My Favorite Things of 2019 - Day #17

Today's entry in this list of my favorite things of the year is the second game from Night School Studio. They were the folks responsible for Oxenfree which was on the list a couple of years back, and I was looking forward to their next game.

Afterparty did not disappoint me.

Like Oxenfree, the core of the game revolves around conversations and talking. This time however you play a pair of college students how have found themselves recently departed and have arrived in Hell.

Yes, you read that right, the game is set in Hell. Ok, its a brightly colorful, characterful, and often hilarious version of hell, but you're dead. From the start.

Hell it turns out has an active bar culture, and you quickly discover that there is a loop hole that might let you escape hell. You just have to out-drink the Devil himself in a weird and twisted pub crawl of sorts.

As you may imagine, high jinks ensue.

The game is essentially about drinking, and the culture around it. There was a danger that the game didn't have anything interesting to say about it, and the opening sections certainly try to make you think the game is only going to glorify drinking culture, or use it for humor. Thankfully, without spoiling anything, the game does have something interesting to say without going full on judgemental.

The art direction is wonderful, and the animation fits the overall tone perfectly. The star of the show however is the voice work. A good thing in a game that anchors the experience around conversations.

The playable characters, Lola and Milo, are played by Janina Gavnkar and Khoi Dao respectively, who both do an amazing job with their characters. The supporting cast are pretty stellar as well. It also helps that it is very well written, and much fun can be had just exploring all the optional conversations or listening to background chatter in the various bars. 

This is a game that knew exactly what it wanted to say, and draws you into it's world brilliantly. 

A bar crawl I can actually approve of.