BTS World is straight up self-insert fanfiction

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BTS World’s premise may have been lifted out of a self-insert fanfiction.

A visible novel-esque recreation produced by Netmarble, BTS World units you to handle the South Korean boy band BTS in its most nascent levels. After successful a ticket to see the band in live performance, you end up whisked again from 2019 to 2012, the 12 months earlier than the group’s debut. From there, you uncover that not solely have you ever traveled again in time, you might be inexplicably an worker of BigHit Leisure, BTS’ firm, and are accountable for bringing the group collectively.

It’s a easy sufficient setup that places the participant character instantly into direct contact with the members by means of a collection of visible novel sequences, video cutscenes, and texts and cellphone calls from the members. Nearly all of the story takes place within the visible novel format, the place you click on by means of interactions between the participant character and the members. Textual content conversations, cellphone calls, and a modified social media feed offer you dialogue and remark choices that, whereas restricted, will let you achieve the members’ favor.


A text conversation that takes place in BTS World.

Netmarble by way of Palmer Haasch/Polygon

What struck me probably the most whereas enjoying, nonetheless, was how a lot the sport itself reads like straight fanfiction. Except for being an off-the-cuff fanfiction reader, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on character archetypes in BTS fanfiction particularly, and BTS World’s characterizations deeply resonate with the simplified archetypes which populate BTS fanfiction.

Min Yunki is a nasty boy who skids previous you on his bike and locks himself in his studio for days on finish; Park Jimin is a candy, hopeful child who’s desirous to please; Kim Taehyung is spacey and talks to flowers; Kim Seok Jin is accountable for maintaining the group fed and effectively; Jeon Jeongguk is the shy maknae (a Korean phrase for the youngest in a bunch); chief Kim Namjun is at instances overly important and takes the stress of the group on his shoulders.


Jeon Jeongguk dialogue image from BTS World. He hugs himself, and is saying, “I’m sorry... it was too awkward...”

Netmarble by way of Palmer Haasch/Polygon

The straightforward characterization doesn’t essentially really feel unprofessional, simply jarring. It was stunning to see fandom norms emerge so strongly in an official band product. This, along side the truth that the participant character is incessantly characterised as flustered and obsessive, make it considerably troublesome to totally immerse your self within the recreation.

Moreover, the English model of the sport defaults makes use of solely she/her pronouns for the participant character; BTS World doesn’t enable gamers to vary their gender. Whereas the sport is clearly focused to younger girls, the distinctive use of she/her pronouns alienates a major subset of potential gamers who use different pronouns and don’t establish as feminine.

As for gameplay itself, that’s restricted by a collection of challenges that require enjoying playing cards with particular traits — stamina, ardour, knowledge, and empathy — to clear some extent threshold. Gamers should degree up and purchase playing cards as they go so as to progress. There are, in fact, in-app purchases to get these playing cards, however for individuals who wish to play without cost, the method is tedious, at finest, and considerably hinders story progress.


BTS World card collection.

Netmarble by way of Palmer Haasch/Polygon

Nonetheless, there’s one thing to be stated for the ridiculous wave of pleasure I felt whereas clicking by means of awkward interactions with Jeongguk, or watching the members compete for the perfect sleeping spots. Enjoying for half an hour throughout my commute had me spiraling into an “excessive fan temper” and half-laughing, half-cooing at each awkward pose the character avatars made within the recreation. I’ve been a devoted BTS fan for upwards of two years, however enjoying BTS World I harkened again to my early days when was simply attending to know the members for the primary time. The unique soundtrack for the sport, which options collaborations with Charli XCX, Zara Larsson, and Juice WRLD, can also be a spotlight.

General, BTS World is a fantastic recreation. Even hindered by the in-app buy construction and stilted dialogue, it nonetheless brings among the magic that makes the band interesting to followers within the first place. I don’t see myself placing important time in it, however I gained’t hesitate to choose it up if I would like a fast burst of fan ridiculousness.

BTS World is at the moment obtainable worldwide on each Android and iOS.

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