mzuckerm's Wonderful End of the World, The (PC) review

Reasonably Well Done Katamari Clone

Remind you of anything? 
As you can probably tell from pretty much any video or screenshot of this game, The Wonderful End of the World is pretty much a Katamari Damacy clone.  For those who haven't played Katamari (as I hadn't) and don't automatically understand the reference, the goal here is to move your character around, automatically picking up items in the world that are smaller than yourself.  These items attach to your character, thereby increasing its size and consequently making it capable of picking up more items.  The more items picked up, the higher the score.  It sounds pretty simple, and at base it is, but the main mode of the game provides a time limit, making you hurry to grab as much as quickl as you can.  The game provides you with a grade after each level, based on your score.  If you do sufficiently well in each level, the game unlocks one final level.

One of the more interesting levels. 
Given that this is a casual game, I think expectations have to be tamped down a bit.  I bought it as part of Steam's Potato Sack (a purchase I do not regret), a collection of games put together for less than the price of a standard triple-A game.  In general, the difficulty level here is about right.  On a first effort, I was generally able to get at least a B on every level.  Achieving an A+ grade on some levels took a bit of work, but I don't think I ever had to try more than six or seven times to do so.  The game is fairly short, but that's to be expected given its price point and casual nature.  I probably spent around 4 or 5 hours playing through and unlocking all of the achievements.  The game does provide several additional game modes, but by the time I had finished the achievements I felt comfortable putting the game aside.  The graphics are nothing special, but are more or less sufficient.  The level design is reasonably well done.  There appear to be multiple ways to approach completion of each level, although probably only one optimal one.  

The levels are varied enough that each one feels fairly unique.  They run the gamut from clearing out a kitchen to rolling up an entire city to (bizarrely enough) collecting a series of block letters and words.  The music and sounds are fairly well done.  While the theme song may not be as iconic as some of the music in the Katamari games, the theme song is a catchy tune that gets inside your head.  As I have mentioned achievements several times, I should note that they are fairly well done in this game.  You get several for completing certain levels, several for picking up certain specific items, and one for completing all levels with an A+ grade.  There's enough there to encourage you to replay levels, but they're not so difficult as to be obnoxious.    

In summation, this is a respectable casual game.  It's not particularly original, but it takes a tested concept and delivers it in an entertaining and cost-effective manner.  It is best played in 20 to 30 minute increments, but you probably won't get more than six or seven total hours out of it.
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