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. Conceptually, Afterlife is conventional. You start with a more or less empty grid, zoned for structures designed either to punish or reward the SOULs, and manage your cash flow. In this case, income comes from helping SOULs find their expected just rewards, and arrives in the form of pennies from heaven. Pennies support maintenance, wages for demons and angels, new construction, and the like.
You can even alter things like technology and the types of sins on the planet you serve. There is no real goal, save staving off the arrival of the Four Surfers of the Apocalypso, and no defined end; after all, the afterlife is forever, right? Karma Trains for the reincarnated, an exquisite variety of witty rewards and punishments, and a generally wacky sense of humor are this game’s highlights. A rather complete set of observation and monitoring tools are available. Most icons are relatively easy to figure out, if rather small at higher resolutions.
The execution in Afterlife is up to LucasArt’s high standards. Why, then, does the game seem so, well, terrestrial? Probably because despite the often hilarious descriptions of structures and features you can build (the Taco Inferno and Slide Show of the Gods are two of my favorites), in the end they’re just, well, structures. Roads are roads (though in Hell you should make them as inefficient as possible), buildings are buildings, and so on; the only difference between Afterlife and SimCity 2000 is that Maxis’ game has more terrain options and is easier to get around in. The first few times playing the game are a blast, as you place buildings and get your karma trains rolling. After a while, though, it’s just another balance the budget game.
System Requirements: 80286 CPU, 640 KB RAM, DOS