During Afterparty, there is a constant mystery about the leads in the game. They died, but why did they go to hell? Surrounded by serial killers, foolish robbers and people who insisted on using only the quick checkouts in supermarkets, the answer could be anything. Or perhaps, as Satan suggests, it is much simpler: what have you done to earn anything else?
Moral fibers and the overarching question & # 39; how good is good enough? & # 39; Have a moment in pop culture. While a show looks like The good place is not the first to examine the hereafter, it does this with a thoroughly modern tone that acts as a mirror for being a good person in our complicated times. Afterparty, the newest game from developer Night School Studio, exists in the same spirit. It responds to a more playful idea of hell, where evil exists in the spectrum that you set.
At the start of the game, childhood friends Lola and Milo are ready to be punished. In this version of the afterlife, torture, just like his cousin in the office, takes place between 9-5. In the free hours, both demons and people touch the bars to drink away their stress and worries. However, on their first night in the underworld, Lola and Milo learn that hell comes with a loophole: surpassing the devil and you can return to your life on earth. However, to enable him to meet their challenge, they must first take on the princes of the empire – fallen angels such as Lucifer himself.
Just like spooky teen thriller Oxenfree, The Night School debut title, Afterparty takes place as a narrative heavy game that unfolds through dialogue choices and light puzzles. The boozy, neon-drenched world is illuminated by Twitter parody Bicker, which is updated with thoughts of the locals ("I really wish they would do something about the lack of Nazis here"). But the real flesh is the story and the almost constant talking, whether it is joke between the two friends, listening in on bugs or choice-driven conversations that help the story forward. It lives or dies because of its humor. That is a risky choice that requires strong writing and real acting talent to succeed.
Afterparty has that covered. Lola and Milo are thoroughly millennial characters, full of biting observations. Combined, they form the constant shot and chaser of the game. Janina Gavankar is heavenly like the cynical and dry witty Lola, while Khoi Dao's wobbly body perfectly includes a bumbling ne-do-well in Well. Dave Fennoy, who played lead actor Lee Everett in Telltale The walking dead, brings an irresistible charisma to a lighter and nicer Satan.
Between chatting with the inhabitants of Hell, players switch between Lola and Milo while they are en route and taxi between different islands to drink. A lot of. The game offers dozens of different cocktails to try out, giving the player new dialogue options depending on the mix. Some offer you standard & # 39; liquid courage & # 39 ;, allowing you to be more assertive. Others give you the chance to talk like a pirate and joke in an old-fashioned "vaudeville" accent or flirt. A personal favorite of mine, "Literally Acid," turns your character into a club kid who wants to talk about vibes, man. With every sip of a drink, the screen becomes blurry and blurred as your character gets more and more blasted. That makes it difficult when you play drinking games such as beer pong. But that's really what it's about.
Afterparty is not without reservation. While fun, the rotating beverage choices don't have much impact on your ability to succeed – no matter if you're direct or behave like a drunken pirate, you can still achieve your goals. The same can be said with the puzzles of the game, which are less about logic and more about just appearing. Occasionally, conversations collide with each other, or fail completely, depending on your timing, allowing you to wander silently.
In all this, Afterparty weaves his bigger questions about relationships, growing up and what it means to be a good person together through his sharp tongue. It is a darkly funny game whose humor benefits from the chosen setting. Satan and his horde of people are colorful and enchanting; they come across as degenerate party friends who manage to bring out the worst in you effortlessly. Despite two sweet leads, Afterparty never reminds you that Lola and Milo are still kind of bastards whose actions on earth gave them a place in hell. It's funny to tell a demon to fuck himself; it is also exactly the kind of behavior that would make you lose karmic score.
The game constantly draws an interesting thread about perspective, and whose business matters more. Your choices will inevitably give you more freedom of choice and control than Lola or Milo, with which the game is directly confronted by who you play. Via dialogue options it is also possible to paint the friendship of Lola and Milo as toxic code tendency. Their dunks on top of each other and passive aggressive pricks are almost good enough to be considered torture after life, rather than paths that depict them as two childhood friends who couldn't even tear apart hell.
And the moral implications of many of the game's choices? Not always clear. Is it better to help a person in hell, or a demon who has a job? Do you have to save a man who can be innocent, or trust a monarch and start a trial? There are no right or wrong answers. What your gut feeling might follow may just as well be a justification for your own bad behavior.
That is the dilemma that we face every day, in every part of our lives. But instead of enjoying existential fear, Night School has found a way to make a comedy of the absolute horror of being human. Through death Afterparty has much more to say about life.