Saturday, December 29, 2007

Games I Loved That Everyone Else Hated: Afterlife

It's a little harder to talk about games that you love that everyone else hated, since a bad game actively interferes with your ability to interact with it and get to the good stuff. I suppose it's not, in the abstract, different from a bad movie, but in practice a bad game is frustrating on the personal level--something few movies can achieve, and something which games have to work hard to avoid.

"Afterlife" would fit into the category of "games I liked that no one else did". (Which Althouse got me thinking of in the context of What Drams May Come.) This was a SimCity clone with excellent artwork (for the time) and great writing--but a whole lot of micromanagement which caps off the fun too soon. (You can only get so good before you have to do a lot of pointless clickwork.) And yet, I've played this more than I've played all four SimCity games combined.

I was amused how much they did to avoid controversy. You didn't play "God" or even "a god" but one of Plato's "demiurges". (Which, I suppose, was the Gnostics' Old Testament god.) It wasn't humans you were dealing with but EMBOs (Ethically Mature Biological Organisms).

But they had initials for the various beliefs which worked well as religious satire. Since you could believe that you had one life or many, that you only went to heaven or hell, or that you went to both, etc., from a spoiler:

A HOHOSUSAALFist would believe that upon his death, he would travel to either Heaven Or Hell Only. Once there, he would be rewarded or punished based upon his one predominant virtue or sin, and that he would be there forever.

That's almost a Monty Python sketch, right there.

You could do things like boost lust on your source planet to increase the number of people living there (there's a great, funny hint about that), and then boost rage to get them to kill each other and thus increase the profitability of your Afterlife.

The other highlight of the game was the descriptions of the rewards and punishments, based on the sin/virtue being exercised (exorcised?). Dante should've been so creative.

Great music, too.

You can download a demo here.


  1. Peter: Hey hey I got an idea. Lets play "I Never." You got to drink if you did the thing that the person says they never did.
    Cleveland: Oh I got one, I never slept with a women with the lights on.
    (They all drink.)
    Joe: I'll go next, uh I never had sex with Cleveland's wife.
    (Quagmire and Cleveland drink.)
    Peter: alright lets see uh, I never did a chick in a Logan airport bathroom.
    (Only Quagmire drinks.)
    ****About 33 drinks later****
    Peter: God lets see what else is there um...I never gave a reach-around to a spider monkey while reciting the Pledge of Alligence.
    Quagmire: Oh God.
    (Quagmire takes a drink.)
    Joe: I uh I never picked up an illegal alien at Home Depot to take home a choke me while I touch myself.
    Quagmire: Oh come on!
    (Quagmire drinks again.)
    Peter: I never did the same thing except with someone from Joann Fabrics.
    Quagmire: Oh God this is ridiculous. You guys suck! (Drinks more and passes out.)
    (Family guy, 2006)

  2. Boy, who hasn't lost THAT game!


Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.