In Indie Game HQ’s latest review, James took a look at Crankshaft Games’ first retail title Party of Sin. The game combines the platformer and puzzle genres to create a frustrating yet fun experience. It is currently available for $14.99 through Steam, GamersGate, and directly through their site for PC. All the needed links are listed at the bottom of this review.
GAME NAME: Party of Sin
DEVELOPER(S): Creankshaft Games
PUBLISHER(S): Crankshaft Games
PLATFORM(S): PC, XBLA
GENRE(S): Platformer, Puzzler
RELEASE DATE(S): December 13, 2012
We would like to thank Crankshaft Games for the opportunity to review Party of Sin.
Ever had that itching desire to break out of hell and into the highest reaches of heaven? In Party of Sin, you take control of the Seven Deadly Sins in a coopetitive puzzle-platformer for 1-4 players.
Master a large, dynamic team of anti-heroes — the Seven Deadly Sins — as you forge your destiny on a quest to troll humanity. Envy, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Wrath, Lust, Gluttony are all multi-dimensional with special powers useful in many situations.
Swap characters on the fly as you change tactics based on the situation: ALL the Sins are useful in combat, ALL the Sins aid in puzzle solving, and ALL the Sins have coop interactions, both Good and Evil.
Party of Sin features a very well done tutorial which made beginning rather simple. The controls took a little bit to figure out, but once I got used to them it was fairly simple to play. Once you’ve mastered Wrath you quickly find your second sin, Greed, and almost immediately find Gluttony and Envy. I was surprised that all 7 Sins were unlocked so simply and fast. During the second level you unlock the remaining 3 sins: Lust, Pride, and Sloth. In hindsight, I believe this added to the experience of the game as it allowed you to become more endeared and skillful with each character through the levels.
Party of Sin mixes standard platforming with a variety of puzzles. The first few levels are simple and more about learning the mechanics. As you progress through the levels and leave Hell, the levels become increasingly harder with the addition of various puzzles. The combat within itself rarely poses much of a challenge as Pride and Wrath are fairly well built for melee combat, and Gluttony quickly disposes of enemies by devouring them. This lack of challenge was more than made up for with the countless puzzles.
Many puzzles were straight forward and easy with Greed’s chain unlocking them or Lust, Gluttony, and Wrath teaming up to pass the door. Later on I found myself sitting there for 5 minutes on certain puzzles trying everything I could possibly think of. Typically, these harder puzzles require Sloth’s ability to slow things. So if you happen to be stuck at any point, it would be advised to try and use Sloth’s special ability.
Apples serve as a form of currency in the game. Each level has a set amount of apples, usually 3 or 4. These apples can be spent at the shop in between levels. Each sin has the option to improve their melee attack and special attack with a bonus. In addition to this the shop offers some Easter eggs including a “Cake or Death” shirt for Gluttony, a cardboard box for Envy, and big head mode.
Finally, the games various bosses were extremely well done and added a level of difficulty to the combat that was lacking in other levels. Each time I fought a boss, I found myself dying over and over again until I eventually figured out their routine. Once their routine is established you can act accordingly to defeat each boss typically in 4 “attack times”.
The graphics of Party of Sin have the appearance of being hand drawn. They emphasize the shading and try to smooth everything as much as possible while adding hard outlines. The various cut scenes mimic the art style commonly used in comics. The smooth transitions and animations make the game easy on the eyes. Overall, the graphics add to the experience of the game without being the main focus like in some games.
The audio fit perfectly with the game’s graphics and gameplay. Each realm seemed to have a different theme which makes sense. Hell had more of a metal theme while Purgatory had an electronic theme of sorts. These songs matched the gameplay and graphics very well. They did tend to get a bit repetitive if you took longer to complete levels or continually died, but it wasn’t a huge problem as the music was still enjoyable and not overpowering.
Down To The Nitty Gritty:
Party of Sin was very well done in every aspect, especially for a debut title. The gameplay was fun and not repetitive. The puzzles sometimes seemed impossible which added to the length of the game. Combat was one part of the game where I found some flaws as standard units were extremely easy to combat, but they helped making combat interesting during the boss battles. The soundtrack suited each level nearly perfect and the graphics aided in making the experience as good as possible.
Overall, if you enjoy platformers and puzzles, more so the latter, then I recommend considering Party of Sin. For $14.99 it is worth the price, and if you are still on the fence, try out the demo available through Steam. The game can easily provide 8-10 hours of gameplay or more depending on how proficient you are.