March 20, 2015 10:50 AM | Luca Colosso
Carter Lodwick and Ian Endsley's Little Party is not a common game, and even I struggled a bit to cope with the idea of not taking on the most fun role available. Here, you play as the mother of a teenage girl as she tries not to bother her daughter and her friends. Your daughter, Suzanne, has thrown an all-night party at home, and despite the need to get out of everyone's way, it's still your job to watch over the four kids and make sure they don't do anything dangerous.
It's very cute, visually. The game features 2D hand-drawn characters that are put in a pseudo-3D environment simplistically drawn as well. On the other hand, however, the gameplay is purposefully lacking of any action. You're old, and you're not welcome. With the directional arrows you move around, while the spacebar can be used to talk with guests, your daughter, as well as performing the few scripted actions.
Thankfully it won't end up by being a disastrous night. Instead, what you're forced to witness is simply a long session of art performances put together by the talented kids. Your daughter is a superb musician, there's a painter, an aspiring film producer, and the usual unappreciated genius that wanders around the house in search of other cues to create art. You're constantly rejected no matter how appropriate your approach is. So between brief talks and a few tasks you had left to do, you need to keep yourself busy while hoping that nothing goes wrong.
The mentioned scripted actions such as reading a book or walking the dog outside let you skip through large chunks of the night. But at one point, postponing your bed time won't be possible anymore. Until that moment, no one seems particularly satisfied with what's been accomplished. The painter is still looking for the right inspiration, and your daughter can't really write a nice tune in her opinion. A few songs she's trying to compose can actually be listened throughout the game. They're anything but bad. Which in addition, made me wonder whether it's all a nice trick to create a world seen through the mother's eyes where whatever she hears makes her proud regardless.
The ending scene happens right after you wake up, and it's worth every single second you've spent to reach it. Little Party is available for Windows and Mac, and can be downloaded for free on itch.io.