Oh, you know I’m gunna talk about this one.
A new adventure game, from the developers of OXENFREE? You think I’m gonna play this? Do bears shit in the woods? This was the first thing that greeted you in the ID@Xbox booth during EGX Rezzed, and Christ, was there a line for every game here. I prevailed however, and got a chance to play Afterparty.
This is the latest title from California-based developers Night School Studio, developers of… well, do I need to tell you twice? Founded in 2014 by Sean Krankel and his cousin Adam Hines, they both shared the same experience at the now defunct Telltale Games. After the runaway success of OXENFREE, they’ve sought to grow as a company, and not just in a numbers sense.
You’ll play as Milo and Lola, best buddies who have become two recent entries into the annals of Hell. They seek to escape this vile place, despite the fact that there seems to be endless amounts of alcohol and cocktails at a moments notice. Nevertheless, they want out, and the only way out is by out-drinking Satan.
Right from the bat, you can tell that Afterparty is going to be a polar opposite to the numbed and cold adventures of OXENFREE. The first thing that greeted you in OXENFREE was an overcast sunset, and your first press of a button was an odd metallic ping. In Afterparty, your first sight will be a skull, accompanied by dance music being slightly muted through a wall. With that first button press? An MLG Airhorn.
Oh, sweet memes of mine.
It’s impressive to see Night School not just up the ante in terms of how their worlds look, but how alive the world has become. It’s certainly the most fun that Hell has ever looked, but beyond that, the expanded cast and multitudes of different factors into what makes Hell “Hell” here. It’s certainly a far cry from Edwards Island, and I’m sure there’s some residents here in Nowhere that can confirm it.
It isn’t long before you realize the mood that Afterparty has in mind: Careless fun. Everyone has a tongue like sandpaper, littering the conversation with all kinds of expletives and gross metaphors, and that’s before things get physical. It’s a world Lola fits right in with, but Milo needs liquid encouragement.
One of the new spins Afterparty has on the dialogue wheel of old, is the use of remarks influenced by alcoholic intake. Certain cocktails and drinks will give you the chance to be an even bigger dopey git than usual, leading to spats, new opportunities to ween information out of NPCs, and chuckles from the player.
All of this took place during a game of beer pong with a Scottish demon, mind you. With Milo and Lola bringing the trash talking to a whole new level with elementary school jabs being encouraged by a crowd of OHHHHHHHH-ing demons. All set to a body-movin’ soundtrack by frequent Night School collaborator SCNTFC.
While the EGX Rezzed demo of Afterparty didn’t show off much in terms of its promising features, like the dancing, or social network reactionaries, what was shown was enough to get anyone excited. With its still unconfirmed release date of a vague “2019” looming ever closer, you’d have to be the worlds most willing and dullest Designated Driver to not look forward to this title.
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