Game: WILL: A Wonderful World
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: WMY Studio
Publisher: CIRCLE Entertainment
Age Rating: 16+ (UK & EU) | 17+ (US)
Price: £13.69 | €14,99| $14.99
Release Date: 18th October 2018
(The game is also available on PC)
Review Code kindly provided by CIRCLE Entertainment
Who am I?
It’s bad enough to lose your memory and have to piece your life back together, but to be a God with the ability to change the fate of humans as well; now that’s a whole other challenge!
About the Game
WILL: A Wonderful World is a brilliant visual novel, with puzzle elements that have several results which affect multiple characters’ fates. However, it does cover some serious and sensitive topics that would have a negative affect on some players – human trafficking, child abuse, suicide, murder,etc – certainly a game for “mature” audiences that are not negatively affected by such topics.
Rest assured though; it does have lighthearted moments and it’s not all doom and gloom – especially if you change the characters’ fates to be more positive.
You start off the game with a female character being woken up by a talking dog, and discovering that not only has she lost her memory; but she is also a God! On top of that, the humans are contacting her about situations in their life and hoping for assistance in changing their fate – no pressure!
The Gods receive the requests from the humans in the form of a letter, they then switch portions of the text from one letter to the other; making the outcome/fate change for the characters (hopefully) for the better. Although the humans may have simply wished/prayed to the God using speech, it is (somehow) transcribed onto a letter and into the language which the God (the player) can understand – convenient!
WILL: A Wonderful World plays out as a visual novel for each character’s story/situation that they have sent. Each one is accompanied with music and sound affects to set the tone and create atmosphere; making it more interesting and engaging for the reader.
There is also an auto play feature; allowing you to sit back and read as it scrolls through the text for you – which is nice while having a cuppa. However, there is no option to adjust the speed and it is pretty quick; resulting in text being skipped without being read by the player – hopefully the developers will release a patch to fix the speed, or include a speed adjustment option in the future.
After reading the letters the characters have sent, the player is able to rearrange portions of text from both letters. Each time text is moved, it can affect the fate of a character; which is where the puzzle element comes into play.
There are hints and clues in the letters (and in some of the outcomes) to help the player piece together a more preferred result. Figuring out how to achieve a particular outcome isn’t always easy, but you can retry as much as you like – fun for those that like “what if?” scenarios and finding out their possible results.
The life of one; affects so many
There are many outcomes to a situation; some disastrous, while others are far more positive and happy. It’s up to the player to choose what to do with the requests from the humans, and whether they want to leave them with a positive fate, or a negative one.
Each outcome is given a rank and provides a little incentive for the player to retry scenarios; ‘Rank S’ is the one to aim for as that is seen as the most preferable outcome for that character.
Although you may obtain ‘Rank S’ for one character, the other ones involved in the scenario/situation, may only have an E ranking or even be rated ‘Bad’ (no ranking). To get ‘Rank S’ for all characters involved is where it becomes even more puzzling. The player has to work out which texts and what order is the most beneficial for the characters; it becomes more like detective work, having to consider all the information from letters as well as the outcomes already achieved.
The game also has two modes: Normal and Lunatic.
- Normal mode has key information highlighted; to help players focus on what is important in the letters. “Suitable for players who are not familiar with this type of game.”
- Lunatic mode has no key information highlighted; to provide an extra challenge for the player. “Suitable for players who have natural gifts in logic and deduction.”
WILL: A Wonderful World uses the joy cons and has (limited) touch screen functionality – you can only select a few items using the touch screen. It was surprising (and a little disappointing) that the touch screen capabilities were rather lacking, as the game suggests having a cup of coffee while playing; so using the touch screen would be far better than using the analogs and buttons on the joy cons – an opportunity missed I think!
Artwork & Soundtrack
I really can’t fault the artwork; full of depth and detail where needed (adjusted to suit the tone of a scenario) and the lighting/shading adds weight as well as atmosphere. Certain segments are animated, but even the still images are dynamic due to the angles and the brush/line work used to create the images – it’s brilliant!
The game’s soundtrack suits the scenarios; evoking emotions that work perfectly with the situation being described – they really add to the experience and are great to listen to outside of the game too.
As mentioned above, WILL: A Wonderful World has brilliant artwork and a great soundtrack; so I was happy to see an option to listen to the soundtrack, as well as be able to view artwork from the game. Progressing through the game unlocks more tracks and artwork, with the player having the option of having a track on repeat, all repeated, or have the game shuffle through them randomly – great for when you want to listen to the tracks again and while having a break from the main game.
There are also achievements that can be unlocked (good for those that like obtaining achievements), as well as a “Dictionary” which saves certain words from letters that some players may not be familiar with.
WILL: A Wonderful World is currently £13.69 on the Switch’s eShop, while £10.99 on Steam – the price seems fair on both platforms. I think £2.70 more for the Switch version isn’t too bad when considering the portability it offers.
The art and soundtrack are top quality. I love being able to listen to the tracks and view the artwork outside of the main game; it’s always a great feature in my view.😃
WILL: A Wonderful World is a darker game (content wise) than I thought it would be. Some descriptions I would consider rather grim and if they had showed certain details; the age rating would likely of been even higher. However, the gritty bluntness (in some ways) makes the scenarios more true to life and got me wanting to do the best I could for the characters to have a positive fate.
Thankfully the topics are handled really well; they don’t poke fun or make light of the seriousness of some of the topics. There are lighthearted segments in between though to keep the game’s tone more balanced – usually it’s the conversations between the girl and the talking dog. The dialogue between those two and even some of the situations can be rather funny at times – it’s great!
The aspect I enjoyed the most? The ability to try various scenarios and be able to see the outcome/fate within a few seconds. It was interesting having to pick out details, then try and figure out how to get the best outcome. I was on Lunatic mode and typically didn’t get a ‘Rank S’ for the first attempt; so I was thankful for the speedy result after making a change. It certainly kept the flow of the game going smoothly – which is always good in any game. 😃
When the game mentioned getting a cup of coffee before playing and even mentioned eating snacks while playing; I thought “brilliant! I like this game already!” but unfortunately it doesn’t make that kind of experience as easy and fluid as it could be. The lack of full touch screen support and not being able to adjust the speed of the auto scroll function; makes it difficult to have the sit back and relax with a cuppa experience – such a shame.
Perhaps not a negative to those who use the same terminology as the game, but there were one or two moments where the terminology sounded a little off to me. I think it’s because the object is referred to by a different name in the UK. For example: there was a line saying “a box of chocolate milk”. I would say “a carton of chocolate milk” (which probably sounds wrong to someone reading this). Either way, the differences in terms did throw me off a bit; which disrupted the immersion for me.
Would I recommend WILL: A Wonderful World?
Definitely if; you are a visual novel and puzzle lover, that isn’t negatively affected by sensitive topics (and doesn’t mind swearing).
I think WILL: A Wonderful World is a brilliant game and I like it a lot. However, due to the topics covered; it may put a number of gamers off from playing.