Next Life - Review

Next Life
Ages: Teen

The game begins with Adam (the character you play) waking up in an unfamiliar metal hut after a car accident. One of the characters he meets as he explores his surroundings suggests that they are in Purgatory. Interesting, since the Pope recently decreed that it longer exists. But this is an interesting scenario for a game. Purgatory, if that is what is, is an island with numbered cabins scattered about a little like a summer camp. Except that the cabins are somwhat rusted metal structures devoid of charm. All the characters come from Eastern Europe except one from Brooklyn and their accents reflect that. As more games are being developed overseas, this is actually an interesting development. The characters turn out to also come from different time periods.

When a bell in a tower strikes three times, all inhabitants fall asleep and find themselves back in their cabin and then the night scenarios take over. Adam, the newly arrived, (that should have been a hint) questions everyone and plans to escape the island.

The nightscapes are where the main parts of the game takes place, and they are wildly divergent from the original premise, spinning widely into freeform. Adam find himself suspended on the top of a crane in a construction site, and from here on the game takes on a decidedly mechanical tilt. While Adam returns to his original cabin upon awakening, his nightscapes take him even further cars, trains, a hospital that is almost out of Silent Hill. And you still have many a mile to go before the end.

Another thing they have timed puzzles. Timed puzzles are a roadblock for reviewers on a tight schedule. For adventure players who are looking for thoughtful puzzles and trip through some interesting environments, it simply gets in the way, breaks up the momentum and immersion in the game and results in a frustrated player. The sadistic difficulty of even the first timed puzzle is likely to discourage many players from going further.

The original idea was novel, the characters interesting and the graphics from 2D scene to 2D scene well done and the environment surreal. They should have stuck with that instead of a tour through used game themes. As a fan of adventure games, of which there are too few, I will play all I can get my hands on, but this was a disappointment.

Fun Factor: Promises - only promises
Female Factor: Multiple females - all intersting
Player Friendly: Timed puzzles have no place here.

Reviewed by: Editor - 11/07

  • Next Life
  • © The Adventure Company/Future Games
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP W2K
  • To Order: Win $27.99