- Nice dialogues
- Teens with personality
- Incredible story
- Bad gameplay
When World’s End Club appeared on Apple Arcade last year, it was soon clear that the creators behind Zero Escape and Dangaronpa were going in a different direction. Sadistic games were no longer played. It is now the honor of a group of teenagers to take a road trip through Japan and in the meantime find an explanation for the end of time. However, Apple Arcade released an unfinished product. The story ended on a cliffhanger. The Switch version now rounds out this as a full story.
The self-proclaimed Go-Getters Club consists of a group of teenagers who mainly find solace together. While they are on a trip together on the bus, a meteorite hits. They wake up in an undersea theme park. Here the floating clown-like mascot Pielope shows himself to the teenagers. She tells them that they are going to take part in a macabre game. A game that fits the dark industrial soundscape that you hear when you start the game for the first time. A big nod to the earlier work of these creators. After this grim start, the focus shifts to a road trip where the teens will get to know each other better and deeper. In the thirty days of August, they traverse Japan in a search for answers to the situation they find themselves in. The end of the world.
This makes the main part of the game much more light-hearted than the gloomy beginning. You could even class this under the heading ‘child-friendly’, although I do not advise you to let your little brother, sister, son or daughter watch. The story still takes you in different directions, but never really grows up. Sometimes it seems to compromise between an innocent lollipop and an adult stimulant without really taking sides.
The game presents itself as a visual novel with platform elements. The first part predominates here. You will have to deal with a lot of dialogue with a little bit of gameplay here and there. The lyrics are nicely written and give each character its own personality. The connection with the group will become stronger in the course of the adventure and may also strike an emotional chord. The teens think in a very adult way about some of life’s big question marks.
During the road trip there are a number of moments of choice where you get some freedom about part of the story. This feels like an interactive element, but later turns out to be nothing more than a sham. To avoid spoilers, I will not go into this further. It did lead to a frustrating moment later in the game for me, where I was needlessly pulled out of the flow of the story. A story that unfortunately does not last very long. After twelve hours it said I had reached the true ending and the credits rolled across the screen. This includes the portion that previously appeared on Apple Arcade. Those who have played the game here will only be served a second half that, depending on the choices that have been made, lasts shorter than what they have already played.
Also many caveats
In the story your ‘suspense of disbelief’ is seriously tested. A totally exaggerated plot twist or accidental solution is regularly instructed to produce a particular effect. Explanations are sometimes quite far-fetched. I do not rule out that this has to do with my inexperience in the genre. Still, I kept hoping that the group would keep going until the end and not fall apart too much.
Between the narrative pieces are platform sections that rival the worse things I’ve ever played. These moments feel like an unfinished mobile game from ten years ago. Static empty backgrounds with a character in the foreground that usually has to solve a simple puzzle or fight a simple final boss with his / her special ability. In addition, I often saw a Game Over screen here, not because these segments were complicated, but more because the environment did not respond well to my input. Fortunately, this was not a problem as you were never put far back in the already very small gameplay moments. Wrap up quickly and continue with the story was the thought.
The above text is not very positive. I am aware of that. The game is just not very well put together, especially when you compare this with the earlier darker work. Only the characters spring this tenor with verve. I have come to care about the members of the Go Getters club and at one point even had to shed a little tear. After reaching the credits, I can only conclude that I miss them a bit. Only I would have given them a better story and, above all, better gameplay.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted visual novel that introduces you to a club of positive teens, give this a shot. However, if you are looking for a serious and credible story or good gameplay, I would wait for a new child from these creative writers. It’s not a bad game anywhere; it could only have been so much more.