If you HAD to kill one of five people how would you pick your victim? Would you get to know them first? Would you change your mind after meeting them and maybe swaying the way they carry themselves and the way they deal with the world? Unbound Creation’s Postmortem puts you in the position of making this choice. How well does it all come together? Let’s do a *postmortem* on my time with the game. (Yes, that was terrible. Shutup.)
In Postmortem, you are Death. Your task is to attend a fundraiser in the industrial age country of Galicia and kill one of five party goers with different personalities, financial statuses, and stances on the civil war raging in the country. You can learn as much or as little about the world and story as you want as you play through the game. Most of the background information to the story is leaned through reading the newspapers and encyclopedia entries strewn about the party that give players a closer look into the world of Galicia.
Postmortem‘s gameplay is more reminiscent of a visual novel than anything since most of your time is spent reading. Whether it be the myriad of conversation choices or newspaper cutouts, reading and picking your response to conversations is the extent of gameplay. Characters will react differently to how you respond to their questions and what stances you take on issues important to them. Talking to one of characters, they even noticed when I gave contradicting answers and called me out on it. Pestering characters with the same questions repeatedly can even close off further dialogue options since they get annoyed and refuse to answer questions.
An entire playthrough can take anywhere from around 30 seconds to about an hour. The length depends on how thorough you want to be uncovering all the details of the party goers and the world they live in. This short playtime can be attributed to the multiple endings that you can get depending on who you kill, what (if any) advice you give them, and whether or not you solve a mystery that has been disturbing the people of Galicia for a while. The short playtime and multiple endings make you want to play it over an over to see all the different endings. After each game, you can even check the online stats to see what other gamers chose a la Telltale Games and see whether or not you made the right choice in the court of public opinion.
As a whole, Postmortem is very well put together but is held back from greatness by only a few details. The biggest mark against this game is how empty the party the game takes place in feels. You have five people to pick from and there are only five people at this party. It makes the world feel emptier than it should with the tense civil war going on right outside the walls of the party. The sound mixing troubles mix into this because the ambient noise that plays makes it sound like there are hundreds of people in attendance. The background music doesn’t loop properly and there will be periods of time where there will be nothing playing.
While you can download the base game for free on the Postmortem site, Postmortem‘s Extended Cut is currently on sale on Steam for $3.49 and adds another potential victim, 16-bit sprites, and other bonus materials. You can also name your own price to purchase the extended cut directly from the Postmortem site here. With the cheap price, multiple endings to work towards and discover, and deep dialogue options, Postmortem is worth digging into.
[+Multiple endings with no real “good” ending] [+Intelligent NPCs who can stop answering your questions if you annoy them] [+High replayability] [+Price more than worth the experience] [-Sound mixing could use work] [-As detailed and populated as Galicia is there are only five NPCs]