Having no interest or knowledge of the band BTS filled me with a sense of dread going into BTS World, so imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a strangely alluring experience that I couldn’t quite put down.
The premise is pretty simple: you play as a fan of BTS who purchases a ticket for a live concert in 2019 and is instead swept all the way back to 2012, where they find themselves a brand new manager at Big Hit.
Your goal as a bright new trainee manager is to literally create the band BTS. You’ll have to track down each of the members and convince them to team up and form arguably the world’s biggest K-Pop band.
There isn’t much in the way of gameplay here, admittedly, but that doesn’t prove to be a huge issue. You’ll spend most of your time interacting with the band through various different story beats.
There Isn’t Much in the Way of Gameplay, But it Doesn’t Harm the Experience
These are either interactive in nature, taking place during phone calls, via text message, or on social media. You’re given multiple different options to respond to each of the band member’s thoughts and concerns. Respond well and you’ll grow affinity with them.
As you progress, you’ll collect cards of each of the band members. You get basic versions of each member for free and have to collect the rest gacha style. The basic cards are simple one star affairs and you can get powerful five star versions by spending actual money on gems or grinding out missions for gold.
Missions are strange, as they don’t offer any real gameplay. You have to basically play band member cards to achieve a certain score. Each card has four base statistics, and the mission will reward you with bonus points for certain statistics.
You’ll get a star rating depending on how much your score goes over the threshold. So the core gameplay involves collecting cards and upgrading them to increase the band member’s scores so they’re high enough to get three stars in every level.
The Core Gameplay Plays More Like Top Trumps
We thought there would be some rhythm action elements or something but no, it’s basically a single player Top Trumps game. The rewards are worth it for fans of the band though, as you’ll get new style options for each band member and can dress them up however you’d like.
You can also order your band mates to train while you’re unable to play. There are a bunch of different types of training, and each boost a particular stat for each band member. You can set them all to train the same statistic or spread them out, depending on your preference.
Despite the lack of gameplay on offer here, BTS World still proves to be quite fun. The interactions between the characters is surprisingly intimate and while it could have proven to be quite a cheesy and embarrasing experience, we found ourselves getting caught up in the drama.
Really, it’s like an interactive soap opera. The band members will come to you with concerns or vice versa and your relationship will grow with them – both in a statistical and personal sense.
You Watch the Band You Helped Create Achieve Stardom
As time goes by, and you watch the band that you create flow the nest and achieve stardom, there’s a real sense of achievement. That’s down to excellent pacing where the story is concerned, which isn’t interested in rushing to the end.
We also found the free to play elements were kept top a minimum, which is good as this is primarily aimed at a younger audience. While you can just spend your way to the top, hard work and dedication pays off here too. Well, a bit of grinding does anyway.
Overall, BTS World isn’t my cup of tea at all, so its to the game’s huge credit that I ended up really enjoying my time with it in spite of that. The plot is excellently placed, the collections addictive, and the interactions with the characters is genuinely charming.
Now, don’t mind me. I’m just going to binge their albums on Spotify and see how far I can take this new BTS obsession.