World’s End Club
Developer: Too Kyo Games, Grounding
Genre(s): Action/Adventure, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Also available on iOS and Apple Arcade)
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 28/5/21
A code was provided for review purposes
World’s End Club is a puzzle action-adventure game that takes you to the end of the world. Originally launched on Apple Arcade in 2020, the full experience has now landed on the Nintendo Switch. With plenty of ideas and a cast of likeable characters, is World’s End Club a club worth joining?
The story of World’s End Club follows the aptly named Go-Getters Club. This group of middle school students soon find themselves at the end of the world due to a sudden meteor destroying humanity. If that wasn’t bad enough the Go-Getters soon find themselves at the mercy of a mysterious Fairy who wants to “play a little game”.
Trapped within an underground theme park the Go-Getters are pitted against each other in a battle of life and death. The rules are simple. Each person has a wristband that displays a task. The first person to complete their task lives, whilst everyone else is killed. Sounds simple right? Well, the twist is that the wrist band you have on displays a task for someone else. It’s Battle Royale X Saw as the club members unwillingly take part in this game of life and death.
If this section was the whole World’s End Club story then I wouldn’t have had any issues with the story. However, this part is just the beginning. Once the theme park has been successfully navigated it’s then off on a journey of discovery across a destroyed Japan. Everything that made the opening section great – the backstabbing, broken promises, and even the pace – is all thrown out of the window for something that feels completely different.
Gameplay is a very mediocre affair that almost feels like a step backwards rather than forwards. Aside from reading quite a lot of text, you’re also tasked with completing some pretty soul-destroying platforming sections. Throughout these sections, you’re tasked with utilising each club member’s unique talents to navigate the course. While this isn’t normally an issue, these “talents” don’t really affect how the section plays out. Now whether this is due to their design or the level design is up for debate, yet it all feels far too simple to offer any real challenge. Don’t get me wrong World’s End Club isn’t billed as the next Portal, but you rarely have to think to overcome each puzzle.
World’s End Club features an ensemble cast that rivals that seen in Avengers Endgame. With each falling into the classic character traits that have been seen time and time again. Aside from playing out their roles none of the characters had any particular depth to them and I didn’t form any emotional connection with any of “the club”. The second half of the game could have been better if it had a thinned out cast. This could have made the first half’s events more shocking, to then tell an intimate tale as the “survivors” travelled across the ravaged country.
Sound & Vision
One thing that World’s End Club does well is its presentation. The game has an exceptional visual flair that feels very much like an anime. Each of the cast also has a unique look that while falls into the classic anime styles, still feels fresh. While the level design falls into simplicity they’re all very well presented. The underwater sections are brilliant and the setting feels very much like it’s straight out of a sci-fi horror. Voice acting is also very impressive, with both the English and Japanese voice-overs doing a great job in trying to push the shallow story across.
World’s End Club isn’t a bad game, yet it’s not a good one either. It has a great deal that could have made for a compelling experience. However this is marred by some simplistic – yet – frustrating puzzle design, and a weak narrative. As puzzle adventure titles go World’s End Club is fairly short and will take roughly 10-12 hours to finish. This will either leave you with a feeling of wanting more, or thankful that it’s over.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
World’s End Club is available now and can be purchased via the Nintendo Switch eShop by clicking here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.