Next Life  
by Danyboy
December 28, 2007

 

The Story

Death was their destiny. They weren´t exceptional, but they still got their second chance.

This is a new dark adventure from the creators of the legendary horror game, Black Mirror, and of the adventure game, Nibiru.

Adam Raichl, a 23 years old technician, gets in his car in a good mood. Although he probably has some dull work ahead of him, he is looking forward to spending the evening with a pleasant companion. "Everything has its price," he thinks to himself.

Adam starts the engine and feels a sharp sting in his head, something like a quick flash of light. It is intense and unpleasant. He hesitates in surprise, shakes his head without understanding, and then pushes the gas pedal aggressively with the hope that the feeling will not repeat itself.

As his GMC quickly takes off, Adam puts on the safety belt and turns up the radio playing rock music. His good mood slowly returns.

The silver GMC quickly heads towards the road leading to Karlovy Vary. The song ends and the radio continues with a debate. "Professor, we will now continue in our debate. What is your opinion concerning the reasons of stress, and its negative implications in our civilization?

Why does everyone talk about historical events as if they just happened yesterday?

Why are mysterious messages hidden all over the island waiting to be discovered?

Why does everyone fall asleep when the bell tower rings three times?

What Adam first thought was a dream turns into a dark, disturbing reality and a thrilling mystery that Adam must untangle if he ever wants to unlock the secrets of Next Life.

Introduction

The introduction video sequence is quite interesting. It gets you right into the mystery, and it makes you want to go further. On the island, you will encounter a bunch of strange people. In real life most of them would be outsiders who wouldn't fit in with others, but in the game they all have a purpose. You play the role of Adam, who, after a deadly car crash, finds himself stuck on a mysterious island in the middle of nowhere with hardly anything to help him on his journey.

Puzzles

There are arcade style and timed sequenced puzzles in the game. You can also die in the game, but there are always second chances that bring you back before the puzzle sequence. I was able to complete two of the three on my own. It took me several attempts and a couple of hours to complete the first one of these, the yellow ball puzzle. The second one, the spinning light puzzle, had me tearing my hair out, and, after a couple of hours, I decided it was time to get a saved game. (Thanks to MaG from Gameboomers who sent it to me!) The third one, the heart puzzle, was much easier for me. After more than fifteen times I succeeded. All the other puzzles are inventory base puzzles.

Graphics and Gameplay

Next Life (Reprobates) is a point and click adventure game. To get into the inventory, you just need to put the cursor at the bottom of the screen, and you can access the main menu by pressing Escape. The left mouse key is the action key, and you press the right mouse key when you want more information about the objects.

At the right of the screen you can see your energy level. When it's too low you need to drink water and/or eat cookies. At one point in the game I was getting tired of always having to feed Adam, so I just stopped. I was able to continue playing until he had to do something physical like climbing or pulling something. At that point the character said, "I'm not strong enough," so I knew it was time to make him eat. After that he was strong enough to do the task.

The graphics are good and, in fact, better than many games these days. When you are on the beach, you are able to see the waves break on the shore. The rain was so realistic that I was almost tempted to use an umbrella at one point. I only wish we would have been able see what was around the island from the top of the mountain.

Hot spots are very often so small and difficult to find that there is some pixel hunting. The island isn't that big, but the developer had this great idea to change the camera angle, and each day you see the island from a different perspective. Close ups of the characters are well done. Eva was a good looking girl! LOL! I wish the developer would use her as the main character in his next game.

Interesting facts about the game:

- After installing the game, you can play without the cd.

- I like games where you are able to make infinite saves like you can in this one.

- If you press the E key on your keyboard, you will be able to see all the possible exits you can take.

- Every time you see sticks or rocks, pick them up because you never know when you will need them.

Music and Sounds

The music is sad, but it fits well with the game. Some of the pieces of music help to build the suspense.

The sound effects are very realistic. They give you the impression of really being there. There is an option to control the volume of the dialogues, and all of the other sounds are controlled with another adjustable button.

Dialogue

There isn't a lot of dialogue, but it is sometimes difficult to understand since most of the characters are from other countries. They have heavy accents, but it is still fun to have so many people from so many different countries. The game give you the option to use subtitles, so I suggest you to use that if you find the accents difficult to understand.

Adam was a bit boring and didn't show a lot of emotion in his voice. Some of his dialogues were also repetitive. However, listen carefully to what Adam says because sometimes he gives clues about what your next step should be.

Bugs and/or patches

The game froze at one point, and I got stuck behind a pillar at the construction site. I had to restore the game using a previous saved game.

Computer specifications

Minimal requirements:

Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP/Vista™
CPU Speed: 1.5 GHz Pentium® 4 Processor
Memory: 768 MB RAM
Disk Space: 4.0 GB
CD/DVD-ROM: 16x
Video Card: 64 MB DirectX® 9 Compatible Video Card
Sound: 16 bit DirectX® 9 Compatible
Input: Mouse, Keyboard and Speakers

Recommended Configuration:

Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP/Vista™
CPU Speed: 2.5 GHz Pentium® 4 Processor or Higher
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Disk Space: 4.0 GB
CD/DVD-ROM: 16x
Video Card: 128 MB DirectX® 9 Compatible Video Card with Shader Model 2.0
Sound: 16 bit DirectX® 9 Compatible
Input: Mouse, Keyboard and Speakers

My computer specifications

Windows XP
RAM: 1024 MB
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00 GHz Processor
Disk Space : 16.63 GB
DirectX 9.0c

Closing statement

A lot of questions went unanswered at the end of the game, and I found it kind of frustrating. The game started with an excellent story, and I think some parts should have been developed a bit more. Some of the puzzles were interesting, including two of the three arcade style puzzles. Some of the other characters had an interesting story to tell, and I wish I would have been able to learn more from them. The ending was predictable, but since a lot of questions were not answered, there might be an opening for a second game. I liked the second part of the game much better than the first. It was easier to concentrate on the game when the arcade puzzles were done. There is no need to worry if you're not good with these kinds of puzzles; saved games will be posted here at the Manor.

Official Websites:

Next Life (Reprobates)

The Adventure Company

Back to Conservatory
Mystery Manor Home