☆ Review: Aftergrinder – “If at first you don’t succeed, die, die, die again” ☆ #GameDev

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Aftergrinder - PC

Balancing difficulty in a game is no mean feat. Make it too easy, and all the challenge is lost, as is all the point in playing.

Make it too difficult, and you’ll drive your players to rage quits, broken controllers and the unshakeable belief that your game is unfair. 

In an industry awash with titles on the easy side of the spectrum, it takes some balls to intentionally set out to make a game that’s hard as nails.

Aftergrinder from Grave Danger Games is one such title.

Aftergrinder is an arcade runner in a similar vein to the popular OlliOlli. However, where OlliOlli focuses on skateboarding tricks, rail grinding and wipeouts, Aftergrinder is about breakneck rocket flying, antigravity and split-second timing.

Each of Aftergrinder’s 90 levels see you hurtling down corridors towards obstacles set on crushing your body to a pulp. Control of your character is undertaken through only three buttons, namely up, down and boost. As your only means of avoiding obstacles, up flips your character upside down in order to stick to the roof, while down obviously reverses the effect and returns you to the floor. Boost gives your character a speed increase at the cost of boost meter which can be refilled by passing over special charging rails. While boost is not necessary to finish the levels, it is necessary if you hope to break the speed records on each level.

There’s a loose narrative justification for the Aftergrinder’s neon and cyberpunk setting, but the games short intro quite hilariously states that the story is virtually null and void.

Speed, failure and triumph are all that matter in Aftergrinder, and it wants you to know that. While the game proudly shows its steep difficulty curve at every point, there are three difficulty levels available through the three characters on offer. 

The Dude (easy) is the slowest of the three and as such is less likely to see you crashing to your death. 
The Lady (normal) is the medium speed difficulty. 
The Shark (hard) is the fastest and is required if you hope to beat the records set on the online leaderboards.

Aftergrinder is by no means a deep game, but its definitely one that knows exactly what it is. 
The graphics are simple, bold, and functional while the music is suitably high-octane. 

Most importantly, the gameplay is especially addictive, especially for those who enjoy a challenge. The quick death and repeat cycle helps to lure the player into loop whereby you’ll see yourself repeating the same level dozens if not hundreds of times before you even know it. 

It’s not for the faint of heart, but those who take on the challenge of Aftergrinder will find reward in its repetition.

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase

Game Link: Steam

Review By Alex

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