The World Ends with You, often abbreviated as TWEWY, is a Nintendo DS (and now mobile) game set in modern Shibuya, where Japanese street fashions, music, and lifestyles overlap with a dark story. You play the role of Neku, a sulky boy who finds out that he actually is dead, and against his wish has become part of a game. Paired up with another dead girl, the fashionable Shiki, the two must eliminate monsters called "Noise" using unique pins that act as weapons. Each day, they are given a task or a riddle and have a limited amount of time to complete it. If they can succeed, they are promised the chance to be born again. And if they fail, their death becomes much more permanent.
One of the best things about the World Ends with You is that it is unlike any other game; no other title has managed a battle system quite like it, where you control two characters on two screens simultaneously with such a large customisable move set. It has the unique elements where each area of Shibuya is dominated by a different brand, so what you're wearing and using has a stronger or weaker effect depending on the area. And the story is really unpredictable, too! It makes TWEWY an incredibly tough act to follow and leaves a lot of people searching for another similar game.
While no game quite like The World Ends with You currently exists, we have done our best to create a list of 6 Games like The World Ends with You. All of these games have an element of TWEWY in it, so hopefully, whatever your favourite part of it was, you can find another game with that element at least!
Similar Games to The World End with You
1. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- System: Gameboy Advance Title
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Jupiter
- Release Dates: Nov. 11th, 2004
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is a Gameboy Advance title taking place between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. It takes place immediately after the first game and about a year before the second, letting you continue the story of Sora and his friends. This time, they are stuck in the mysterious Castle Oblivion, full of the characters that would later become known as Organisation XIII. You play as Sora as he revisits his memories from the first game, returning to many of the same Disney and original Square Enix settings, but following a different storyline in each. Sora has to regain his memories and reach the top of the castle to defeat the castle's master, Marluxia. Chain of Memories also has the unique option to play as Sora's friend Riku in the second story mode as he follows his own path through the castle and the story.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and The World Ends with You are both produced by Square Enix and Jupiter. In fact, a lot of the development of TWEWY was inspired by Chain of Memories, which came out first. This means that Chain of Memories does have a similar feel to TWEWY, especially in the gameplay and battles themselves. Where in TWEWY you collect and use pins to attack, which each take a unique charging time and have a special move they perform, in Chain of Memories you use cards. They also must be collected and used to fight, and have rankings from weak to strong with the chance to level them up. You also earn special cards by defeating enemies and progressing through the story, just like the pins in TWEWY. It's easy to see where the influence of Chain of Memories was taken from in TWEWY.
On top of all that, the Kingdom Hearts series and TWEWY will always have an intimate connection in that the TWEWY characters were animated in 3D for the first time when they appeared in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. Fans of one series are likely to be fans of the other, and Chain of Memories arguably feels the most like TWEWY out of any Kingdom Hearts game.
2. Before the Echo
- System: Microsoft Windows, Xbox, LNX
- Publisher: Iridium Studios
- Developer: Iridium Studios
- Release Dates: May 5th, 2011
Before the Echo is a rhythm game for Xbox and the computer. You play as Ky, a boy who wakes up in a strange tower unsure of what has happened to him or where he is. Suddenly, a strange female voice known as Naia informs Ky that the only way for him to escape and survive is to climb the seven floors of the tower. Along the way, Ky faces monsters and bad guys he must defeat to reach the top of the tower and to find out where he is and what had happened to him. If he can live that long, that is.
Before the Echo and The World Ends with You have a couple of things in common. They both centre on a boy who wakes up in a mysterious place with more questions than answers, only to learn he must fight if he wants to survive and find out what has happened to him. Both boys also begin with help from predominantly by a female that is also a mystery herself; Naia for Ky, and Shiki for Neku. Finally, music is an important element of both games. They both have great soundtracks with songs to find and unlock. If you like all the beats playing in TWEWY and the extra layer they add to the world and the story, you'll likely love them in Before the Echo as well. And since Before the Echo is a rhythm game, you can bet the music is one of the main focuses. If you liked TWEWY for being an RPG but also having music play a significant role in the atmosphere of the game, check out Before the Echo.
- System: PlayStation 2, Wii, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 (HD Remaster), Xbox One (HD Remaster)
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Clover Studios
- Release Dates: Apr. 20th, 2006
Okami is an older game about to be re-released for several different consoles. It tells the story of Amaterasu, a Shinto sun goddess who takes the form of a white wolf and she tries to save the land from darkness. You play as this wolf. The story is a combination of a lot of Japanese myths and folktales and is set in a classical Japanese world. Amaterasu is powered by "ink power," which allows her to fight against the darkness alongside her companion Issun. While he begins as merely an artist interested in her special powers, eventually he serves as not only her guide but also her good friend. The game is full of other characters from Japanese folklore as well that show up throughout the story.
Okami and The World Ends with You both take place in Japan but in almost opposite time periods. While Okami is a historical, classic Japan, TWEWY is modern. But what makes them both similar is their use and style of art. Art is at the centre of both games and helps make them what they are, and both are done in a uniquely Japanese style. Okami reflects traditional Japan, while TWEWY embodies a more contemporary style. Both though use thick lines, bright and contrasting colours, and whimsical imagery to tell their stories. Had either been done in a more simple style, the games would not have felt the same. So if you love Japanese art and liked seeing how important it was to the atmosphere of TWEWY, check out Okami for your next chance to appreciate that Japanese style.
Okami HD Launch Trailer
4. Sigma Harmonics
- System: Nintendo DS
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Square Enix, Think Garage
- Release Dates: Aug. 21st, 2008
Sigma Harmonics is the story of Sigma Kurogami and his friend Neon Tsukiyumi. Sigma's family has the unique role of guarding a clock that seals off a powerful demon. He also has the special ability of a "sound user," meaning that he can cause miracles using only his voice. When Sigma's past is rewritten suddenly, his future also changes dramatically and his present life becomes chaotic. To try to set his past straight, Sigma and Neon travel back in time using his family's clock to solve complicated murders. Each murder they solve helps to fix the past and change the future, unlocking more and more murders to tackle.
Sigma Harmonics is another title also made by Square Enix, the same company that created The World Ends with You. In both games, you play as a high school-aged boy who, alongside a female companion, has to fight against the clock to save his future. While the stakes are different in both games, they both have the same goal - solve puzzles to save their lives. Both Sigma Harmonics and TWEWY feature time as a pivotal part of the plot. Sigma and Neon travel through time using his family's clock to solve the crimes, and Neku and Shiki (and later his other companions) always have timers set to complete their tasks. What is most similar about Sigma Harmonics and TWEWY though is the style of the cutscenes. They are both told like visual novels, with well-drawn but still scenes where the player reads the dialogue and listens to the music as the story is revealed.
If the visual novel aspect of TWEWY was what you loved, and you enjoyed a great soundtrack and awesome character designs you got to look at during the dialogue screens, check out Sigma Harmonics next.
Sigma Harmonics Trailer
5. No More Heroes
- System: Wii
- Publisher: Ubisoft (NA), Marvellous Entertainment (JP)
- Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
- Release Dates: Dec. 6th, 2007 (JP), Jan. 22nd, 2008 (NA)
No More Heroes is a hack and slash adventure game developed for the Wii. You play as the otaku Travis Touchdown, whose life is turned around completely when he wins an auction for a beam katana on the internet. Because he spent the last bit of his money and has nothing left to buy new video games with, he takes on the offer to kill a mysterious figure named Helter Skelter for money. This throws him headfirst into an organisation called the United Assassins Association. Travis sees it as an opportunity to rise to the top and leave his life of poverty behind. And there is the added motivation that if he stops killing other assassins, he will become the target himself! So it's getting stronger or die, and Travis has to step up to the plate.
No More Heroes and The World Ends with You have a lot of similarities in their gameplay styles. While their combat itself is quite different, the game between the fights has a lot in common. In both titles, you are free to roam about the world as you want to, taking on side missions and talking to NPCs. Both games will not let the storyline progress until you meet certain criteria (killing assassins in No More Heroes and completing the tasks in TWEWY) so you are free to do whatever you want in the meantime and take as long as you want to do it. The money that you earn you can use to buy clothes and collectibles like videotapes in No More Heroes and CDs in TWEWY. Plus both games make use of heavy outlines in their art styles and very stylised, fashionable characters. If you like how open-ended TWEWY can be and being able to determine how long or short the game is yourself, you can get that kind of freedom in No More Heroes as well.
No More Heroes Trailer:
6. Ryu ga Gotoku (Yakuza)
- System: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii U
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Sega
- Release Dates: Dec. 8th, 2005 (JP), Sep. 5th, 2006 (NA)
Ryu ga Gotoku, better known in the West as Yakuza, is a game series about, well, the Yakuza in Japan. In the first game, you play as Kazuma Kiryu, a man just released from a ten-year prison sentence he served for a crime he never committed. He is blamed for murdering a Yakuza boss who tried assault his fiancé, but in reality was killed by his friend. In ten years, the world had changed, and he discovers that the Tojo Syndicate (which he was expelled from while in prison) has had 10 billion yen stolen from them. When the Syndicate begins to target an orphan girl named Haruka whom they believe can help them get the money back, Kazuma takes it upon himself to protect her from them. He believes that Haruka is connected to his long-lost fiancé Yumi when she mentions she had an aunt of the same name.
You're probably thinking right now that comparing this series to the World Ends with You might be a bit of a stretch, and it is admittedly the least like it. But you'd be wrong if you thought they had nothing in common! What both Yakuza and TWEWY can give you is a fantasy experience of living in Japan. Of course, they are far from reality and tell their own fictional stories. But if you want to also spend some time just eating ramen and shopping for Japanese fashion, listening to music or visiting stores and famous sights, or just wander around the streets of Tokyo well. Both Yakuza and TWEWY allow you to do just that! They both offer a sort of escapism that lets you imagine life in Tokyo just a little bit - and a more exciting and fantastic life than a real one would offer since you aren't plagued by crowds and commutes.
So if you like that little insight into the daily joys of modern Japanese life that helped ground the World Ends with You, in reality, you'll probably get a kick out of the same kinds of things in Yakuza.
It's hard to follow up such a unique game as The World Ends with You, and since it became a cult favourite at its release, many fans have faced the frustrating reality that there simply aren't other games quite like it. Of course, that is part of what makes the game so special is that it's truly one-of-a-kind. But when you ran it down into the many elements that make it so fun, you can find other games that at least have those features! So if you're looking for something else to play if you enjoyed TWEWY, try something from our list of 6 Games like The World Ends with You. Hopefully, you'll be surprised and find another fun game you might not have tried otherwise!
What game do you think is the most like The World Ends with You? Have you tried any of these games, or are you going to try one now? What was your favourite part of TWEWY that you wish you could see in another game? Let us know in the comments below!