Game Review: Afterparty by Night School Studio

 
 

Afterparty is a bold game with a fun premise and a unique dialogue choice system about two friends having to out-drink Satan in order to escape Hell. Choose your drinks, choose your dialogue, play a few mini games, and see if you can win and escape, or if you end up stuck there forever.


Afterparty Promo Image - Neon, high contrast art of a girl and a demon sitting on opposite ends of a table, both drinking, with lots of empty and full glasses in front of them.

Official Description:

In Afterparty, you are Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in Hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to Earth.

Control Milo and Lola with an intelligent conversation system that changes the story and your relationships based on every decision. Uncover their personality quirks and foggy history during the wild events of the night.

Every step is up to you as you stumble through the underworld. Go on a hellish bender, uncover the mystery of your damnation, and drink Satan under the table.

More Info:

You can get more info and download the game here on Steam or here on the official website!

Long Review:

Likes:

– The premise of out-drinking Satan to get out of Hell is fun.

– The combination of visuals, design, music, and sound make the game feel immersive while you’re playing.

– The way this game (and it seems all games by this dev, since Oxenfree was the same) does conversation is super cool and unique. The characters just talk and converse, it’s all voice-acted, and every so often you get a choice of dialogue options. I really have to hand it to the devs for including so much wonderful voice acting.

– The graphics, especially backgrounds, are so bold and interesting and fun to look at. There’s always stuff happening, humans and demons moving about or talking in the background. The artwork of the drinks is gorgeous and also just so weird and fun, since the drinks have… unusual ingredients.

– Speaking of the drinks, they’re the most fun part of the game. Each bar you go to has different drink options, each drink will affect you differently (some make you flirty, some give you courage, some have silly effects like making you talk like a vaudevillian), and that leads to different dialogue options being available. For the most part, this doesn’t affect anything in the game and is just for the fun of having different dialogue options. But I loved ordering drinks because they were always so unique and funny, and the drunk dialogue options were always the most outrageous. I also love how the graphics get distorted and fuzzy and start swaying when the characters start getting drunk.

Screenshot from Afterparty. Available drinks are: Look Out Behind You (green with eyeballs floating in it, selected so it shows info that it gives you liquid courage and ingredients are the eyes of a coveter, equal parts gin, drool, and a growing sense of unease), Bluebeard's Last Wife (brown liquid with a lime slice, cherry, and hair as garnishes), Red Parrilla (martini glass with glowing red lightning coming off it), and Literally Acid (purple and blue liquid with pills in it and a straw with a peace sign).

– There’s a social media element which also doesn’t affect the game, as far as I can remember, but it adds some immersion and laughs.

– There’s some backstory and storyline beyond just winning a drinking game against Satan. You get to know about Milo’s and Lola’s lives and struggles and friendship. And a little bit about Satan.

Dislikes:

– There’s lots of walking and traveling from one place to another, as well as sorta cut scene dialogue exchanges that you can’t skip (as far as I know). It gets tedious. I wouldn’t mind seeing more dialogue choices, they’re entertaining, but I don’t plan to replay because I don’t want to deal with all the tedium. However, if you don’t mind it, there might be some replay value to try out different drinks and dialogue options. There’s one point where you have to choose 2 out of 3 tasks, so you could try that 3rd task. And there are two endings, though the only difference is the cut scene at the end, and I think one variation in which the last convo before the cut scene is slightly different. (I just watched the other cut scene on YouTube.)

– The description says the game has “an intelligent conversation system that changes the story and your relationships based on every decision,” but I’m unclear on what that means since I’ve watched people’s videos of the endings, and they always seem to be the same. I imagine that means the relationship between characters is the same, though I could have missed something within the game.

– I think my biggest issue was that there wasn’t nearly as much gameplay or drinking games as I thought there’d be from the premise. In my 6-hour playthrough, I did two dance competitions, two beer pong games, and two shot stacking games, each of which took a few minutes tops. It’s a premise that has so much potential for gameplay, so it was disappointing that they didn’t even remotely use that potential. *More on this below below.

– It only took me six hours to finish—a good chunk of which was traveling, the rest of which was mostly dialogue—and I don’t see myself playing anymore. I got this on sale for $10, but I might’ve been upset if I had paid the normal $20 price.

Not Sure If Like or Dislike:

– *None of your choices or mini game wins/losses actually seem to matter except the very last game you play at the end against Satan. On the one hand, this is great for anxious gamers. You don’t have to worry about screwing up. Even the game against Satan at the end has an unlimited number of attempts. But this lessens the replay value, and it might’ve been more interesting if you could fail earlier on and get a different ending, or if there were some other important choice to make. It almost felt more like watching a movie than playing a game.

Overall Thoughts:

If I’m being honest, I was a little disappointed by the gameplay aspect of this game and the lack of replay value for the price. But taking the price out of the equation, I feel more positive than negative toward it because of how much effort clearly went into all the voice acting, the interesting graphics, and the fun drinking element. So I wouldn’t automatically recommend or not recommend it, instead I’ll say it’s up to you to decide if the game seems worth it.

Short Review:

– Full voice-acting (captions available) and unique use of dialogue
– Interesting, bold graphics
– Really fun drinks that affect dialogue options
– Some character backstory
– A lot of tedium
– Not much gameplay beyond choosing dialogue
– Only one choice/game seems to matter
– Overall somewhat lacking in gameplay but still weird and fun

Accessibility:

(May not include everything)
– Captions available.
– Not accessible for blind / visually impaired players.
– Can still reach end of game, even if you fail the mini games.

 
 
 
 

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