Afterparty is a graphic adventure video game by Night School Studio, the team behind Oxenfree. It released in late 2019 on various platforms as well as the Game Pass program for Xbox One. Set in Hell, you play as best friends Milo & Lola. Unaware of how they died and why they ended up there, it’s up to you to help them try to return from the afterlife. Their only hope is to gain an invite to a party at Satan’s in order to challenge him to a drinking contest. There’s only the nine circles of hell in the way, sounds easy right?
Afterparty is a really fun game. This original, Burton-esque version of hell that it presents is very entertaining to explore. The creativity on display in terms of visuals is excellent. The usage of bright colours is appealing. I particularly enjoyed the heavy usage of neon lighting throughout.
In terms of actual gameplay, it’s very limited. Most of your time will be spent listening to long pieces of dialogue. If that doesn’t sound appealing then this likely isn’t a game for you. However, if you enjoy really well-written, quirky dialogue then look no further. There are plenty of appropriate hell-based jokes. I’d be lying if I said that the game didn’t make me genuinely laugh on a couple of occasions. Still, it can be hit and miss. Also, each of the eccentric characters you meet are all voiced exceptionally well. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the places that it was willing to go, it certainly isn’t one for young children. Afterparty has a delightfully dark sense of humour. It delivers some clever commentary on societal ideals.
At its core, Afterparty is about Milo, Lola, their friendship and dealing with prospect that their lives are headed in different directions. I felt compelled to seek out the answers to their questions and was intrigued to see how it would end. It’s a bittersweet journey for anyone that has had a similar experience in life.
Between conversations you’ll venture to a few locations that you can somewhat explore. You’re mainly running from left to right, conversation to conversation. Thankfully, there are some mini games thrown in between that help somewhat break up the monotony. However, they aren’t great.
Also, there are a number of branching pathways in the story involving certain choices you can make. It definitely adds plenty of replayability to the game. However, it would have been nice to be able to skip past dialogue. If you’re after all of the achievements then you’ll need 3 playthroughs. It can be very frustrating having to sit through long conversations that you only just heard. Still, I was impressed by the number of different ways certain scenarios can go by simply saying something a little differently.