Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

General discussion about Afterlife: Rickard's Quest and a place to share hints, tips and strategies with other players. Please use the [spoiler] tag where appropriate!
Post Reply
User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Over the years, I've saved a little scrapbook of various reviews and mentions of my games that people have been kind enough to post here and there on the web and elsewhere. I've created this thread to archive some of the ones I've found, along with links to the sites that originally posted them (some of which are sadly no longer with us). If you come across any that I've missed, please do post and let me know. :)

Ryan

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife Reviews/Mentions

Post by Ryan »

Review of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.0.0) from The Home Of The Underdogs

Original link: http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.php?id=5092
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20080308095 ... hp?id=5092
Current link: http://www.homeoftheunderdogs.net/game.php?id=5092
Underdogs (Sarinee Achavanuntakul) wrote: Afterlife is a fun and long freeware platformer/exploration game from Ryan J. Bury of RjB Software.

Although Afterlife starts out slowly, things get interesting after the second 'act' or so, once you 'unlock' the first few new balloons. These new balloons have unique abilities, and while not all of them are required to beat the game, most of them are crucial to solving puzzles or navigating mazes. Monsters are also among the most creative and diverse I have seen in an action game, and figuring out how to deal with each new type is a lot of fun. The game's huge levels are all varied and well designed, and with over 100 levels filled constantly with new monsters and surprises, the 100-hour gameplay is quite accurate.

Although I feel that some levels are unfairly difficult - particularly narrow rooms filled with spikes - overall Afterlife strikes the right balance between aggravation-induced toughness and boring cakewalk to offer a thoroughly captivating and epic action/exploration game. Recommended for anyone who likes Seiklus, Heart of Darkness, or similar games but wish they were longer and more difficult.

Afterlife_Accolade2.png
Afterlife_Accolade2.png (1.71 KiB) Viewed 1994 times

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Review of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.0.1) from My Limbo

Original link: http://www.mylimbo.net/articles/afterlife.php
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20060713035 ... erlife.php
Adam Hollett wrote: Following a long absence from his site in mid 2004, Ryan J. Bury of RjB Software burst back onto the scene, bringing with him his newly finished game, titled Afterlife. A retro-looking action game, it involves the player descenging into the bowels of Hell in a hot air balloon while battling the realm's evil ghosts and baddies. Featuring a unique style of play and enough gameplay to last a lifetime, Afterlife is one of the most involving freeware titles I've seen to date.

Gameplay

Afterlife's gameplay feels like an action platformer set in levels designed for a puzzle game. As the daring hero Rickard Bronson, the player controls a variety of hot-air balloons and uses both upward- and downward-firing weapons to battle the forces of Hell.

To deal with foes below you, you can drop firebombs from your balloon, which will take out most baddies with a few direct hits. The firebombs are also used for destroying weakened walls and activating switches. For enemies above your balloon you have the 'Deadly Hunting Umbrella' - quite possibly the most innovative weapon I've witnessed in a long time. Rickard launches the umbrella through the top of his balloon, and the yellow parasol is capable of dealing major damage to anything that gets in its way. After hitting its target the umbrella flies off in a fairly random direction. Using this knowledge, the player is able to create combination kills of several enemies at once. The game keeps track of your highest combo.

This game is immense. It features over one hundred stages, divided into ten realms (as well as a set of training stages). Each stage features three (possibly more) distinct difficulty settings. On higher difficulties baddies are tougher and there may be more or special items to collect. This adds up to more than three hundred levels by my estimate, each with its own challenges and setting.

Afterlife is not for the faint of heart or the easily frustrated. This game is hard. Your balloon can only take one hit before it goes down, and that means you have to be very careful. More often than not, you're greatly outnumbered and greatly outgunned. Sometimes you can enter a level and be playing for less than five seconds before you get hit and the 'FAILURE' message pops up on-screen. As such, when playing this game you should expect to feel like smashing your keyboard or ripping out clumps of your own hair. That just means that it feels much more gratifying when you finally do beat that level you've been stuck on.

Story

Afterlife's story is not one of its strong points. However, the game is not story-based, so this fact does not have a detrimental effect on the game. Rickard Bronson, a daring balloon operator, has taken it upon himself to enter Hell and battle demons and ghosts to recover the stolen Cruciforms - the holy symbols that seal the gate between his world and Hell. That's all there is to it. Throughout the game you will come across the cruciforms and will eventually collect them all. There is no back story or probing of the character's lives.

Graphics and Sound

Afterlife's graphics are very freeware-esque. They are simple, pixel-packed graphics that do not try to be too over-the-top. Objects are simple and easy to recognize, and while these images would not cut it in a retail game, they do their job well and are in general fairly well done.

The sound effects are similar. Consisting of simple pops, whizzes, booms and clicks, the effects get their point across and are distinctly recognizable from one another. Ryan Bury composed all of the music himself, and the tunes are enjoyable (a couple are iffy) and will no doubt get stuck in your head if you play the game regularly.

Overall

Afterlife is a colossal game. Though it may not have the graphics to get it noticed over other freeware titles, it makes up for that fact with its sheer longevity. I have been playing the game since its release (six months at the time of writing) and have not yet completed nearly half of what it has to offer. Its incredible difficulty ensures that nobody will be finished too fast, and that the player will savour every one of his or her victories. With such a massive amount of gameplay and a stiff challenge to boot, Afterlife proves itself to be a shining jewel among freeware titles. It is definitely worthy of a download and perhaps even a few smashed keyboards. Go and play!

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Mention of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.1.0) from Freeware Games Source

Original link: http://fwgs.blogspot.com/2005/03/rjb-software.html
Current link: http://fwgs.blogspot.com/2005/03/rjb-software.html
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20141224173 ... tware.html
Ryan wrote: I discovered a new developer today that has some very catchy titles. RJB Software.

Just today, RJB software released a game called Afterlife. Afterlife is one helluva strange arcade game. It takes place in hell, you get to fight demons with a hot air balloon and an umbrella. Sounds strange, doesn't it?

Afterlife has more than a hundred levels, extra balloons you can unlock, hidden areas and "100 hours of solid gameplay" all in one 3mb package!

RJB software also has two other titles, which I have not played yet, Orbital Snake and XG Arena.

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Review of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.4.4) from Uziana

Original link: http://www.uziana.com/index.php?option= ... ;Itemid=26
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20060206065 ... ;Itemid=26
Daniel Westerstal wrote: The Gates of Hell has been opened and hell has leaked out on the planet. There is only one who can restore order, Richard Bronson (very similar to a certain billionaire). Is Afterlife's story enough to keep it afloat? Read on to find out.

There are few games that we review that present something completely new that we haven't seen before. Afterlife is one of those few games.

The basic concept is quite simple; you are to control an air balloon in a platform environment. You will have to complete different tasks with the Balloon such as bombing enemies, hit certain targets and so on.

Of course the Balloon isn't exactly easy to steer so there are some tutorial missions in the beginning of the game to help you get started. Actually the tutorial is hard at it is, at least some parts of it. Afterlife does take a while to learn, there are no complicating spells or a number of different units. It's simply that you have to learn to control the balloon and the timing when firing weapons. I believe that this is a good thing, a game can be hard depending on how much gimmicks that's put into it. However it can also be hard in that there is a certain technique to be learned, as is the case in Afterlife.

The enemies you will be faced against are similar to the ghosts in the Super Mario Bros series. But here they are in different colours depending on which level you play on. I can't really figure out if the enemies move using scripted paths or not. Either way they sometimes seem like they are attacking you or tries to hunt you down, very neat.

To fight the enemies you have two different weapons; bombs and your trusty umbrella. The umbrella is fired from the top of the balloon and can only go up. After you have used the umbrella you have to collect it where it last ended up. This can generate some fun situations at times, especially when the umbrella has landed near a bunch of enemies. The bombs falls down from the balloon, it usually takes a couple to take an enemy out.

The graphics in Afterlife resembles a Nintendo platform game a lot. The balloon you are flying looks good and the developers have made it with basic means. I wish that there were some backgrounds portraying landscapes, or maybe earth when hell has been unleashed on the planet? Afterlife deserves some credit for the music; it's also old style and damn good. I especially love the intro music.

So aren't there any downsides with Afterlife at all? Well none that we have been able to find, the game is free and it's almost as if it was commercial. If the developers would want to make money out of the game they could easily port it for mobile phones.

Afterlife is something for everyone, it's a game that can capture a broad audience just like Super Mario and Sonic did in the old days. I love this game a lot and can recommend it to any gamer.

10/10
Afterlife_Accolade1.png
Afterlife_Accolade1.png (2.29 KiB) Viewed 1990 times

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Review of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.5.1) from Caiman

Original link: http://www.caiman.us/scripts/fw/f2441.html
Current link: http://www.caiman.us/scripts/fw/f2441.html
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20210102221 ... f2441.html
agizzer wrote: This games graphics and sound effects are good as you take control of this little Hot Air Balloon to collect balloons while trying to miss the hazards and killing the nasty's as you drop bombs or fire your umbrella at them, then finding the portal to escape to the next level "sounds easy but it's not", the controls do take a little time to master as you have to dodge a lot on the screen, as you progress through the game you can get upgraded balloons what do different things what you need to change on the main screen before starting to play, when you start a level you can pick how hard or easy you want the level to be, easy level can be hard enough sometimes, it is a shame that you can only play this game in a small screen, there is more to this game than you first think but does get better the more you play, this game is huge and will keep you busy for a long time as long as you don't get Air Sick.

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Mention of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.6.1) from Frem

Original link: http://frem.pbworks.com/w/page/6785154/FreeGames
Current link: http://frem.pbworks.com/w/page/6785154/FreeGames
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20141224173 ... /FreeGames
James Gecko wrote: An action/platformer with puzzle elements where you pilot a hot air balloon through the fires of hell and shoot ghosts with an umbrella. Can be frustrating at times, but it's usually really fun. Has a ton of levels.

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Review of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.6.1) from Reloaded Abandonia

Original link: http://www.reloaded.org/download/Afterlife/321/
Current link: http://www.reloaded.org/download/Afterlife/321/
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20141224173 ... rlife/321/
Ernie P. Barin wrote: They say the roads to hell are paved with gold... Rickard Bronson will soon find out, as he balloons his way through those infernal realms to close their iron gates and save the world.

Positive Points
  • Fun gameplay
  • Challenging levels
  • Great tunes
Negative Points
  • One hit kills you
As a balloon flying, dare-devil adventurer, the main character in this game laughs at danger despite enemies who wish nothing more than to stop him; Rickard Bronson. They want to stop him from collecting all the balloons in each stage and defeating all the enemies so he can advance. Yet only Rickard can stop these forces of hell from reaching earth and only he can collect the ten stolen Cruciforms, which separate the gates of hell from our world. Can he recover them all and still survive? In Afterlife, collecting the ten Cruciforms is your goal, and it will not be an easy journey across several levels, facing many enemies, in your hot-aired balloon. With some very fun game play at the heart of the game, some challenging levels that will challenge your skills and some great tunes, this game makes for a very fun experience for any gamer who wants a lengthy and a challenging game.

Once you start up Afterlife you can change the controls for your little balloon if you wish. Once you choose the single player mode to start the game, you will first play the training mode. In training mode, you will get familiar with how the balloon moves and the different weapons that are available and get an idea of what this game is like. Once you pass the training mode, the game will begin, as will your job of collecting the ten Cruciforms. You will travel across many different levels, fighting many enemies at times, and later encounter some interesting challenges that will require you to plan how you will proceed.

The goal of each level is to defeat every enemy that is on screen, after which a warp hole will appear that will allow you to advance to the next level. However, if you wish to get a complete level score, you will have to collect all the balloons that are floating around in the stage before you destroy all the enemies. Be careful though, all it takes is one touch from an enemy or running into a hazardous object like lava to destroy your balloon and force you to restart the level all over again.

The whole idea of flying around in a balloon using not only bombs, but a super powered umbrella may sound a bit cheesy, but is actually quite fun. The game play is quite entertaining, from the different enemies you see to the different challenges that you face in each level. The enemies get smarter as you proceed and you may have to plan which enemies you have to defeat first before they defeat you. All it takes is one hit, so the challenge is quite high in this game, especially in the more advanced stages.

Each level itself grows more challenging as you proceed further and further in the game. While some of the levels are quite tough, they are beatable; they require careful movement of the balloon and careful firing at the enemies at times. There are plenty of stages for you to see before the game is finished and lots to see along the way. The challenge is difficult but nothing frustrating and for most gamers this should not be a problem.

The music was also quite nice to listen to; the tunes are a nice mix, and it does not distract from the action on screen. The sound effects also sound good and they do not seem out of place with the action on screen.

The only minor frustration that may irritate some gamers is the one hit and your dead concept. It can be quite challenging in some of the later levels, when you are close to finishing a level and accidentally hit an enemy or touch the lava, but this just means you have to be more careful when you are playing the game. While it would have been nice for perhaps a life meter for the balloon, the concept is fine in my books.

This is a very fun game and I did enjoy playing through the many levels, so check it out and see what its like.

4.5/5
Afterlife_Accolade5.png
Afterlife_Accolade5.png (1.37 KiB) Viewed 1989 times

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Review of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.7.3) from Softonic

Original link: https://afterlife.en.softonic.com/
Current link: https://afterlife.en.softonic.com/
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20150424032 ... tonic.com/
James Thornton wrote: OK, so the storyline is a little far-fetched - you take control of the cleverly-named Rickard Bronson and must save the planet from an afterlife in hell using nothing but your hot air balloon - but Afterlife actually provides you with hours of fun. It can take a little while to master your craft but the controls can be customized and after a frustrating couple of first levels, the game turns into an action-packed romp through the dimensions of hell.

Afterlife isn't going to win any awards for its graphics, and the blocky ghosts and badly-rendered fireballs aren't exactly scarey. However, there's a decent soundtrack of music composed by the software developer with lots of tunes that can be hand-picked by you. It's a highly original adventure game, that if you have the patience to practice at will become something you can come back to time and again.

Pros
  • Innovative storyline and gameplay
  • Lots of levels
  • Great soundtrack
Cons
  • Controls are a little cumbersome
  • Poor graphics
3.5/5
Afterlife_Accolade4.png
Afterlife_Accolade4.png (10.62 KiB) Viewed 1989 times

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Mention of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.8.2) from Casual Gameplay (Jayisgames)

Original link: http://www.jayisgames.com/archives/2009 ... oad_74.php
Current link: http://www.jayisgames.com/archives/2009 ... oad_74.php
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20090209094 ... oad_74.php
John Bardinelli wrote: An extra-challenging action/puzzle game that relies on physics and precision movement to lay on the difficulty. You control a hot air balloon (piloted by Rickard, of course) and can toss bombs and use a Deadly Hunting Umbrella to vanquish foes. There are tons of unlockables, including extra game features, new balloons, and unique abilities, all spread out over 100 levels. Certainly more than an afternoon time waster, and you can't beat the price!

User avatar
Ryan
RjB Software
Posts: 453
Joined: October 21st, 2004, 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Afterlife: Rickard's Quest reviews/mentions

Post by Ryan »

Mention of Afterlife: Rickard's Quest (v1.9.1) from CWF-Freeware (Curly's World Of Freeware)

Original link: http://www.curlysworldoffreeware.com/games/view/934
Internet Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20141224173 ... s/view/934
Stiven Nielsen wrote: Unique gameplay. Lots of levels. Lots of of colours. Lots of different enemies and bosses. I've played this game quite a bit.

Post Reply