Your Last Train Ride
What Comes After? Is a charming little side scrolling game that follows the main character, Vivi, on a train ride to the afterlife. The story kicks off with Vivi rushing onto a train, talking to a few random passengers and trying to find a seat. Only to do what many of us have done before and fall asleep on the train. When she opens her eyes, she realises that she’s not in Kansas anymore. With the help of a few people, she learns that she has somehow jumped aboard a train transporting the deceased to what comes after (pun Intended).
The game starts by getting you to talk to people’s ghosts, to either discover how they managed to be in this situation or to try and add some comfort before they arrive at their… “destination”. And maybe, just maybe, Vivi will learn something about herself. Let’s be honest here, once you get started, the gameplay never really moves away from the side scrolling aspect. The only part that evolves is the story which keeps getting a little more interesting the deeper you go. In saying this though there are a couple things I didn’t expect.
What surprised me the most is that you meet more than just humans aboard the train. You find yourself talking to not only people, but animals and plants as well. And oh man, the animals are cute. I thought this was interesting especially to view death from the perspective of the animals and plants. Not to mention that most of the plant life had rather salty attitudes due to feeling neglected and overlooked whilst they were alive. I wonder if they are trying to make a subtle point.
3 Main Characters
Apart from being able to talk to almost everyone and everything, there are 3 main characters to converse with that give you more than the average 2 second conversation. The Baby, The Old Tree and The cat that sits on your lap. These three are the more meaningful characters and are brought in to really stir up those emotions. None of these were my favourite though. My favourite character was the chef, because he comes out with some of the best lines in the game.
This game does a really good job pulling at your heartstrings. However, it loses a little bit with its dialogue. Maybe I’m being a little nit-picky but the conversations occasionally felt off with grammatical errors and incomplete sentences. Not to mention the main gist of the story was a little too direct, almost to the point where it felt forced. To be fair though, this is the only blemish in an otherwise very enjoyable game.
Music and Art Style
The music and art style for What Comes After were perfect, especially the music. Now are they the best I have ever experienced….. No. But they are exactly what they need to be. The visual presentation is adorable and really played into the side scrolling gameplay. Plus, with the game trying to play with your feelings all the time, it is so hard to not shed a tear when listening to how an adorable puppy passed away. Now from the very second you get onto the menu screen the music sets the whole tone of the game. It does an amazing job of feeling quite pulled back and simplistic while also having an eerie overtone to play into what the game is all about.
What Comes After Story
Now an important aspect of a serious story is to have comical moments, to break up the tension. This game does a great job of that as well. With little comments from passengers to, jokes from the chef, to the attitudes of the plants. You’re definitely in for at least a chuckle.
What’s important to note, is that even though it has comedy, the story never really stirs away from the point it’s making…. Life is special, so don’t throw it away. It really tries to show that life matters while also tackling a serious issue that affects many people today. Not to mention that when you get to the end of the game you can’t help but get a little emotional.
All in all, this game is definitely worth a playthrough. If you can look past some of the dialogue and the pushy nature of the story you will enjoy this game for what it is. A short beautiful story about how important life is while also showing that death is not the end. You will laugh, you will cry and most of importantly you will love Chef.
Reviewed By Dillon Van Der Putten
This game does a really good job in most areas. Music, art design and story. There are a couple of questionable aspects like the pushy nature of the dialogue. However this does not spoil the whole experience. You will still enjoy this game as it takes you on a couple hour journey of laughter and tears while you converse with those who are moving on.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Flynn’s Arcade. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.