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Afterlife

aka: Afterlife: Chaos im Jenseits, Afterlife: La Simulation Stratégique enfin Ressuscitée!, Afterlife: La Simulazione per Eccellenza, Afterlife: The Last Word in Sims
Moby ID: 202
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Description official descriptions

Afterlife is is a humorous strategy game similar to SimCity where the afterlife is subject to market-based economy. The player has to make it work by managing heaven and hell simultaneously.

In both hell and heaven the player constructs zones which deal with one of the seven capital sins respectively the corresponding virtues. Through the gates new souls arrive regularly which were sinful or virtues in one specific aspect. These go to the appropriate zones to receive their gifts or punishment - but only if the player constructed a street system. If there is no place left they wander through hell/heaven which is of course bad for business. After some time they get sent back to the home planet. These souls are the source of the player's income.

Of course these facilities also need personnel. These can be either hired or trained by building special training facilities. There are also additional things the player has to keep in mind, e.g. the satisfaction of each soul and the energy supply. Every buildings has to be micro-managed by adjusting their settings but there is also the possibility to use a tool which does it automatically - for a price.

Random disasters like "Birds of Paradise" (excrement rain down on the facilities) break the economic circle and challenge the player to repair the damage. Besides the free playing mode there are also five scenarios where the player has to solve certain tasks.

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 76% (based on 24 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 43 ratings with 7 reviews)

Even better than Sim City 2000

The Good
The game is very funny, it is amusing to read all the detailed descriptions of the various punishments / rewards. But what makes it an excellent game is that it is more complex than it's obvious model, Sim City 2000. The vibes that the buildings in Hell and Heaven emit need to be taken into consideration - as it is possible to manipulate the living, it is better to let them focus on sins and virtues that don't create problems in either realm. Also, it is important to plan according to the different belief models on the planet - some people reincarnate, some wander through all punishments and rewards, some stay in Heaven forever and so on. It is important to direct the living to ease the work of the Demiurge. The player has two aides, the Demon Jasper and Ariel, who do tutorials and report problems in both realms, at least when they are not tied up into insulting each other.

The Bad
When both realms are at their full strength, the game becomes a little bit unclear and nothing really new happens. All is about maximizing balance, thus efficiency of the buildings, which soon becomes a tedious task. What can be seen as a goal of the game - as far as I remember to reach 1.000.000.000 souls in order to gain the most sophisticated special buildings available - can take a very, very, very long time.

The Bottom Line
A Sim City like game with an esoteric theme where the player has to build up and administrate Hell and Heaven.

Windows · by Hadanite Marasek (27) · 2004

Entertaining for a while, then virtually unplayable.

The Good
The idea is divine. The concept of building a really horrible hell and a divine heaven is excellent. The atmosphere is wonderful, the graphics are nice (although "pixely"), and the music is probably the best music I've heard in a game ever. Really. The music is so great I wouldn't mind listening to it outside the game. The humor is also very good. Extremely dark and sometimes sadist, but always funny. It's also an innovative game with original buildings to erect and a very innovative system. It's like Sim City, but totally different. The way you have to deal with souls, karma, beliefs, reincarnation and economy is quite original although familiar at the same time. It really is an innovative and entertaining game with a lot of atmosphere and dark humor.

The Bad
The actual gameplay is flawed in many ways. The biggest problem is the micro-management. Because the graphics are so "pixely" it is often hard to make out individual buildings amidst the myriad of pixels. The problem with this is that you are more or less forced to "balance" all of your buildings or else you will start losing money real fast, and you have to balance your buildings frequently as souls come and go. There is a function that is supposed to help you to auto-balance all you buildings, but it is virtually worthless. It costs a lot of money and it doesn't work very well. The only way to make money is to balance every building yourself, and that takes a LOT of time and it is extremely boring, and difficult since the individual buildings are so hard to make out due to the pixely graphics. Also there are too much that has to be perfect. This really is a difficult game.Your advisors constantly complain about things that are quite hard to do anything about, and it is always the same things. "Bad/Good Influence", "Bad/Good Roads" etc (In Hell everything must be bad. Bad is good and good is bad in hell.) As you can see this game is sadly tainted by some huge, very unnecessary flaws. The balance-thing is the biggest flaw. When you have a lot of buildings both in heaven and hell, the situation becomes unbearable. If you didn't have to do that annoying micro-management constantly when you play, this game would only suffer from a quite steep level of difficulty, but a real challenge never hurt anyone, right?

The Bottom Line
Good atmosphere, the best music ever in a computer game, and lots of fun, dark humor. But the game promises more than the actual gameplay can deliver. Still worth to check out, though. It is quite enjoyable at first, but overwhelming as soon as your heaven and hell starts to grow large.

Windows · by Joakim Kihlman (231) · 2004

A great idea, but poorly executed.

The Good
Much like the SimCity series, this game has a really fun feel to it, with great graphics, really nice control layout, and a few funny secrets to be discovered by true LucasArts fans.

The Bad
While it IS a great idea, the game itself takes a longer time to get the hang of than the average sim game. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it seems more like bad to me. Also, the thrill wore off rather quickly.

The Bottom Line
This game plays on the idea of good versus evil, as you play landlord to Heaven and Hell. LucasArts is possibly the best game developer out there, and the undisputed champion of adventure games. But in the future, they should stick to what they know best.

Windows · by lechuck13 (298) · 2001

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
intro shot correct? Corn Popper (68587) Jun 13th, 2007

Trivia

Earth

The manual VEHEMENTLY denies that the world displayed in the game is earth. It specifically states "THIS IS NOT EARTH", even though they have the same seven sins and seven virtues as Christians do.

Secrets

By typing SAMNMAX three times, you can make Max trounce your poor little afterlife...it's quite amusing. SAVE FIRST!

Another Secret

By typing $@! five times, you can make the Death Star wreak havoc on your heaven or hell.

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ryan Lucas.

Linux added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Macintosh added by Wizo.

Additional contributors: Mitch Kocen, Rebound Boy, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, BrandeX, Edwin Drost, RetroArchives.fr.

Game added August 10th, 1999. Last modified October 17th, 2023.