From the Database of Home of the Underdogs
GAME DESIGNER:Ryan Bury
GAME DEVELOPER:RjB Software
Copyright 2004, RjB Software
Afterlife is a fun and long freeware platformer/exploration game from Ryan J. Bury of RjB Software. “Afterlife is RjB Software’s showcase game, a unique, massive, action-packed adventure starring the daring balloonist Rickard Bronson, the one man who can save the world from the forces of Hell itself, by flying his hot air balloon into the underworld to battle the demons who have stolen the holy Cruciforms, the keys to the gates that separate the real world from the 13 Realms of Hell! Afterlife features more than a hundred levels, including secret levels and training missions, scores of hellish minions for you to blast with your incendiary bombs and Deadly Hunting Umbrella (TM), bosses, unlockable hidden features and extra balloons with unique abilities, a variety of addictive levels, from bloody open combat arenas to dastardly mazes and traps, and all in all, potentially over 100 hours of solid gameplay (and that’s if you’re good!). Not only all that, but Afterlife is, of course, completely free! To top it all off, you can download even more levels from [the official] site, created by other fans of the game, and even design your own, using the Afterlife Level Editor. So, what are you waiting for? Get in there and frag some ghosts!”
Although Afterlife starts out slowly, things get interesting after the second ‘act’ or so, once you ‘unlock’ the first few new balloons. These new balloons have unique abilities, and while not all of them are required to beat the game, most of them are crucial to solving puzzles or navigating mazes. Monsters are also among the most creative and diverse I have seen in an action game, and figuring out how to deal with each new type is a lot of fun. The game’s huge levels are all varied and well designed, and with over 100 levels filled constantly with new monsters and surprises, the 100-hour gameplay is quite accurate.
Although I feel that some levels are unfairly difficult – particularly narrow rooms filled with spikes – overall Afterlife strikes the right balance between aggravation-induced toughness and boring cakewalk to offer a thoroughly captivating and epic action/exploration game. Recommended for anyone who likes Seiklus, Heart of Darkness, or similar games but wish they were longer and more difficult.