After the fantastic journey of Oxenfree, Night School Studios have brought us a brand new game to enjoy. Afterparty sees you play as Milo and Lola, two best friends who have suddenly died without knowing how and find themselves in Hell! But there is a loophole – out drink Satan and he will grant you life back on Earth.
The two protagonists are very different people, but somehow have formed a great friendship. Milo has yet to come out of his shell and can be very shy, whilst Lola is forward and speaks without thinking. They are both social outcasts, but relatable, and you find yourself liking them more and more as the story progresses.
Afterparty’s rendition of Hell is not so different from Earth. Demons work 9 to 5 torturing souls. Once work is over, humans and demons alike head out to the local bars and get wasted. They play drinking games, dance and post cheesy jokes on the social media platform, Bicker, which is accessed via the pause screen.
Getting to Satan is not an easy task and you will have to go on an adventure through Hell to get there. The narrative takes place over the course of one night. Milo and Lola have to kiss ass and impress as they hop from bar to bar in search of a way to get into Satan’s house party. Each bar has a unique theme, new characters to meet and some have their own requirements for gaining entry.
The demons you meet along the way are perfectly witty and laugh out loud funny. Your own personal demon, Wormhorn, is there to torment you throughout the game but she grows on you and is a brilliant added touch to remind you that it’s not easy in hell – not to mention she is hilarious. Sam who seems to be your personal taxi driver is a another brilliant character that you will grow to love.
You move left and right in a 2D environment, the things you have to interact with are very obvious so you will never miss anything. The gameplay is simple but does the job. Hell is bright, vibrant and colourful. The scenery changes between islands and bars and it helps make each location feel different. All areas look gorgeous and it’s some of the best art and style I have seen in a long time.
Afterparty is all about dialogue choices, in which you can choose between two or three responses to questions or conversations that are occurring. The options are normally opposites of each other to offer a choice of what kind of character you want to play.
Your choice of response can also be different depending on what you drink. Each bar you visit will have four different drinks on offer. Some drinks grant you a courage response, whilst others can be flirty or even turn you into a pirate! This clever twist based on what we all know can actually happen when you’re under the influence (like me with red wine!) makes the interactions more interesting. However, it seems no matter what drink you pick and therefore what response you give, the counter party’s reaction will always be the same. The voice acting helps move these scenes along and the dialogue has a great flow. The brilliant comedy elements they have brought to this game through the demons’ personalities will make you start caring about them.
The underworld bars and pubs are also packed with drunken mini games like Beer Pong and dancing. These have simple mechanics, where Beer Pong is simply aiming the ball into the cup and dancing is copying button prompts. They’re not taxing but actually bring a bit of enjoyment to the game and make you reminisce of many a drunken evening.
It seems being stuck in hell is one constant party and everyone bad is invited. This might not be a very good lesson to teach, but then again, being in hell no-one is particularly nice so there are a lot of snide comments and swearing. The sense of humour is right up my street.
It is the perfect length to keep you engaged and always wanting to do a little bit more of the story, also with multiple stories and different endings there is definitely some re-playability there.
If you’re a lover of story games this is one for you! Unlike many story games Afterparty has many twists – and just as many types of drinks to consume. The gameplay is simple but because the focus is on the story this actually is to the titles benefit. You can play it multiple times with a different experience every time! The characters are brilliant and it’s probably one of the best story driven games I’ve come across this year.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.