaning up and decorating multiple settings for your customers. Just like in most games of this genre, you don't really have a story, and you go back and forth between your base/office and the job site.
Although I haven't played too many titles of this type, I do know it's one of my favourites — I truly enjoy decorating and cleaning up messes. But despite my hours in House Flipper, I never found it as charming as I did this game! There's something about the different types of cleaning mechanics and gorgeous areas that really relaxed me. Not to mention, there's a bigger focus on decorating.
The first request you get is to set up a ballroom-type area with some tables and decor. Whilst it's quite a simple task, I absolutely loved tearing down the curtains from the ginormous windows and letting the light in! And although the messes are quicker to clean up than in House Flipper, I found the animation and sound design satisfying enough to make up for it.
One of the features I liked the most about Party Maker is the cutscene that plays when you complete your request. It really brought life to the game seeing the space I had just worked so hard to decorate was full of people having fun; it was very gratifying! Even if it was just a bunch of NPCs dancing in random parts of the room.
Party Maker's charm didn't slow down after the first task either, as the next area was a gorgeous Chinese temple with a breathtaking landscape in the background.
Now, while I really genuinely appreciate the attempt at bringing some more humanity into the game, the NPC that I met before entering the second task was a bit strange. His dialogue was voiced in a way that made him sound incredibly sarcastic, and unfortunately, he overall stuck out like a sore thumb.
In the second request, the game implements more mechanics, such as being able to use a drill to repair items and buildings. I renovated the beautiful temple back to its prime, set up all the decor, and even some fireworks that the game gave me! Unfortunately, whilst the area was stunning, a lot of its charm was lost due to it being during the day, and the cutscene at the end didn't work as well as it did in the first room, which is smaller. People were dancing in awkward areas, most of the decorations didn't properly show in the camera's panning, and the lanterns' charm was lost because of the daytime. Whilst this didn't discourage me from playing the game, I did hope that more effort would be placed in future areas!
While in Party Maker you have a pretty office at your disposal, it doesn't allow you to change or decorate it at all. This was a bit sad, as I really wanted to be able to customise the area to my liking! Particularly, I wished that I had been able to choose which new items I could keep, as I really didn't like the mannequin.
The game isn't perfect — you jump so high you can touch the ceiling, the decorations menu took a moment to get used to, and it overall feels a bit Early Access-y. But Party Maker had a lot of charm to it and a real sense of relaxation. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to recommend this title, after logging out of the game once I finished the second assignment, I would get a black screen every time I logged back in. I tried multiple fixes, such as reinstalling the game, changing the options on Steam, and even starting my file from scratch — but every time I log out and back in, I only get a black screen.
Whilst the reviews on Steam mention the game is quite short (and not in a good way!), it feels a bit of a waste to have to rush to finish it in one sitting, and considering the game has been out since the 24th of October, and there have been updates, it doesn't seem the issue will be getting fixed soon. Additionally, I saw a few others complain about similar issues, and no fixes were given.
Party Maker (Reviewed on Windows)
The score reflects this is broken or unplayable at time of review.
Party Maker has a lot of charm, and despite some of the features feeling a bit unpolished, I would've loved to recommend it. Unfortunately, there's a game-breaking bug and no way to fix it.
miriamalain2014 - 04:40pm, 9th January 2023
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Spooky_0ne - 07:22pm, 11th January 2023 Author
Haha, thanks for the comment! Gave me a chuckle. Glad you found that one part in that one paragraph interesting!