Nintendo Nintendo Switch

The World's End Club Harkens Back To Danganronpa Times

World's End Club Splash Screen
Courtesy of Too Kyo Games/Grounding

World's End Club

Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: May 28, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Let The Killing Games Begin! (Except Not Really!)

World’s End Club is a Switch title developed by Too Kyo Games in collaboration with Grounding released earlier this year, with the two developers mentioned being special ones to note as both devs have been known for two very distinct titles of different genres. In terms of the former, Too Kyo Games consists of former members of Spike Chunsoft, including most of the staff from Danganronpa and the director of the Zero Escape games. Grounding consists of the main developer of the Panzer Dragoon series, at least the first three games on the Sega Saturn.

The creative minds behind an over-the-top first-person survival game that spawned an entire franchise and an over-the-top on-rails shooter that also spawned a franchise joined forces to create a rather unique experience. It’s like having chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream for the first time and not realizing that all three of those things blended well together. It’s a thought that sounds very promising on paper but can easily go wrong in execution.

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World's End Club - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

World’s End Club Features A Unique Take On Survival Platformer

After a very brief intro sequence, the game goes back in time before the events that lead up to the prologue, to begin with. To explain what happens in the opening segment of the game, the “Go-Getter’s Club” consisting of a ragtag group of kids are traveling through a chaotic environment. Eventually, they come across a giant eldritch abomination of a monster and are all promptly erased after attempting to attack said monster, leading to an entire “in medias res” scenario as to how we got here in the first place.

It all starts with a class trip, featuring a movie playing on a bus where the main antagonist, Pielope, taunts the students and tells them the rules of a killing---task game, which is immediately passed off as “weird” being that this is a movie the class is watching on their way to a field trip. However, as fate would have it, the class ends up in a bus accident and ultimately are all found in an underwater theme park, where the same antagonist from the movie shows itself and places the team in a similar killing game---TASK game.

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World's End Club - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

In The World’s End Club, Don’t Trust Anyone

For this part of the game, everyone has someone’s tasks written on their bracelet, and whoever does the task as requested will win a key that will allow them to escape the area, dooming everyone else in the process. Players who fail to accomplish their tasks will be eliminated, abducted, and discarded via a trash compactor robot. Immediately, the class begins to turn on each other with several members of the class realizing that some of the students aren’t their normal selves. 

This is also how players can easily gain one of the quickest Game Overs in the game by being too trusting of others. The protagonist, Reycho, is confronted immediately by one of the older students, coincidentally named Aniki. Aniki proposes an alliance to Reycho and team up to get to the end of the task game, granting the victor to Reycho instead. Dangan Ronpa savvy players should already have several red flags blaring in their head as this is the kind of talk that someone who will stab you in the back will say. 

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World's End Club - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Puzzles And Visual Novel Elements Clash In World’s End Club

The game will even pick up on said players, lulling them to a false sense of security by halting their progress should they avoid the situation entirely, giving them the illusion that they must talk to Aniki to progress. Of course, doing so only leads Reycho swiftly punched in the face as Aniki mocks you for your naivety, resulting in a Game Over. Cheap ways to score a Game Over this way comes in many forms and it becomes almost a game within itself to discover how many ways you can meet a bad end with some scenarios more hilarious than others.

This sequence serves as the game’s “tutorial” level so to speak, while also keeping the same energy as Danganronpa  The diverse cast of characters ranging from a jock, a nerd, an introverted gamer, and a calculating beauty girl are all present in World’s End Club which wouldn’t feel out of place in Danganronpa

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World's End Club - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Classic 2D Platformers And Quirky Antagonists

Even Reycho has some elements of Naegi, the protagonist of the first game, with his sense of justice and wanting to do the right thing for everyone’s sake. Pielope is Monokuma if they were fused with the weird cat antagonists from Klonoa 2 which is a throwback in itself and as I already hinted several times, the “task game” is basically Danganronpa’s “Killing Game.”

I hadn’t mentioned too much of the gameplay because from first impressions, it’s not too much in the way of what is accessible for the protagonist. You run and jump, interact with items, and solve puzzles. One of the early puzzles is preventing one of your classmates from riding a Ferris Wheel, so you fill a bucket with water and push the bucket onto a conveniently placed open wire, shutting off the generator for the Ferris Wheel. I’m sure as the game progresses, intricate puzzles will be required to solve. However, I’m also certain that there is more to this game than meets the eye of a simple “killing game,” at least from the prologue alone.

World's End Club Gameplay 1
World's End Club - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

World’s End Club Has More To Show For It

Overall, the colorful art style, the diverse cast of characters, and the premise give nostalgia towards Too Kyo Games’ earlier works. Saying “nostalgia” is pretty alarming as the realization settles that Danganronpa is over a decade old, giving true meaning to the term “time flies.”

 Maybe this will be something I’ll tackle in the future as a full review as the characters and premise, alongside the presentation that Too Kyo Games is known for, is engaging enough for me.

World’s End Club is available on the Nintendo Switch.

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