October 18th, 1897
The country is in turmoil; citizens confused and concerned about its future, rioting, terrorizing, and uncertain of who is really on their side. Amid the chaos, a charity event is being held gathering a group of people from all walks of life and world views. One of them is going to die, and you are going to decide who.
Postmortem places you in the role of death, harbinger of destruction and reaper of souls, with the soul task of attending a gala and choosing who's time has come. You aren't told why you have to kill someone or what reason they may have for deserving to die, but there isn't time for you to inquire as the decision is ultimately on your head regardless.
In a medium that so often features exorbitant amounts of murdering, rarely with even a slight hint as to its moral or physical impact, it's unusual and maybe even a little unnerving to have such an emphasis placed on taking a single life. Part of that is the characters you meet aren't the usual diabolical warlord or incarnation of evil we are so often put up against; they're just people, flawed but likable individuals who you get to know rather personally over the course of your brief exchanges. It's fair to say that Postmortem isn't much of a game, it's a character study aimed to bring your biases and personal feelings to the surface, which ultimately is what will hold the most influence on your inevitable choice.
Feminism, radical industrialism, conflicts of interest between the rich and the poor, and complex political struggles all come into play as you mingle with guests and try to get at their aspirations and motives as well as putting your (occasionally unwanted) word in. All of these play a role in the outcome, which often goes quite unaccording to plan with threads intertwining and actions having unforeseen consequences. It's a fascinating tangle of subplots that works with subject matter not traditionally seen in games, that aside from the sometimes bizarrely candid way it's presented, is handled smartly and intelligently to form a plot that despite typically having no interest in politics I was completely absorbed in.
If there is anything I have to fault Postmortem for, it's that for what you are paying you aren't getting much more than you can find for free on the developers website. While the art is improved and some content added, this is still a 1-2 hour game with only marginal replay value if you want to quickly run through the alternate endings, that feels a tad costly all things considered.
If you can forgive the price, Postmorten is an engrossing and quite original reversal of the classic murder mystery. The writing subverts many of the usual drab political terminology, leaving an easily ingested script that's all the same requires a good bit of thought do to its heavy nature and implications on your actions. If your adverse to reading I'll advise you to turn the other way, but those intrigued by the concept would do well to check it out as what you'll find is a developed and intriguing tale that offers some food for thought as you have tea and biscuits with your lovely secretary.