A Good Simcity clone with poor execution
Mar 03, 2010
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Afterlife (1996) clearly demonstrates a tremendous amount of good-old- fashion LucasArts creativity, passion and talent that has generally worked well for them. On paper, the opportunity to control the daily workings of Heaven and Hell, through the creation of various rewards and punishments sounds like a fun simulation. In practice, the game does feature some impressive graphics, music and sound effects and a witty sense of humor.
The fundamental flaw in the game lies in the execution. Their are simply too many, highly complicated, real time things (i.e. virtues, vices, infrastructure, etc.) that you have to constantly watch out for and develop in both heaven and hell or else its game over. Making the execution worse, the game's instruction manual failed to offer an in-depth explanation of the controls, mechanics and rules. This forced the player to go through a frustrating period of trial and error or buy an official LucasArts strategy guide. While the graphics are good most of the time, close-ups of objects look terrible.
The Bottom Line
Afterlife (1996) is a Simcity-style clone that attempts to put you in control of an alien population's heaven and hell. The execution is critical in simulation games such as this, and this is where the game's flaws show up. A tremendous amount of trial and error, or access to a good, in-depth strategy guide will be required to really comprehend how to do much in the game. The game's graphics are best seen from a distance. Perhaps the best feature of this game is its amazingly witty and satirical sense of humor. Die hard fans of LucasArts humor and "Simcity" simulation games will probably get the most out of this game.
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