You’ll either hate or love World for Two. It’s a slow-paced species creation game with simplistic gameplay and nothing special to offer.
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Developer: Seventh rank
Publisher: PQube Limited, room6
Release date: 16 Jul, 2021
World for Two is a species creation game where you can combine DNA and a gene to create a new species, and redo the same process to the newly created DNA to create another new species. 60 species can be found in total, allowing you to mix and match DNAs with up to 16 genes to find them all.
The visuals are one of the best things that the game has to offer. Four explorable regions with a sight to behold awaits you to be explored. Backgrounds are made in such great detail with tons of layers to give a sense of depth, turning the scene into a beautiful work of art. The visuals, along with the relaxing music, helps to get by the repetitiveness of the game and lets you get immersed with the story that is told after you finished the game.
There is almost no story in the game. You are a robot, tasked by a human to create new lifeforms on a dying planet. All conversation that follows afterward is either small talk or tutorials to help you finish the game. You get another story to watch at the end, but since I didn’t get too attached to anything, I feel nothing from the emotional scene.
The game tries to give more context on the ending through the bonus chapter, but even that is lacking. While I appreciate the relaxing music that helps to set the atmosphere, the lack of SFX bugs me to no end. Imagine that an alarm beeping with a piece of relaxing music playing in the background – there is no sense of urgency at all. The same music might help to set the atmosphere near the ending, but the story is way too predictable to me.
World for Two plays out like alchemy games where you need to mix 2 elements to get a new one. The “elements” in this game are represented by DNA and genes, where you can get DNAs from living beings and genes from a machine in the lab. Since you can only extract 3 DNAs before a living creature dies, recreating the same species are needed to keep the supply steady. Luckily, combining 2 of the same DNAs can also help to recreate the same species, giving you a surplus of 1 DNA to combine into other species.
You’ll get more gene variations to combine as you play. A new area will be opened after you unlocked enough evolutions, allowing you to farm new materials to create new genes. This helps to unlock new species since some species can only be unlocked from these genes.
Some species can evolve into more than one species, although you need the right gene to combine it with. This turns the game into trial and error, especially at the beginning since you’ll start with amoeba, an organism that is considered very basic. It’s hard to predict which species you can evolve it to, after all.
You’ll be able to predict the genes that you need to use as you create a more developed species. This reduces the trial and error needed to create the species to some extent, which really helps since there are ~16 genes that you can use to combine. Having a certain knowledge about animals is also needed to predict the “evolution” since you need to guess what animal that the current one can evolve into with the available genes. For example, there are several types of birds in the world, and the bird classifications can help you guess whether you need to use a mammal gene, sea gene, or other genes to combine it with.
One thing that I liked about this is how you need to finish a puzzle to extract DNA for the first time. You need to match a DNA strain with the right color – red with blue, yellow with green, and vice versa – to extract its DNA. However, you can only do this once per species, and once you completed the puzzle, you are left with having to wait for a few seconds to extract the DNA 3 times, killing the species in the process. The waiting time can be very long, especially since you need to do it several times. I wish that I could get the DNA right away without the timer, even if I have to finish a puzzle at the first extraction every time.
The feeling of wanting to mix the genes into a new species intrigued me at the beginning. However, the slow extracting DNA process seems to kill that enjoyment. It wasn’t fun at all to wait for the extraction, especially since you only gain 1 additional DNA after recreating the same species. I wish there is a way to increase the number of species living in the area if you leave at least 2 of them for a while, but with the game being simplistic as it is, I don’t dare to try it out. The game doesn’t tell that it’s possible after all, and it has been helpful in telling the game mechanics in detail.
Length and Difficulty
I finished the game in 5.9h after unlocking all species, which are not needed to finish it. A bonus chapter will be unlocked after you finish the game, allowing you to see the backstory behind the main game. Since the bonus chapter is focused on the story, it doesn’t last very long – it only took me 0.3h to finish.
The game isn’t difficult at all. The most that you’ll have trouble with is to figure out how to combine a species into a new one, which can be circumvented by brute-forcing the solution. It might be time-consuming to do though since you need to gather more DNA than needed. Luckily, the game always prevents you from redoing the same combination that you failed before, so you don’t have to worry about wasting your DNA.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
It’s hard to rate this game. The game has potential, but the execution feels amateurish to me. A lot of quality-of-life features are missing, namely the option to sort the DNA from the recently used or obtained ones. Heck, the font even feels out of place compared to the beautiful, pixelated backgrounds. A description of the created species might serve as a good way to give an educational value for children, but all you’ll get after you create a new species is its name. There are so many things that can be improved in the game, and it feels like the art and music carried the game hard.
Still, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s an enjoyable game if you want to play a slow-paced game and shut your brain off for a while. You don’t have to worry about dealing with complicated mechanics since it already lays everything out at the beginning. It’s a nice game for casual players who just want to explore around and create new species, although I don’t think it’s worth the full price due to its repetitiveness.