Afterglitch attempts to bring high-brow art to the world of video games. You’ll hold forward on the left stick for about an hour, occasionally changing that to left or right. You’re a character adrift in a fractured universe. Time and space are broken, and you’re trying to “find the creator”. It’s a quick 1000 achievement points, but is it much of an experience?
You are the lone astronaut, walking, floating, and flying through a fractured universe. Over the course of 50 or so minutes, you’ll enjoy the same few sites and sounds as you use the left analog stick. There are no other controls in the entire game, and you’ll hold forward while occasionally moving left or right as you take in the sites and sounds. Sadly, those sites are extremely repetitive, mostly ugly, and occasionally headache-inducing. This is a short game that hands out its achievements in an unmissable fashion. There is nothing interesting going on at any time.
Occasionally you’ll hear an AI-sounding voice spouting nonsense about “looking for the creator” or “searching for the end of time”. This game reminds me of Interstellar’s ending scenes, but with zero of the creativity used to try and make 5 dimensions understandable. There are only a few environments, and you’ll rotate between them seemingly at random, with an abrupt ending that only brought more anger and confusion.
Despite being only 58 minutes long my time in Afterglitch felt like 58 hours. Nothing ever happens, you just walk forward. I don’t really know how else to describe how boring an experience this ends up being, because it doesn’t end up going anywhere. At $15 this is impossible to recommend. Heck, I would say avoid it even if it was only $5.
Graphically the game looks ok at first glance, but that water world area is reused dozens of times, and every other background gave me varying degrees of a headache. Quite often the view will split between the left and right and I had to close one eye to avoid a migraine. The soundscape is a mix of painful screeching, weirdly stilted AI-sounding voices, and extremely light ambient music.
The only redeeming quality of the game is that it never crashed on me, though the loading times were surprisingly long. 5+ seconds might not seem like much, but with what was being dropped and loaded in it feels like things could be far faster. That would be appreciated as it would have made my playthrough that much quicker to end.
Wrapping Things Up
Afterglitch attempts to bring a moving art experience to the low-budget indie-space, but it misses the mark by never looking or being interesting in any way. It is boring to navigate through after a few minutes, and an assault on the senses.
Review | Afterglitch
Xbox Series X
- Easy 1000 Gaming Score
- Poor Graphics
- Gave Me A Headache
- Abrupt Ending