For those people who have ever wanted to play god, this may be your big chance. Afterlife makes you the Demiurge of a planet, with complete control over how your heaven and hell develop. For good measure, you can also influence events on the planet which sits between your heaven and hell.
Afterlife is a world-building simulation game. You start at year 0 with some money and your two advisors Jasper Wormwood and Aria Goodhalo. You need to build efficient and effective heaven and hell. (Efficiency being a relative matter. Roads that are good for heaven aren't necessarily the best for hell.) There are some tutorials that you can watch, nicely separated into several bits of related content that will help teach you the basics of building heaven and hell. Of course, this is a simulation so there's a lot more that you'll need to discover.
The game also has a lot of complexity. Buildings in the afterlife can and must evolve. However to do so, they need the right conditions. There needs to be a balance for *each* fate structure. Temporary souls need things to do, permanent souls need more things to think about. Vibes close to the building must be good (heaven) or bad (hell). You need to tap into sufficient power sources to enable the buildings to change.
When starting Afterlife, you may choose to either begin an easy, medium or difficult game, or you may load one of four pre-built scenerios. The scenerios are developed games where you have to fix the problems left by the previous demiurge. You should wait until you've developed some degree of proficiency with the game before you load the scenerios.
One of the most important things you need to track is the balance of souls in your fate structures. If the structures are unbalanced, they will no longer evolve. To balance the structures, you can individually check the structures and set a balance or use the macromanager to set all the balances. The first option can get tedious for a large heaven or hell, the second can get very very expensive.
Don't spend all or even most of your money in the early stages of the game. It takes a long time to evolve your afterlife to the point were you'll be making a profit. Even the game manual stresses the point that it takes 1000 years to begin seeing a profit on your afterlife. The key is to start small, get those buildings to evolve and build slowly.
You can lose this game. If you stay in debt too long, if your workers riot and destroy heaven or hell, or if the planet destroys itself in nuclear war, you have lost the game.