Occasionally, you encounter a form of media that blows your mind. Now, I don’t mean that it is incredible and unique. No, instead it is weird, unusual, and tough to explain. This is my experience with Afterglitch! It is a bizarre exploration game that does little to settle you in, and even less to explain what is happening. As such, you have no clue what is happening during your short game time.
Developed by Vladimir Kudelka and published by Hangonit Studio, this is a sci-fi exploration title. What’s more, this single-player endeavour transports you to many surreal, beautiful, and unusual environments. Accordingly, it is a visual treat even if the action is hard to understand. Furthermore, this reliance on a dreamlike world is uncomfortable and disorientating, as well as intriguing and alluring.
Afterglitch doesn’t hold your hand.
Unlike its peers, Afterglitch does little to explain its plot. Instead, you are left to your own devices as you explore each stage. This minimalist approach, combined with an array of simple mechanics, ensures that this is an easy-to-pickup title. However, its lack of hand-holding makes the experience uneasy and unnerving at the same time.
You control a spaceman who is on a mission to find an ancient alien species. On his journey, he discovers clues about mankind’s origins and answers to his questions. Yet, the way they are displayed feels more like an abstract painting rather than the core principle of a game. Subsequently, you continually question what is happening, as well as what you discover.
What the heck is happening?
Though much of the action is simplicity personified, you’ll still be thoroughly confused. Consequently, I spent much of my time uttering the words, “what the heck!”. However, this didn’t tarnish my time with Afterglitch. No, instead, it spurred me on as I explored each weird stage.
The action develops at a relaxed pace with no danger, combat, or violence. As such, you can take your time as you try to work out the meaning of each level. Effectively, you’ll explore an array of landscapes while searching for an image or other lifeless astronauts. As this happens, you take in the stunning surroundings while enjoying the wholesome audio.
You are expected to walk on water, manipulate mirrored images, float through space, and decipher ever-changing landscapes. Accordingly, it is a trippy experience that takes some getting used to. However, once you get to grips with the fundamentals, you’ll enjoy each setting and its bizarre ways.
Afterglitch looks fantastic.
Afterglitch is an unusual title that oozes creativity. As such, the developer took this to the next level as they created a beautiful and odd game. Each chapter flows and moves as you navigate a non-linear world. Unlike its peers, there are no hidden walls, and each stage feels endless. However, thankfully, they are not as each level resets if you move too far from the main objective. Moreover, the sci-fi edge is felt throughout as alien structures and usual items are discovered throughout. This was great, as there was some consistency in an otherwise weird and surprising game.
Unlike the visuals, the audio was more subdued. With a simpler approach, it was understated but enjoyable. What’s more, the basic environmental sounds and refined narrative kept you guessing throughout.
Vladimir Kudelka wants you to focus on the experience. Accordingly, he created a basic control system that was easy to understand. With the use of one analogue stick and nothing else, you focus your energy on the weird action. This was an excellent decision as the dreamy mechanics and unusual environments didn’t need any more complications.
Where Afterglitch falls short is its longevity and replay value. It took me under 3 hours to work my way through this title, and I have no reason to return. Understandably, this was disappointing, as the aesthetics were so unusual. Consequently, I would have liked more reasons to explore this in greater depth.
Afterglitch is odd but fantastic.
Other than the lack of hand-holding and longevity, Afterglitch is a phenomenal yet odd experience. The developer has created a surreal, unique, and artistic game to explore. However, I would have liked more structure and more padding to the plot. Yet, if you can live without these things, and you want something unusual to play, then this will be right up your street. Subsequently, I enjoyed it and I recommend that you buy it here! Will you complete your mission and discover an alien species? Explore each strange level and enjoy the abstract surroundings.