This is a simplified, faster-paced successor to The Ship. If you're not familiar with that, think of it as a cartoony, multiplayer Hitman game for 8 players/bots on small maps. It can be a Bloody Good Time, but unfortunately, it has just 3 maps and suffers from dumb bots, a lack of instructions and some cheap weaponry.
Bloody Good Time is a simplified, faster-paced successor to The Ship, which isn't surprising because it's from the same developer. The meat-and-potatoes of this game is called "the hunt", a gamemode requiring you to murder a different target each round, all while avoiding guards, cameras and your own hunter. To do this, you can pick from a large roster of weapons spawned throughout the map, each with a randomly-assigned star value which changes every round. This means you have to pick up new weapons often in order to stay on top of the scoreboard. Whoever has the most stars at the end of 12 rounds wins the game. In addition, you'll find "murder aids", which do just what their name implies; they can either be used to assist you in a murder or to defend yourself in a bad situation. There's a glue gun to freeze someone for a few seconds, a holographic decoy to mislead your hunter, even a camera to steal stars. You also have to take care of your "needs" - sleeping, pooping and eating, respectively - and if any of these gets too low, it lowers your speed, defense and strength. You're pretty much defenseless while taking care of these needs, but when fully refilled, they give you an added stat boost. There are also traps littered around each map and while difficult to pull off, the reward is high.
Your target moves all around the map during the round, indicated on your HUD's mini-map by a red crosshair if they're off-screen or a flashing yellow area if they're in proximity. Each gives you an indication of the area they're in, rather than an exact position. This is another important thing the game fails to explain. Also indicated on the map are weapon spawns with different colors indicating star values, and when one of your needs is low, places to take care of them also pop up there.
Every few rounds of "the hunt", the director throws in a random mode to mix things up. "Scene stealer" grants you stars by holding an award and you're defenseless as the other players try to take it from you. "Hunt the leader" pits everyone against the 1st place player in an attempt to level the playing field again. "Infection" is like a game of tag where the infected must bump into a clean player to pass on the disease, then avoid the same happening to them. "Deathmatch" is a free-for-all - also a gamemode of its own - allowing you kill anyone for stars; just don't get caught by the guards or cameras. Besides "the hunt", you have the aforementioned "deathmatch" and "revenge" gamemodes. Revenge first assigns you a random target, but the more you kill, the more will be pursuing you.
The graphics are cartoonish and fitting and the characters, maps and weapons all adhere to that style, which works in BGT's favor. But not all is well in BGT. It took me two sessions to actually enjoy start enjoying it and it seems I'm not alone. It has a "how to play" section, but could have really benefitted from a tutorial level. Far too little is explained, resulting in confusion and frustration for new players. It does explain how certain weapons and murder aids are used when you first equip them, but fails to explain things like when it's ok to kill someone in self-defense, which is a massive oversight.
The bots are dumb; even when I played on hard difficulty the first time, not really trying to maximize my stars, I ended up beating them by a stretch. The main problem is they seem to pick up whatever weapons they stumble across, not caring about their value. Therefore, this game is best played with friends.
But despite that, getting killed by bots often feels unfair, thanks to a plethora of unfair weapons. The bat, frying pan, tazer and more freeze you in place once hit and though they take several hits to kill you, there's no window of opportunity between them for you to retaliate. Bots also activate traps with literally no one in their proximity, ruining your chances to actually make use of them because they need a moment to recharge.
The game also suffers from having too many controls and not explaining how useful they are. FYI, you only need shoot, use, draw/holster, switch hotslot, change weapon and change murder aid.
I've had a lot of fun with Bloody Good Time, but a fair amount of frustration as well. The lack of maps is a big obstacle to its replayability, but that could have been added as well as some balancing changes. It's too bad Outerlight Ltd went under because both The Ship and BGT did some things very well, pulling off unique, yet flawed visions of multiplayer murder mayhem.