Game Review: The World Next Door by Rose City Games


The World Next Door is a beautiful, interesting game that combines visual novel, puzzle, and optional combat elements to tell a story of a girl who visits a world of supernaturals but gets stuck there and has to figure out how to get home.

The World Next Door by Rose City Games - promo image showing a human in a mask and a bunch of supernatural using magic to fight


Official Description:

Inspired by the emotional storytelling and thrilling action of anime and indie gaming, The World Next Door follows Jun, a rebellious teen who finds herself far from home in the magical and mysterious world of Emrys. As she encounters a colorful cast of otherworldly creatures, Jun must learn to rely on her new friends to get back to Earth before time runs out.

In The World Next Door, players will find an addictive mix of immersive visual novel elements, powerful storytelling and lightning-fast puzzle battles.


More Info:

You can get more info and buy the game here on Steam, here on, or here on the game’s website!


Long Review:

What a gorgeous and fun little game!

My favorite thing was the awesome and unique character designs, and the pretty art style they were drawn in. Every character, even ones you meet once for a few lines of convo or a fight, had such a fun design. I felt genuine delight every time I saw a new character. The art style for when you’re walking around and fighting was pretty too.

The World Next Door screenshot showing four characters. A demon girl with pink skin, small horns and purple hair. A Black girl with long white hair, wings in her hair, and an eye patch. A white boy with blue hair, colorful scales on his face, and a colorful feathered tail. A boy with an animal skull for a head with glowing red eyes.

The game itself had three components: visual novel with dialogue choices, puzzle solving, and (optional) combat. This might sound like a lot, but, excluding combat which I can’t speak on, it was a very simple, straightforward sort of game.

The story in the visual novel element was interesting with fun characters and a bit of world-building about this other realm. There were a few little optional side quests. Choices, side quests, and items didn’t seem to matter, they were just kind of for fun, so that was a little odd. My issue with the story part was that it started developing some mysterious stuff going on… and then dropped it completely with an abrupt ending that didn’t explain anything. It would’ve been better to either make a longer game or a sequel (but as of now, it doesn’t seem like one is coming) and explore that or to just not include it in the first place.

There were a few puzzles in the game, and I had fun figuring them out.

As for combat, I was very happy there was an “assist mode” under settings so that you can essentially skip it (you still do it, but you take no damage, so you can take your time, no stress). Without that, I could not have played this game and enjoyed the other two components and all the gorgeous art. So I can’t say how good the combat was, since I didn’t do it.

It took me four hours to finish, and for me there’s no replay value. But I got this when it was free on Epic Games, so I’m not complaining.

Overall, the lack of explanation in the story was frustrating, but this is a fun game if you’re looking for something fairly quick and simple with some really fun art and character designs to feast your eyeballs on!


Short Review:

– Gorgeous art
– Unique character designs
– Gameplay consists of visual novel, puzzles, and combat (optional)
– Interesting world and story element, but a frustrating and rushed ending
– Overall gorgeous and fun!


(May not include everything)
– Not accessible for blind / visually impaired players or screen reader users.
– All dialogue is in text.
– Combat mode is optional and can be turned off by going to “Settings” and turning on “Assist Mode.” You technically still do combat by match up pieces to make spells, but you won’t suffer damage from attacks and can mostly go at your own pace.
– Puzzles are not optional.


Talk to me!

Have you played The World Next Door?
Do you (or would you) like being able to skip combat in games?


Your Thoughts


2 thoughts on “Game Review: The World Next Door by Rose City Games

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  1. Greg

    I like that premise. And it does look like it has awesome art. I like it when games are combat optional too. This is 2021, why does everything have to be a grindfest? Luckily more game developers are finding ways to skip that if desired. Kinda weird how they rushed the ending, but glad you enjoyed this!

    1. Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)

      It was such cool art! Some of the designs were incredibly cool. And I definitely think any game with a story element should have optional combat/fast-paced stuff, so that people who just want to enjoy the story can enjoy it.