World End Economica Episode.01 (PC) Review

By André Eriksson 07.10.2015

Review for World End Economica Episode.01 on PC

There has been a wide range of different visual novels on the market, covering everything possible, impossible, and even sometimes beyond, so the fact that these games can continue to surprise us is testament to the variety of genre. Enter World End Economica Episode 1, a visual novel about the stock market - a subject that might at first seem like a dull and boring choice. Surprisingly though, it captures all of the action of the profession while successfully cutting out the mundane, everyday activities and features an action-filled plot with colourful and varied characters. Will this game buy low and sell high, or will it crash? Cubed3 investigates.

Sell, buy, trade. That is what this visual novel focuses on. Trading on the stock market, using the computer all day - who is going to play this game other than stockbrokers? That is a highly justified question that many might ask themselves looking at World End Economica Episode 1 for the first time; however, hidden underneath this seemingly boring facade hides one of the more finely crafted visual novels on the market.

The story is straightforward: Haru is looking to make money - and lots of it - on the stock market in order to fulfil his lifelong dream of discovering what no one else has discovered and standing where no man has stood before. It turns out that Haru is actually pretty good at this and during a short amount of time drastically increases his pile of money. However, having ran away from home, he has nowhere to stay but must still attend school. By coincidence, he runs into a young priestess called Lisa and gets invited to live in the church with her and Hagana, a maths prodigy. From here, Haru continues his quest to get super rich and attract attention from the bigger organisations.

The cast work very well together as a trio. They are all very different from one another, which creates a lot of mixed chemistry and funny situations. Haru trusts his gut a lot of time, rather than pure logic. He has not experienced any hardships in life and is therefore quite ignorant of other people's problems and suffering, which makes him seem cruel and selfish towards the rest of the cast.

Lisa, however, is the exact opposite of Haru. As a priestess, she has disregarded most material things in life and tries to live in peace and harmony with everyone around her, which gives her a mature, yet playful, aura that is a beautiful contrast to Haru's childish, yet overly serious, crusade for more money. She cares about everyone around her and never judges people and tries her best to see the beautiful things in everyone making her a sort of motherly figure to both Haru and Hagana.

Screenshot for World End Economica Episode.01 on PC

Hagana has a very cold exterior to hide her fragile soul. She is suspicious, almost paranoid, and acts brutally honestly towards everyone. She trusts Lisa, who has taken her under her wing, as she also escaped from her home due to circumstances hinted at during the story, and Hagana suffers from a very low self-esteem only further adding to her paranoia and lack of confidence.

What makes World End Economica Episode 1 stand out is that it takes place in the future on the Moon. The Moon has been turned into a perverted capitalistic dreamland where the rich live in prosperity and watch their riches grow. On the other hand, poor immigrants and the working class live in the suburbs just trying to make a living. The unique setting allows comparisons between the Moon and Earth but ultimately prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It is a clever dynamic that is presented by having characters who lived on Earth tell Haru about what life was like.

The Moon is a cruel place though, and Lisa and Hagana, who are both very traditional in their views, struggle to adapt; Lisa with her religious views and Hagana with her strong desire for tranquillity. Haru, however, quite likes this new world order, which further demonstrates the differences within their close-knit group. The tone of World End Economica Episode 1 shifts from rose-tinted glasses to a darker, morose mood, which matches Haru's mindset as the game unfolds as his house of cards comes tumbling down.

What makes a visual novel about stock market trading an interesting read even for those not interested in buying and selling? It is the colourful characters complimenting each other, the beautifully imagined setting, the science fiction themes of the future on the Moon and the tools used to show it to the reader. It's the social science explored through the class differences, the adventures of everyday life, and the coming of age story involving our hubris-filled protagonist. World End Economica Episode 1 could have failed because of the focus on the stock market but it's actually one of the most cleverly written visual novels on the market.

The author really does a great job of making the trading sections exciting. Information is presented in creative ways and even the most boring of tasks is made interesting - a testament to the attention to detail and the writing ability of Isuna Hasekura.

Screenshot for World End Economica Episode.01 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

World End Economica Episode 1 is a visual novel with real attention to detail, which adds to the overall experience. There are many subtle details hiding in every scene and even the ones that first seem trivial have their value and are entwined with the main story, affecting things or hinting towards what is to come. This leads to a lot of replayability, even having read it and knowing the end result. It is a nice introduction to the trilogy and ends on a great cliff-hanger leaving the reader wanting more. Its only weakness is that it will, by its very nature, be a very niche visual novel but if readers can get past the stock market setting they will be rewarded with an intelligent, yet slow, coming of age story that is sure to leave a strong impact on the reader, one way or another.

Developer

Spicy Tails

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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