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While paid DLC and Microtransactions get a lot of focus as far as content updates go, perhaps just as big an adjustment to be made is over free content updates and free DLC that are delivered to games. While online games pioneered in that area, the 2010s especially have featured a surge in singleplayer games continually getting updated and getting more features added to them. Titles like Terraria and Minecraft work heavily off of this, but numerous other titles use free updates and DLC to keep users interested in the game, including tinyBuild’s Party Hard.

The Dark Castle DLC for Party Hard is a pretty sizable content update, adding the eponymous Dark Castle level, and a new character designed for the level who has “other world abilities.” The level also adds new mechanics specifically designed for it, which are also available for use with the Steam Workshop and the user generated levels. This is also complemented by new Twitch integration options that add in more ways for the community to mess with the streamer and engage in the gameplay. 

There are other new additions to Party Hard as well. The first is the addition of key binding, something that will undoubtedly make some users happy and the game more accessible in general. They’ve also added cross-platform Steam cloud saves, meaning if you play on different computers or different platforms, you can take your save file with you. The developers have chosen one of the workshop levels, packaging it in the update entitled the “developers choice workshop level” in the patch notes. There have also been some performance upgrades, bug fixes done to the title, and the addition of support for simplified Chinese.

Before you run off to install the DLC, though, it is worth noting that there appear to be a few technical glitches the developers have run into. These have been ranging from minor bugs, up to and including saves being deleted according to some users. Pinokl, the developers, have released a hotfix for the DLC and are working on fixing more issues that have been reported, meaning that it will hopefully be fixed quickly. Some users have also commented that the differences in mechanics tossed them off, as a lot of things function differently in the Dark Castle DLC than in the base game. User Ignatius J Reilly wrote a breakdown of some of the new mechanics and the state that would appear to give you a good grounding on what is going on and what they’ve done mechanically with it.

What do you think of developers adding significantly different gameplay mechanics in DLC levels? Are you going to try out this level, either now or after some fixes? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.