Afterparty review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher: Night School Studio
Developer: Night School Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Afterparty, the follow-up game from Oxenfree developer Night School Studio, recently released for the Nintendo Switch after initially debuting last year on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This version of the game doesn?t differ from the original release but it?s still definitely worth checking out on the Nintendo Switch.

I actually had not played the game until we were sent a code for it earlier this month, and having finished it, I?m glad that I gave Afterparty a go. I?m still one of those folks that hasn?t played Oxenfree, so I wasn?t super familiar with Night School Studio, other than general positive word of mouth revolving around their releases. And after playing Afterparty, I can certainly see why. Afterparty?s unique narrative, sense of style, and excellent voice-over work really helps it stand apart from other like-minded indie releases. And despite being heavily focused on story and dialogue as opposed to gameplay mechanics, I never felt like I was getting bored or exhausted with the game over the course of the 6 or so hours it took to complete. It?s honestly the perfect length for this type of adventure, and makes revisiting the game to explore optional dialogue paths a little more tantalizing. 

In Afterparty you?ll directly control two characters, Milo and Lola, both of which have recently found themselves in Hell after their unexpected demise. Milo and Lola are mostly best friends, and one of the best aspects of Afterparty is how well they play off of each other. I won?t say that every bit of dialogue or joke delivered necessarily landed for me, but the leads providing voices for the two characters do such an excellent job with the material that I was fully engaged every time the characters spoke up. Which, all in all, is pretty often. 

And that?s mostly what you?ll be focused on when playing Afterparty. Milo and Lola are controlled along a 2D plane moving left and right, with a few different zones to explore throughout Afterparty?s adventure. The different zones all have distinct, Hell-like features of course, but most of that is also filtered through a neon, color-infused nightclub district vibe that looks pretty cool overall. As you move through these area?s you?ll run into bits of dialogue with a diverse cast of demons and the damned, and slowly progress through Milo and Lola?s ultimate goal, escaping Hell.

Early on you?re made privy to an ancient clause that states if someone can outdrink Satan, then they can be brought back to life and go home. Throughout the game, that?s the driving force for Milo and Lola, but along the way they?ll end up partaking in a variety of sidequests in service of their main goal. And while the concept of getting into a drinking contest with Satan is unique enough, I was still surprised by the direction the last moments of Afterparty takes, and really enjoyed the way the finale played out. 

My only real complaint with Afterparty comes from the technical side of things. My understanding of the original console/PC releases is that there were some rough points, which still seems to be true with the Switch version of the game. Some of the zones would absolutely chug when it came to framerate, which is disappointing for a game that doesn’t appear to be all that taxing at first glance. I also thought some of the load times were a little lengthy, but thankfully when moving from zone to zone those sequences are at least filled with banter between the two main characters and the cab driver Sam. 

Still, despite the technical hiccups, Afterparty is certainly worth your time. I don?t see much of a reason to pick up the Switch version over the previous releases necessarily, but it at least seems on par with other consoles. So yeah, check out Afterparty if you haven?t already, I really, really enjoyed it. 

Note: Night School Studio provided us with an Afterparty Switch code for review purposes

Grade: B+