Switch version tested
Review code provided
When I found out that free-to-play mobile title WorldNeverland: Elnea Kingdom, by developers althi, was being ported to the Switch I wanted to see how it would turn out. I knew very little about the game apart from that it would move away from the free-to-play with in-app purchases model to a one-off cost. The mobile version offers purchases from 79p all the way up to £39.99 designed to speed up elements of the game. The Switch version retails at £26.99 and has no restrictions. Touting itself as an action, RPG, life simulator in the another life vein was good enough for me to be interested.
Initial boot-up was pleasant with the loading screen providing a number of useful tips. A few scarily felt as if they had been specifically tailored for me – You can improve your daily life by making friends and lovers. The more the merrier! – but hasn’t that always been the dream? You start the game by designing a character, another digital version of me YAY! it’s a simple process to complete and very Mii-esque. Once that is out of the way, you are treated to a number of simple tutorials by means of completing basic fetch and return errands. These are handed out by tavern owner and guide Wiala, my adventure was finally underway!
Graphically it does the job but you can certainly see it’s a two-year-old mobile game, it would have been nice to get a refresh for the Switch. It’s reminiscent of PS2 era graphics and the animations are poor. I have been playing exclusively in handheld mode which seems like the right decision, I cannot see it working very well on an HD TV unless we see a major update to the textures.
The aim is to spend 365 days in the Kingdom, complete some quests, collect loot, grow and create my own stuff, I may even get married. Become a citizen and relax by doing a little fishing. The options, it would seem, are endless. I no longer need the real world.
Fast travel is always a welcome addition, at a glance the kingdom looks massive but there are a number of invisible walls which can halt progress. The kingdom is split between main towns, smaller villages and forest areas all of which containing various shops, armouries and places of entertainment. The menus are crisp and simple to navigate. Current missions and logs can be accessed to check on progress or more often than not give a little reminder of what you should have been doing instead of dicking around wasting time on something else. After clearing a number of the tutorials it becomes clear that my first real challenge is to become a fully-fledged citizen… at a cost of 5000 Bea which is the name given to the in-game currency. This would involve earning and saving money so I set to it straight away.
The combat system is puzzling you don’t really do anything but watch your character progress through a dungeon automatically battling monsters as they appear. It took the fun out of it a little for me.
I can see what people will like about this game as it offers an offline MMO experience and I have kinda enjoyed playing it. I’m looking forward to seeing if any future updates are planned to address the issues it has or to even add in new content. Today though it’s not something that has fully worked for me and definitely seems more suited to the mobile free-to-play format. For me, it’s price point is far too expensive, sub £10 and sure it’s worth a gamble.