Angry Robot

The World Ends With You Not Playing It

I’ve got GTA IV in my filthy little hands and I know my next gaming month will be spent near-exclusively in off-brand NYC, but I wanted to just squeeze out a drop of appreciation for my recent crush, The World Ends With You on the DS. It’s a Japanese RPG, but it’s so positively bursting with new ideas that it feels like an entirely new genre.

It’s set in the modern day, in a real location; combat is real-time and requires use of BOTH stylus and d-pad to control 2 characters at once; you can toggle difficulty settings at any time; brand awareness has gameplay implications; a major theme of the game is gameplay itself, that and urban isolation. Leveling and unlocking new abilities is largely handled through fashion-conscious ‘pins’.

But the thing that’s really blown my mind: your pins level up while you aren’t playing. This is a game that rewards you for not playing it. Yeah, go ahead and marinate on that shit for a while. (And when you come back, your pins will have leveled up.)