In Afterparty, your main objective is to literally outdrink Satan himself. No, seriously. Players will find themselves playing two best buds, Milo and Lola, as they find a loophole that can grant them an escape from Hell itself. The catch? Outparty the party master which proves to be a hilarious journey filled with wit, laughter, and unique challenges. It's both blasphemy and downright enjoyable, and never will you ever have a Hellish experience quite like this that's just so damn good.
Night School Studio is no stranger to indie hits, their other major contribution to gaming being 2016's Oxenfree. Though Afterparty feels different from this studio's previous adventures, it definitely hits that sweet spot that many in the indie scene are looking for while also appealing to a massive array of various gamer types within the community. With intriguing choices and Juno-worthy dialogue, Afterparty captures the magic that this studio is known for in the best way possible.
Meet Lola and Milo, two best buds that couldn't be more different. Where Lola is sarcastic and shines in the spotlight, Milo is much more mild-mannered and downright shy in comparison. Having recently graduated college, the pair end up moving on not to the next frat party, but to the afterlife instead. Once they realise where they are, they learn of a clever loophole that would mean Satan personally returning the pair to earth. Outdrink the Sin Kween (king, sorry) and escape eternal damnation.
Simple enough, right?
Taking the king of all evil on in a drinking challenge is a lot tougher than it might sound, and way more comedic than it has any right being. The studio behind Afterparty absolutely nailed their almost Cyberpunk take on Hell itself while definitely staying true to the club scene. It also handled weighter topics, such as religion, with levity and poise if that levity and poise also happened to make its way onto the Reddit boards. Basically, everyone gets something right, everyone gets something wrong, and badabingbadaboom, Hell.
One thing I really enjoyed is this game's portrayal of the Devil. He's not this RARG ARG monster many would think. Instead, he has a distinctly white collar vibe almost - like Office Space meets eternal damnation. You know, the usual. With the various party animal types seen with various demons, Night School built an entire underground society that was both believable and just really funny and engaging. It was also interesting to see the sort of crimes people went to Hell for, including - and yes, we're serious - using an express lane at a grocery store when they have more than the maximum amount of items.
While Afterparty is easily the funniest game I've ever played, it's important knowing what the style of this game is before diving in. Not that it's negative in any way, but it is particular and is usually seen as more niche. For those that played Oxenfree, the dialogue mechanics feel very similar. Linear movements from left to right, NPC interactions following said linear movement, choose to respond or remain silent - get drunk.
Speaking of drinking, the party mechanics are pretty dang enjoyable as well. Each drink has different attributes. Get flirty, get your dad jokes on, get boisterous - your poison, your choice. Each drink, and subsequent reaction, triggers naturally conversation trees with the demons partying it up. It feels natural, nothing forced, and really tickles that curiousity fancy when looking to experiment with different drink options.
During my time with the game I did come across a few minor bugs, though nothing at all game-breaking. Some have mentioned lagging frame-rates and blacked-out screens, none of which I experienced personally luckily. There were a handful of times where my game would hiccup a little bit, but it was quick to smooth over and wasn't a major impact on the experience. Now that it has been out for a few days, any pressing issues will have likely been addressed or - at very least - in the process of change.
OUR VERDICT - 9 out of 10:
Overall, Afterparty is the game I knew I would enjoy but didn't expect to get so swept away by. Though there are some major contenders out there in the gaming space, Afterparty has every possible element to be a true award-winning treasure that players can cherish for years to come. If you're looking for a solid comedy adventure, look no further than Afterparty!