Title: WILL: A Wonderful World
Developer: Circle Ent.
Publisher: Numskull Games
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 18/10/2018
Price: £13.69 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
WILL: A Wonderful World grabbed me right from the unusual title, though you don’t learn its true meaning until the very end. You wake up in a bedroom as a girl named Myth, who has forgotten her memories. A dog called Willy greets you and tells you that you are both Gods, and must help humans by changing their actions, therefore their fate. This is where you meet a variety of colourful characters, with equally as emotional stories.
The Butterfly Effect
You receive letters from the humans where they pray for your help, and you have to rearrange sections to alter the turn of events. You will either have just one person’s letter, or you can have multiple, using sections from each one and switching them between each person. Your aim is to get the best possible scenario or an ‘S’ rating in every person, so you can unlock the next part of the story.
The controls are simple, using the A button to select a piece of text and using the joystick to move them around. What isn’t so simple and can be overwhelming is some more features which get introduced over time. Sometimes sections of the letters can only be put in a certain order, or can’t be swapped to another person. Other times you may actually have to get a low rating to unlock another timeline, so you have to go back and change an event.
Luckily, Willy will tell you when a new feature is introduced, and you can revisit his explanations in the help section of the menu. I found it became easier and more natural as I went along! I really enjoyed the concept of seeing how the order of things affects the outcome, and how the smallest things alter the future. Not only that but how a change could negatively affect one person and positively affect another.
Some of the letters and their puzzles could be more difficult than others. For example, one you had to send a code in Morse and work out what was needed to be said in the code. There was a guide to refer to thankfully, but it still took me a while to work out what exactly I had to spell. Also, a lot of the time the sections of text weren’t exactly what would happen in the outcome, which made it a little trickier and misleading. Other times though, it wasn’t hard to complete and you could even guess the order, so it was an acceptable level of difficulty.
A Visual Novel
The letters themselves are told as a story, so if you don’t like reading this isn’t the game for you! You can either manually make the next line of the story appear by pressing A or have it run automatically. Each story is accompanied by a coloured background and a silhouette of the character. Occasionally, there will be some artwork in a manga style so you can get a better view of what the characters look like and an illustration of the scene.
I love a manga/anime style and this was no exception! The beautiful artwork captured the emotions of the characters and had detailed backgrounds, with aesthetically pleasing colour palettes and attention to lighting. Each character also has their own set of soundtracks which fit particular scenes and atmospheres. You can even revisit the artwork and soundtrack in the extras section of the menu.
Sound effects would also play throughout the telling of the story, such as doors creaking, screaming, or birds tweeting. When a person passed out or died, the screen would slowly fade to black too. There were also highlighted words which would give you some context to their meaning when you clicked on them. All of these visual and audio features combined were effective and immersive.
Twists and Turns
What pulled me out of the immersion a little was the writing itself. Many of the things that happened are overly dramatic, therefore not so realistic. This caused me to be reminded that I was playing a game, making me less invested in the story and the characters. There were also some sections which were worded weirdly and numerous typos, which is probably due to the game being translated into English.
Nevertheless, I was eager to find out what happened to the humans and their stories were intense. They were maybe a little too dark and intense for me, actually. There’s a lot of NSFW content and gory/graphic moments; people would die in some horrific ways in some endings, which thankfully you could change in the best endings. Women were frequently beaten or raped, limbs were blown off, people were drugged. Now, I’m not someone who is squeamish so it wasn’t as much the content, but the amount of it. It was filled with misery and happy moments were rare!
Something else that was off-putting was the treatment of women throughout the stories. As mentioned, there are numerous occasions of rape and beatings, with women being used for trafficking too. Every character was subjected to some terrible things and one of the female characters, Alicia, is pretty badass. But it seemed like every time a woman was introduced it was about how beautiful and attractive they were. There’s a student teacher relationship and a girl is stalked, but they’re treated as romantic or forgotten about, instead of as seriously as they should be.
I wasn’t offended per se, but as a woman myself, it was off-putting. However, I still liked the variety of characters and their dynamics. It explored a brother and sister separated, two policemen and even a cat! It was as if the game knew I loved cats and was intent on breaking my heart by putting him intense situations. The stories were all emotional, exciting and intense. I hated getting the bad endings for the characters, not wanting to make their lives more traumatic than they already were!
In the World of the Gods
What I loved the most about this game was the second storyline not about the humans, but Myth and Will themselves. There are so many questions raised right from the beginning; why has Myth forgotten her memories and is Willy telling the truth? I was incredibly curious to uncover the mystery. Myth finds out more secrets and suspicions are raised slowly throughout. It was fun to go from the already exciting events of the humans to getting closer to discovering the truth about Myth.
I never would have guessed what would be revealed; it was very creative and imaginative, if not a little far fetched. I love stories that keep me guessing and drop a bombshell that I couldn’t possibly have worked out. Despite the emotional and unsettling moments, the whole game did keep me hooked and in the fifteen hours it took me to complete the game, I didn’t get bored.
Once you’ve completed the game, you can revisit the same save and discover any endings you might have missed, as well as achievements. I think replaying the entire game again would be strenuous considering it’s fairly long, but the collectables give you a reason to come back. Of course, you can also pop on to solely listen to the soundtrack or browse the art.
And I Think To Myself…
Overall, I perhaps like the concept of the game a little more than its writing. However, it’s definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of visual novels or manga, or stories involving meddling with time. The stories will stick with me, and for the time spent on the game, it is well worth the price.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase WILL: A Wonderful World from the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/WILL-A-Wonderful-World-1456186.html#gameDetails