Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Ever wonder what would happen if you were to be put into a scenario where you were kidnapped, brought to an unknown facility and forced to kill people in order to survive…?
Oh, wait.. I’m being informed that that’s already been made into a video game. But, hey! Why not re-create that scene with a new cast of characters and—
Hello? What do you mean that’s also been done? WELL TOO BAD! WE’RE GOING TO PLAY THAT TROPE AGAIN!
LET’S GO! GO-GETTERS CLUB!?
World’s End Club is a puzzle action-adventure game that was developed by Too Kyo Games and published by IzanagiGames. With the brilliant mind behind the company that brought us the Danganronpa and Zero Escape series, comes a game that settles on a more docile tone of being trapped and abandoned against your will. The game was originally released for the Apple and Android platform, back in 2020, and was given the ‘Go-Ahead’ to port over to the Nintendo Switch in 2021.
We begin our plot-line on a school bus where 6th graders, who are part of a club called the Go-Getters, are excited to take a trip to the big city of Tokyo. However, their trip is cut short by a giant meteor that hits Japan, sending everyone on the bus flying. Dazed and confused, our group of rambunctious pre-teens wake up in an underwater theme park. There, they are met by a strange mascot, called Pielope, who declares that if they wish to escape, they must complete their required task on their new-found wrist band. But, there’s a twist: they don’t have their own tasks, they have another group members task instead. Will they work together to escape, or will only one survive?
That… Is what I’d like to say, but that story is short lived. After about an hour of game play the game opens up to the real part of the story. Survival is still a key element in this apocalyptic world, as well as the power of teamwork and strange phenomenal powers.
The main character is the silent protagonist type and every decision you make will shape the outcome of the story. The party likes to split up A LOT during the course of the game so get ready to play Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Moe. It usually starts with an argument about which city or town they wanna travel to next, they banter back and forth until they look to you (The protag) for the final verdict. Once you’ve chosen which group you’d like to chill with the others will feel the hurt of your rejection and hobble off towards their desired location. This gives the game a bit of replay value if you’re ever curious to see what would have happened if you chose to follow Group B over Group A.
As mentioned before, this game has some puzzle solving situations. You’ll come across dead ends or hard-to-reach places that will require you to push blocks to help boost you up to the next level. Nothing outright crazy that you’ll have to scratch your brain over it. Their pretty simplistic and obvious. If you find that building blocks aren’t cutting it, don’t worry, each character in the game has a ‘Hidden Power’ that’ll unlock the further the story progresses. You’ll find that the main characters power (Super Strength) will be used more often than the others. When your other teammates unlock their powers they seem to be specifically used for that moment in the story and that’s it. It’s… a little underwhelming. If you find that you can’t remember who does what you can enter the pause menu and it’ll help keep track of everyone’s ability or (For the earlier game-play) keep track for their task.
There aren’t that many enemies that you encounter in the game, and they tend to wiggle left and right in place and are nothing more then a minor obstacle in your path. There are scripted boss fights at the end of each level that tend to focus on your club-mates new powers. Please note that in this game you have 1 HP, which means one wrong move will result in a game over. But don’t worry, this game has an auto-save feature that’ll place you right back before the scene of the event. The game will keep tabs on your current location and story by branching out on the map that tracks your movement as you travel across Japan. Different sections of the story will be labelled as Acts, (Which are the playable sections) Story (a chunk of dialogue heavy scenes) and Camp (Where you can interact with your individual Go-Getters members).
Wanna Check out my Sticker Collection?
While running through the levels you’ll come across shiny spots. These spots are indicators that tell you that a collectible sticker is nearby. There are two kinds you can find: Normal stickers and Rare stickers. You’ll automatically run into Normal stickers as you play through the game, however the Rare ones will require you to do a little something extra to make them appear. For example, taking down a number of enemies or not having to reset a puzzle. Collecting these stickers won’t reward you with anything except bragging rights, so collect at your own risk.
Checking out the Cute Artwork
The first thought that came to mind when I saw this game was how ‘Chibi-like’ everyone looks. With skinny limbs, large heads and a cute colour palette that pops for each character, no two are the same. The art is VERY basic in this title, but that’s not necessarily bad. Sometimes a character with long blond hair and a white dress can be refreshing. The environment is littered with overgrowth to give you that ‘You’re all that’s left in this world’ feel. Movable objects will also stand out as they are coloured differently than the background, just in case you needed help in figuring out where to go next.
To conclude, if you’re looking for something with a slower, less life-threatening pace, lots of laugh and fun friendly banter, with a pinch of side scrolling action then World’s End Club is your Go-To. It may be lacking in game-play department and it won’t make you sweat buckets, like Ronpa or Zero Escape, but it makes it up with a great narrative, great characters, and really catchy music. I’m giving this game a 7 out of 10. “Go! Go! Go! Go-Getters, will never fall apart!”Score: 7 / 10