Worlds End Club (Switch)
Worlds End Club is the newest title published by NIS America. It is developed by Too Kyo Games and Grounding. The game was worked on by many members of the Danganronpa team, meaning it definitely has influence from the series, particularly in the opening hour or so. It released in early access through Apple Arcade in September 2020 and the complete version of the game released on Nintendo Switch on 28th May 2021.
The plot of the game follows a group of students who, while on a field trip, see a meteor fall from the sky. They then wake up in an underwater theme park and are forced to play a “Game of Fate”, where each character needs to complete a task but another character is the only one who knows that task. While I think the games story is best experienced blind due to the games focus on narrative and it gradually revealing the plot , it’s worth noting that the game of fate is only the opening hour of the game and the majority of the game on the surface of Japan rather than the underwater theme park.
The story of the game has plenty of mysteries that slowly get unraveled throughout the game. The cast of characters are a highlight of the game, they each have their own distinct personalities that can make for some entertaining interactions between them. At certain points in the story, you are given a choice between 2 options that can influence the story by splitting up the cast into two groups. This adds a nice bit of replay value to the game. Overall the games narrative and characters are definitely the main focus of the game and creates an intriguing story with likable characters.
The gameplay itself is fairly simple. The game is split into 3 types of stages: Act, Camp or Story. The Act stages are where the majority of the gameplay is. These levels are side scrollers with some puzzle elements. Throughout the plot of the game, each character gets abilities that help you solve the puzzles in the game. In general these abilities are fun to use. Despite this, the puzzles aren’t particularly difficult to solve. Finding hidden sticker collectibles is where the game offers more challenge, they are well hidden throughout these levels.
Being a narrative focused game, the gameplay is obviously not the main focus but it is a good way to expand on the games world and characters. The camp stages are where you can talk to the games cast, this really helps develop the characters and fleshes out the personalities and motivations of the characters. The story stages are self-explanatory, they serve to advance the story in a more focused way.
The game is presented with vibrant anime styled visuals that make the game feel like an interactive anime. The visual style feels perfect for the game and fit in well with the games world and characters. The game also has some manga style art for key moments in the game. These look fantastic and really add to the moment in the game. The different areas of the game feel distinct from one another while still maintaining the overarching theme of the games world. This adds a lot to the games feel of an adventure. Overall I feel the games presentation is good and makes the game more interesting to play.
The games soundtrack is full of catchy songs that end up stuck in your head. The soundtrack is just as cheerful as the visuals, setting the tone for the game well. The game features both Japanese and English dubbing, both of which are excellent and bring the characters to life well.
Overall, Worlds End Club is a charming game with an interesting story with a great cast. However the gameplay can be fairly unengaging at times, but it thankfully doesn’t take away from the games overall experience too much.
Worlds End Club is a charming adventure with a fantastic cast and story that is occasionally held back by simple gameplay.
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