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World End Syndrome Switch Review

5 min read
World End Syndrome is a textbook example of being noteworthy just because it does everything well.

The world ends with us.

What They Say: world end syndrome switch review

When you move from a big city to your uncle’s mansion in a seaside town called “Mihate”, you hope to start a new life. But then you meet five mysterious girls and start to notice strange incidents occurring. Depending on how you spend the summer with your new friends, the world will significantly change…


World End Syndrome is a seemingly innocuous visual novel that hides a dark and great story if you can get past the initially misleading paths. In it, you star as a nameable protagonist who just moved to the small oceanside town of Mihate and are living with your cousin Maimi.

From the start, World End Syndrome makes it clear that there is something amiss in the town of Mihate. The titular World End Syndrome is a book that is about an old legend that says that every 100 years, a zombie will awaken in the town of someone who is dead and they will begin to kill people.

To make matters worse, the hero you play as has just experienced the loss of his sister prior to moving to the town. As such, you play as a more somber hero that has surprisingly a bit of personality compared to most visual novel protagonists, even if he isn’t the most likable person.

world end syndrome switch review

Though the initial premise of World End Syndrome gives off that excellent Higurashi vibe, it oddly seems to drop it in favor of going the cliche romantic comedy visual novel route for the majority of the game. This isn’t a spoiler at all but the game forces you to experience a bad ending early on in order to continue the plot past it.

It’s an interesting plot point that reminds me of 999 but never quite reaches its levels of greatness in storytelling. This is because, outside of the bad ending, it’s quite a long time until you really start to delve into the mystery surrounding the town of Mihate.

Don’t get me wrong, the game and its characters never stop bringing up the World End Syndrome book and the legend but it never feels like anything other than a plot excuse for you to join a school club that is filled with the five main girls, the hot teacher, and your comedic male best friend.

Sound familiar to you? It should if you’ve played any girl-focused visual novel, well, ever. The crux of the game is picking how you will spend your time during the day and what places you’ll visit. This will determine who you’ll hang out with and which of the five girls you will romance during your playthrough.

world end syndrome switch review

For the most part, it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the majority of other visual novels out there beyond its great quality. Everything from the presentation to the characters to the side content is done exceedingly well. Starting with the presentation, this is one of the best looking visual novels I’ve ever played.

With art from the famed artist Yuki Kato behind the Blazblue series, you won’t find many visual novels that can rival this one in terms of excellent character and world designs. You’re going to be seeing a lot of the same characters and backgrounds as you spend dozens of hours with this game but it never gets old with the sharp, gorgeous visuals and animations that keep the game so alive compared to other games like this one.

As for the characters themselves, you have the typical archetypes that you’d expect. The mysterious quiet girl, the tsundere relative, the cute and awkward girl with glasses, and so on. Oddly enough, though, this is one of the few visual novels I’ve ever played where I was interested in all of the main girls both in their looks and personalities.

They each start pretty cookie cutter but it’s through the solid writing that each girls shines in her own routes. It helps that the game is like this because I highly recommend you play through all five girls’ routes. If you don’t, you will miss out on the true purpose of this game as well as its important true ending.

What did bother me about World End Syndrome is the repetition and annoyance of some of the girls’ paths. For one, at least two of the girls do little to advance the overarching plot about the town’s legend and focus more on their individual backstory. This was frustrating to me considering how much time it took to get to their endings but they’re worth it nonetheless. They are still interesting and well written but it does suck that they mostly disregard what’s happening behind the scenes.

world end syndrome switch review

As for the main story itself, it does an okay job of dropping little hints here and there that snowball as you play through each of the five endings. It begins to open up more and more until you get the true ending in which the full story is revealed to you. It has some good twists that I didn’t expect but it’s nothing too amazing.

What makes World End Syndrome worth playing is just how great it is across the board. In a lot of ways, it’s the jack of all trades and master of none. Instead of opting for a phenomenal story that is unforgettable, it goes for a solid one that is coupled with great characters, beautiful art, and great writing. In all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with this at all and it made me enjoy what was there. More importantly, it has me excited for a potential sequel where it could dive much more into the mysterious elements.

In Summary:

World End Syndrome is a textbook example of being noteworthy just because it does everything well. Though the story and the five girls’ paths don’t do too much to stand out, Arc System Works and Toybox’s dedication to making the writing, characters, and art so consistently high quality across the board make this game shine. It can be repetitive and frustrating but it gives me massive hope for a sequel or another visual novel from the developers that can build upon this must-play game for fans of mystery and romantic visual novels.

Grade: B

Developer: Arc System Works, Toybox

Publisher: Arc System Works, PQube

Age Rating: 17+

Release Date: June 14th, 2019 (Europe)

MSRP: $39.99, £34.99

Platform: Switch (reviewed), PS4

This review was done with a review copy provided by the publisher. We are grateful for their continued support.