At first glance, World to the West looks like a game that’s full of intricate puzzles and stimulating battles, and while much of that is true, there’s that added element of exploration that makes it shine even more. If you love action paired with moments of challenging puzzles and overcoming obstacles using various methods, then World to the West is the game that’s right for you. Most of the game puts you in the shoes of four different characters, all of whom possesses their own unique abilities which you’ll have to use to progress further into the game. There’s plenty of humor and fun interaction between the characters with a straightforward story that doesn’t feel contrived in any way. World to the West is very much a game that stands out on its own and doesn’t try to imitate other titles, it uses its own approach to create a remarkably robust and rewarding experience.
What to Expect
World to the West was developed by Rain Games and published by Soedesco, two companies that many probably haven’t heard of. Maybe the critically acclaimed 2D puzzle platformer Teslagrad will turn on the light bulb in the brain, because World to the West is an extension of that title and offers a 3D experience compared to its brethren. It’s an action adventure title that has a drizzle of puzzle elements to stimulate the brain, as you embark on unique journeys to complete specific tasks, and collect items. Inspired by European adventure comics, this top down adventure will be nothing short of exciting as you venture through dark caves, lush green jungles, and icy terrain as you work together to achieve greatness. Due to its versatility in gameplay, World to the West offers a unique experience every time since every character deals with enemies in different ways, so tackling certain quests may require some thought.
World to the West is wacky in its design which is what makes it so endearing to play. You have a mage who can teleport and use her trusted wand to smash opponents, a young boy with ice skates and a shovel to dig around, a fashionable woman with a scarf to grab onto poles, and a burly looking man who looks like Zangief who can climb up walls or smash them down. All of the animations behind each character are fluid as well, and their eccentric characteristics make getting to know each of them so fun. We especially loved Lord Clonington (the Zangief looking one) because for some reason every time he does his lariat attack, Street Fighter just immediately pops up into our minds. His punches are powerful and his flying elbow drop just brings back memories of Macho Man Randy Savage. Each story you’ll encounter is fresh in their own way but somehow interconnected to allow each character to interact as you progress. This interweaving of stories really makes World to the West satisfying to play because it feels like there’s so much to learn and understand about each character’s backstory.
The longer you play the more you find yourself immersed in this colorful world with a soothing soundtrack to compliment your expedition. We found ourselves doing a lot of backtracking throughout the game since there are so many secrets to unlock, that you never want to miss out on any small details. The enemies in the game are cute in their own way and while they don’t impose a threat, getting close to one of them will trigger their habitual tendencies to take you out. The Flailmunks are cute as much as they are annoying to sometimes deal with, because these things work in numbers and they hop so far to attack you. It’s also fascinating how everything interacts with one another as you wander around aimlessly looking for the right direction. One minute you’re being chased by a Flailmunk only to have that Flailmunk be devoured by another creature. These little intricate details add so much more depth to this crazy world because it feels like a livable world full of mysteries, and you’re smack dab in the middle of it all.
There’s never a shortage of things to do as the game constantly evolves along with you, unique items are dispersed throughout the map and so you’ll need to rely on your totem poles to travel back and forth to gather them all. Since every character works in unison, you’ll often times need to rely on one in order for another door to open. In the case of Miss Teri, she’s only limited to mind control and using her scarf to get over tough obstacles, so she must rely on Knaus to crawl through holes and open doors ahead for her to progress. She can, of course, take control of Flailmunks to crawl through the cracks also, but they’re only limited to gathering keys so making sure they don’t die is another challenge. We simply loved that idea of having everyone working together because it just adds so many different variants to a game that look simple at first glance. You simply can’t just skip to one part of a game or try to cheat your way out of avoiding certain roadblocks, it forces you to turn on your brain and use the power of teamwork to get the job done.
As you get deeper into the game and start unlocking more abilities for characters, World to the West becomes so much more satisfying because then all of those locked doors you couldn’t get through before are now all opened for you to explore deeper. The map allows you to see above and below ground, with a marker to show you where you need to go next. Even with the marker in place and a map to guide you, the exploration isn’t always easy since you have other obstacles to deal with. Some enemies don’t die so easily and often pose a threat to you, so coming up with clever strategies to deal with them is another cool trait. The main campaign isn’t really long but you’ll be pouring much of your time into gathering every secret item that’s available, along with the diamonds you find in chests. The length of the game doesn’t always amount to a great experience, and World to the West is a nice example that you don’t need to invest hundreds of hours in order to have a wonderful time. It’s short but sweet in that regard and we feel that if it dragged on any longer, the luster behind the game would slowly diminish so we’re happy that Rain Games made sure to keep things polished.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Overall, World to the West is bursting with good vibes and plenty of exploration to keep you entertained for a good chunk of time. We suggest playing the game in small increments to really get the best out of the experience, since there’s a lot to see and learn throughout the game. Trying to rush through it all just doesn’t cut it since World to the West is just one of those games that really promotes a slow pace, and encourages you to pay close attention to what’s around you. We loved that a lot and that’s why we found ourselves coming back for more every time, because we didn’t try to scramble through everything. While its aesthetic may not be appeasing to everyone, we recommend that fans of the action adventure genre give it a try because it truly is an experience that can only be found in World to the West. If there’s a possibility, it would be cool if this game had a co-op mode at some point.
Unique interwoven storylines for each character gives the game a lot of depth.
A solid amount of things to do and explore.
Great dialogue and interaction between characters.
Simple in design yet deep in gameplay value.
The transitioning in stage music was a nice touch.
A few bugs here and there such as getting stuck on a bridge after attacking with Lord Clonington.
Honey's Final Verdict:
As always, we’d like to give our thanks to the folks at Soedesco for giving us the opportunity to partake in this charming experience. We look forward to more content, if there be any, from World to the West because the game is honestly a very wholesome adventure packed with lots to learn and explore. Let us know what you think in the comments down below, and be sure to check out our live streams on Twitch to see us playing these wonderful titles for all of you! Follow us on Discord and Twitter to know when you go live, and be sure to support Honey’s Gaming when you can by following us on Twitch!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!