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Afterparty

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Afterparty Game Poster Image
Raunchy journey through Hell has drinking, sex, and torture.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The story explores a broad range of subjects, most notably friendship, morality, and, to a lesser degree, religion. There's little in the form of any sort of agenda; players are largely left to make up their own minds what to think about what they see.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Milo and Lola seem like average people, and they even help some of the more unfortunate souls they stumble across in Hell. But they can't remember what they did to deserve being there. Also, some of their actions in Hell -- such as engaging in drinking contests and handing over a seemingly innocent man to torture in order to save their own skins -- call into question their moral character.

Ease of Play

It's pretty hard to find a way to actually "lose," since the experience is more of an interactive narrative in which players move around and respond to other characters than a proper game with tasks and challenges. As such, players need simply work the control stick to move and press appropriate buttons when cued to respond to questions. A handful of simple mini-games take place within the main game, and players are provided straightforward explanations for each as they encounter them.

Violence

The player's characters don't engage in combat, but they observe a variety of violent activities and bloody scenes, including people being hanged and tortured (e.g. dropped into an inferno), a dead human served as food to demons, and blood gushing from fountainheads.

Sex

Characters talk frankly unrestrictedly about sex and sexuality. One of the bars players visit has a room in which sexual tortures appear to be taking place, some with the help of medieval-looking devices. The participating characters' privates are blurred out.

Language

Very strong language appears frequently in both text and spoken dialogue throughout the game, including "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism

Common brands such as Reebok are infrequently mentioned in dialogue, without promotional purpose.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters frequently drink to excess and freely talk about drugs and experiences getting drunk and high. Drinking various cocktails opens up new dialogue options meant to show how alcohol can make people flirtier, more social, and more courageous, though booze-fueled responses are just as likely come off as drunken gibberish in the wrong situations.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Afterparty is a downloadable adventure game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players assume the roles of Milo and Lola, a pair of college students and best friends who suddenly find themselves in Hell. Milo and Lola seem like good people, but escaping Hell means engaging in some questionable activities, from wild drinking competitions to framing a seemingly innocent man, leaving him to an eternity of torture. As the pair explores Hell, they see some horrible sights, including people hanged from poles, eaten by demons, and being sexually tortured in a bar (with private bits blurred out). They spend a good deal of time drinking alcohol -- various types of cocktails create varying response options in conversations -- and have frank, open, and profanity-laden discussions about sex, drugs, and the sins of their past lives.

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What's it about?

AFTERPARTY is a side-scrolling cartoon adventure starring Milo and Lola, a pair of lifelong friends who unexpectedly find themselves in Hell after attending a college party. Once they've been processed by reception (and assigned their own personal demon for psychological torture), they begin to do what anyone would: Look for a way to escape. They soon learn that the only way to leave Hell is to beat Satan at a drinking game. But in order to earn the right to challenge the Dark Prince, they need to collect a set of seals from some of his top lieutenants, and this involves some…questionable…activities. The core of the game's conversations. Milo and Lola get into long personal chats with each other as we move them between locations, and once they arrive at their destination, there's usually a selection of non-player characters they can speak with to progress the story. Players control movement and occasionally make decisions about what Milo and Lola say and what they drink, but for the most part, we simply experience the story as it unfolds. But there are a handful of junctures where there's at least the illusion of making a key, potentially story-altering decision via the response chosen in dialogue.

Is it any good?

There are a lot of ways for people to take offense as they experience Milo and Lola's journey through Hell. Afterparty assumes a mature audience capable of seeing the humor in its heroes' unlikely afterlife adventure, an audience not put off by (blissfully blurred out) scenes of sexual torture, demons sitting and joking around a pot of human stew, and drinking a tremendous amount of horrific looking alcoholic beverages. Some players may also balk at what Lola and Milo need to do -- such as cooperating with demons, and purposely tanking a seemingly innocent man's defense during a Hell trial -- in order to escape. This game will, if nothing else, make players think about their own morality, and what they would and wouldn't be willing to do in order to escape perdition.

There's actually a surprising amount of substance lurking beneath the surface of this outwardly outrageous fantasy. Our heroes freely discuss contentious topics including religion and global warming, go on a rollercoaster ride of emotions talking about their friendship, and even delve into family matters from the past that have helped shape who they are. Things never get too serious, but there's more food for thought here than one might think. There's more to Afterparty than meets the eye, but to get to it, you'll need a stomach for off-color humor.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of alcohol, drugs, and smoking in media. Drunkenness is a core and unavoidable part of Afterparty, so how else might the developers have gone about designing the game without compromising their vision?

  • Would you choose to have your best friend accompany you into a bad and/or dangerous situation, even if they did nothing to deserve being there?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
  • Price: $19.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Night School Studio
  • Release date: October 29, 2019
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence
  • Last updated: November 08, 2019

Themes & Topics

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