The World Ends with You

Game review by
Harold Goldberg, Common Sense Media
The World Ends with You Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Fascinating, dark but compelling action RPG game.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 16 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The protagonist is a punky teenager full of angst, who's rude and feels alone and outside. But he has an optimistic female friend who tries to keep him in check.


There's fantasy violence when you kill various Noise – monster-like giant frogs, wolves, and the like. Players will use powers like lightning and fire within collectible power ups called Pins to kill the monsters.


Mild flirtation between two main characters.


Occasional potty talk like 'ass' and 'crap.'

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the game that this is one of the most creative games ever made for the Nintendo DS. Yet the game's protagonist is outside of society, angry, and a little depressed. Occasionally, he uses mild cuss words. There is some fantasy violence used to kill monsters that includes lightning or fire. The characters, story, and gameplay are so unique that kids may want to play the game over and over again. Kids can use Nintendo Wi-Fi to trade items, including songs and play a minigame.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byCaleb_Mitchell May 26, 2009

Amazing game, IF you're patient & have 0 anger issues.

Okay, I have to say this is an amazing game. It's 100% original, very brilliant, very's just amazing! BUUUUUT, it has some issues. For sta... Continue reading
Parent Written byWalt L January 13, 2015

One of the best RPG's EVAH!

Why do good games (and anime) like this only come from Japan? Are Americans that scared of dealing with serious issues? On to the game: This is hands-down one... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byYelloFlannel December 28, 2020

Really good messages

This game is seriously fun, it's main character Neku's development tells a message many teenagers need to hear (also Joshua is cool //and// gay coded... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byInf.R November 19, 2018

What's it about?

In THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU, you wake up as Neku, a punky 15-year-old, who is disoriented in one of the busiest sections of Tokyo. Somehow, you're able to hear what everyone's thinking. You have a strange looking, tattooed Pin embedded in your hand, and you get a message on your cell phone from a group called The Reapers. The first message: You have seven days to do their bidding or you'll be erased. (That's a code word for being killed.) Within minutes, you meet an affable 15-year-old girl character named Shiki, who takes your flack and balances your pessimism with her optimism. This dialog-fueled story, presented somewhat like a graphic novel in the top screen, is both chilling and mysterious.

Just as the story is packed with enticing drama, so is the gameplay packed with compelling ways to move forward and stay alive as each day ticks away. You'll collect various Pins with a variety of powers to help you combat Noise, annoying monsters which prevent you from reaching your goals. By using the Pins and tapping and slashing on your touching screen, you'll unleash powerful forces that will vanquish your foes. You just can't keep fighting without thought, however. That would be too easy. When your energy is depleted, you'll have to wait a few moments as a circle fills to boost your health. During this time, you'll use the touch screen to move your character around and avoid being hurt by the Noise.

Is it any good?

As one of the most unique games ever created for the Nintendo DS, The World Ends with You is filled with tasty, creative features. For instance, you can shop and collect CDs, which are full length pop songs that you can listen to at your leisure. In addition to controlling combat on the lower screen, you can also control it on the top screen using the control pad. However, it's difficult to alternate between both fighting modes. So if you simply want to use the touch screen only, the game is programmed to help you play along the top screen automatically. Essentially, there's so much here it almost feels like a console game. In other words, unique story + smart gameplay = a great DS game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they would do if they, like the characters in the main story, had seven days to solve a problem or perish. How does the use of a deadline compare to other media using such melodramatic deadlines, like the TV show, 24? What role did the unique graphic-novel-like art within the game have on your appreciation for the game? Did you think the story was scary? What if you could read other people's minds?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: April 22, 2008
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: October 26, 2018

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate