World's End Club (ワールズエンドクラブ Wāruzu Endo Kurabu), originally titled Death March Club (デスマーチクラブ Desu Māchi Kurabu), is a puzzle action-adventure video game developed by Too Kyo Games and Grounding Inc. and published by Izanagi Games. The English-language Switch version is published by NIS America. The game is co-directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi, Kazutaka Kodaka, and Takumi Nakazawa with character designs by Take.
The game was released on the Apple Arcade on September 4th, 2020, with a Nintendo Switch release planned for May 28th, 2021.
|“|| Twelve 12-year old kids go on a 1,200 km journey.
In an elementary school in Tokyo, there's a club called the "Go-Getters Club", made up of oddball kids from all over Japan. Reycho and the other members are somehow different than the other kids around them. Then, one day, during the summer... While on the bus for their class trip, they get into an accident.
When they wake up, they're in a theme park under the sea. Reycho and the others are trapped inside this strange, long-abandoned place. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a mysterious clown appears and orders them to play a "Game of Fate"! Before any of them can figure out what's happening, they're fighting for their very lives. Will they be able to survive and make it out of this weird place? The kids are all lost and confused... But then, extraordinary powers begin to awaken within them. While at the same time... "Abnormal events" are occurring all over the Earth.
World's End Club is a side-scrolling puzzle action-adventure game set in the 1990s. The game will be fully 3D animated and be fully voiced and is estimated to take around 20 hours to clear. The story is split into two main modes; action sections where the player solves puzzles, and adventure sections where the player experiences the main story.
The player controls Reycho, a silent protagonist and elementary school student, and the rest of the cast is made up of his classmates. Each of the students has their own powers and abilities - such as the ability to control electricity or be able to throw objects - which is used to solve the puzzles and riddles. Although the player can only control the Reycho, the other characters follow behind you and their abilities can be tagged in using a button trigger.
The concept for the game came while Kodaka and Uchikoshi were on a trip to Kyoto that felt like a long death march, and Kodaka had joked about a killing game with a death march premise. Although Kodaka was joking, Uchikoshi was very interested in going through with creating it. Kodaka had initially decided that he had enough of writing death games, but Uchikoshi convinced Kodaka to do one final death game with him, the "last death game either of us will create", and Kodaka agreed. Using a cast entirely of elementary schoolers despite the unchild-friendly scenario was inspired by movies like It and The Goonies, which have children in the starring roles but that aren't children's movies. The game is set in the 1990s in order to evoke nostalgia in adult players. Kodaka and Uchikoshi have highlighted that the similarity in premise to their previous works was deliberate, with Kodaka noting: "If you're thinking that it's a Danganronpa clone, we've already got you in our hands. I like to think that the game already started the moment we announced the title."
Character designer Take was chosen because Kodaka and Uchikoshi thought it would be funny to choose someone whose art style was at odds with the darkness of Uchikoshi's scenario, and Kodaka had been a long-time admirer of Take's work. While designing the characters, Take wanted to evoke feelings of "I wish this kid had been in my class!", and wanted to do the characters justice since they are children from the same time period as her own childhood.
The Too Kyo Games team worked on the premise, scenario, and character design, while the team at Grounding handled the programming, action, and graphic design. As of June 2019, the game was the furthest into the development of the four titles announced at the September 2018 TooKyo Games debut conference, with more than half of the development complete and around 80% of the scenario written. It was also revealed to Gematsu that the team was in negotiations to publish the game on consoles.. The first trailer was debuted at Tokyo Game Show 2019 during a 25-minute presentation with Izanagi Games CEO Shinsuke Umeda, Too Kyo Games creators Kodaka and Uchikoshi, and Pochi's voice actor Megumi Ogata, where it was also confirmed that the game would be also be released on as-yet-unspecified games consoles.
On August 2020, a page for the now-retitled World's End Club appeared on the Apple Arcade store, with a marked date of September 4th, 2020. Too Kyo Games remained quiet from making any official announcements for a month, and on September 4th, a launch trailer for World's End Club was released, announcing the stealth drop of the game on Apple Arcade and the upcoming release on Nintendo Switch in Spring 2021. Uchikoshi revealed on Twitter that the game had a run time of 10 hours, and that the version released on Apple Arcade featured a cliff-hanger that would be resolved in the full version on the Nintendo Switch. He also announced that they planned on releasing an English voice-over for the Switch version, and that a physical version was under consideration.
On February 17th, 2021, a trailer for World's End Club was featured in a Nintendo Direct, including the release date of the Switch version on May 28th, 2021. The Switch version includes a complete English dub and is published by NIS America. A manga adaptation illustrated by Hiroki Kikutsuma was later announced, and began serialization in CoroCoro Online on February 27th, 2021.
- The original English name planned for the Go-Getters Club was the "Losers Class," which is most likely a reference to the "Losers' Club" from the Stephen King's IT franchise. IT also features a murderous clown and balloon motifs, and was an inspiration to creators Kodaka and Uchikoshi.
- World's End Club Official Website: /
- World's End Club Official Twitter:
- Too Kyo Games Official Website: /
- Famitsu: Interview: Death March Club (translated by @Jinjojess) (October 4th, 2018)
- Famitsu: Article: Death March Club (translated by @Jinjojess) (October 4th, 2018)
- Gematsu: Too Kyo Games interview with Kazutaka Kodaka and Kotaro Uchikoshi at BitSummit 7 Spirits (June 6th, 2019)
- Famitsu: 新作『デスマーチクラブ』の開発は順調！ TooKyo Games小高和剛氏、打越鋼太郎氏が“インディーゲームの祭典”に初参加しての感想は？【BitSummit 7 Spirits】 (June 6th, 2019)
- Gematsu: World’s End Club, The Last Campfire, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time, and Next Stop Nowhere coming soon to Apple Arcade (August 6th, 2020)
- Kotaro Uchikoshi on Twitter: "Note: World's End Club has a cliff-hanger end like Avengers Infinity War. (The complete version will be released on Switch.) But it contains enough volume and high entertainment as one game. Total play time is probably about 10 hours. (depends on the individual tho.)" (September 4th 2020)
- Kotaro Uchikoshi on Twitter: "Yes. We plan to [add English voices for the Switch version]." (September 4th, 2020)
- Kotaro Uchikoshi on Twitter: "The physical version is currently under consideration." (September 4th, 2020)
- Nintendo: Nintendo Direct 02.17.2021 (February 17th, 2021)
- CoroCoro Online: World's End Club manga (February 27th, 2021)