Afterparty is a walking, talking, drinking simulator from the developers of Oxenfree. If you played that game, and wanted more, only edgier and walking the line of acceptable levels of humour, then this is a game you will want to play.
At its core, Afterparty is a side-scrolling walking game. You play as Milo and Lola. You’ve died, you’re in hell, if you outdrink Satan, you can go back home. If you’re here for top tier gameplay, this is probably not the game you want. If you want excellent conversation, a weird plot with a somewhat unexpected ending, and a series of what the hell moments, then this is worth a look.
The gameplay is simple. You walk from place to place, talking to the denizens of hell and stopping off at bars to try a collection of amusingly named and not at all healthy sounding drinks. One of them is called Literally Acid. In the description, it is explained as being literally acid, literally.
The traumatising of your fortunately now eternal liver does have a purpose. In conversations, you usually get two options as responses, having a drink in your hand gives you a third. This tends to lead to hilarious conversations. I’ve only played through the game once so far, but I’m not sure how much difference those options would make. I don’t feel like the majority of those conversation options would have changed the plot significantly. There are a couple of more major decisions that I presume will take the game along different paths, but I’ll have to run the story a few more times to try them all.
Aside from that, there are some minigames involving variants on Simon Says, Dance Dance Revolution, and a couple of others. The dancing games are appropriately awkward, and the drinking games are probably the biggest challenge in the game. That may just be because I am bad at drinking games though. I didn’t complete any of them in the game until the last one, and I think I got lucky there.
This brings us to focus on the best part of the game. The actual conversations. When I was playing Oxenfree, I would regularly comment on how natural the conversations sounded. Often, when you get the chance to interrupt a conversation in a game, there’s a tangible sense of one audio file stopping, another loading up and starting. In both Oxenfree and in this, it felt like people having a conversation, not like the change between tracks in the playlist I’m listening to while writing this. (It’s the Interstellar soundtrack, if you want to know.) The conversation feels like two newly graduated kids having a conversation with each other and with assorted demons.
It is, for the most part, funny and relatable, and the humour often walks the fine line you might expect. There were moments however, where the jokes veered from witty and amusingly revolting to cringing. Then again, we’re in Hell, maybe that’s the point, but I felt it lost some enjoyment of the game.
The story overall does not take itself too seriously, though still managing to tackle some serious topics. The character development between Milo and Lola is where some of the best of this emerges. I won’t go into the details, as to avoid spoilers, but their story has steps that feel about right in total length, albeit a little stacked towards the later stages of the game.
Graphics and Audio
Graphically, the game looks good. It’s not aiming for photorealism, but the characters are individual and everyone you need to know stands out. I could pass criticism that some background characters are reused on repeat, especially in the big queue to the party. But I don’t think it matters. The art style is very similar to Oxenfree’s but you can tell that this is the more recent game, there is an air of ‘better’ around the style.
The audio is sound, and always seems appropriate to where you are, there’s bar music, there’s dance club music, there’s ambient and everything music. There’s not a great deal to say here, other than that nothing every seems out of place, which is exactly what a good soundtrack should be.
I don’t really have anything bad to say about this game. It’s an entertaining concept, it’s funny and the characters are well written. If I had to mark it down, I could say that maybe we spent too long walking places, but as this was usually filled with conversation, this wasn’t too bad. I do wonder about the replayability though. There are multiple endings, but I don’t really feel any desire to play again to experience them.
I like this game, and I don’t regret buying it, but I think on balance, it doesn’t match or surpass Oxenfree. I’d recommend buying this game, but maybe wait for a sale.