World End Economica (WEE) is a trilogy of kinetic novels by Spicy Tails, with its author as Hasekura Isuna who has also written the Spice & Wolf series. The first episode has been released in English and is available through retailers such as Mangagamer and DL Site. It has also been greenlit for a Steam release by Sekai Project. For those who have already purchased the game from other retailers, Sekai Project are looking into getting Steam keys.
After many years in the future, mankind has conquered and emigrated to the moon, which is the forefront of humanity. Haru is a young boy who has talent in stocks and wishes to set foot in a place where people have never been before, and to do that he has to play his cards right; his dreams are big and the risk of losing are even larger.
The kinetic novel itself reads like a light novel with lots of descriptions of the surroundings and thought processes of the characters. The story does progress rather slowly at first, but it sets the scene with day-to-day character interactions and mixes these with faster paced stock trading. There’s quite a bit of vocabulary to learn, having read some of the Spice & Wolf light novels certainly helped in this regard. Hagana (the other lead character) is extremely gifted in mathematics so the pair team up to conquer the stock market with their abilities. Since she doesn’t know anything about trading, the game tries to explain these concepts as simply as possible. I recommend spending some time to understand these to fully enjoy the game, although it’s possible to get through the game by reading the mood of the characters.
As for the other things, the configuration settings are the basics you’d expect in a visual novel, and there are things which are unlocked after you finish the game. There’s a total of 35 tracks in featured in music mode and they’re all very fitting tracks to the scenes they play in. The characters aren’t voiced but this doesn’t take anything away from the enjoyability of the game. You can also select to play WEE in Japanese.
The things I enjoyed the most in WEE was the character development and the writing. Like a novel, it was detailed and spoke of the contrast between the wealthy and those who are left behind by the vast economic growth which is similar to the society today. Different people have different motivations in life, so these are written about in some detail. What I didn’t like as much was the ending, but it leaves more to be explored in the later episodes. Overall, World End Economica ep.1 is a game worth playing at least once, but you’ll need a bit of patience to get through the slower scenes and learn the basics about trading. The overall game time is roughly 10 hours.
With the end of episode 1, I’m definitely looking forward to the second and third episode which will also be localised. You can find out more details here. Sekai Project are looking for feedback before launching the Kickstarter, so please contact them if you have any comments!