World of Horror: Game Review

Congrats to my giveaway winner: Molly! I really hope you like your beautiful hard copy of Strange Lands Short Stories.

Background

World of Horror is a retro horror RPG from Panstasz and Ysbryd Games, which is available for early release on Steam, the Switch, and PS4. The Twitter account associated with the company describes this game as a “1bit cosmic horror made by one dude in MS Paint”. This one man team built this beautiful, haunting game over the last three years, and the game features branching stories with five playable characters, each with their own story and different perspective.

WORLD OF HORROR is a roguelite style horror RPG that challenges players to investigate a series of creepy and unusual occurrences arising in the town of Shiokawa, and consequently survive a cruel gauntlet of battles and challenges against the machinations of the Old Gods. Balancing of event difficulties, combat difficulty and item / character statistics is delicate and we believe wider player feedback through an Early Access program will give us the necessary data to calibrate the game’s balance to a level that all types of players can enjoy.

– World of Horror’s steam landing page

Lacking common jump-scares, this ode to Junji Ito and Lovecraft relies more on atmosphere and disturbing subject matter. Gameplay includes puzzle-solving, multiple endings, sanity loss, doom accumulation, battles, and more. The game even includes a variety of palettes for its unique 1-bit art style, accompanied by a haunting score.

Plot

Currently the game is in its early release stage and offers twelve mysteries, with two hundred interactives events, plus five main characters with differing stats and perks. Their steam page description states they plan to offer at least twenty mysteries total in the final game, along with more characters, items, and events.

I’ve played through a few times already, it’s hard to describe a solid plot. Each time you run through the campaign, you receive a different combo of events, monsters, items, and mysteries giving it a high replayability. (Is that an actual word?)

The year is 198X. Disgusting creatures terrorize a small seaside town in Japan as reality starts to crumble, and the Old Gods reawaken to sate their primal hunger. It’s a losing battle, but maybe you’ve got what it takes to postpone the inevitable. The end of the world is at hand.

– World of Horror website

Basically, you play as a character who decides to uncover the mysteries haunting the small town of Shiokawa. You investigate a series of mysteries (most have multiple endings as well), before final confronting the Big Bad. Fans of the tabletop roleplaying game Call of Cthulhu, by Chaosium, will definitely love this game.

Review

As mentioned, I am enjoying this game enough that I have replayed it multiple times and am looking forward to new content as it is added. The game is super unique and has a lot of depth, considering the game style. I absolutely loved the art, the music, and the gameplay. It is in easy access so, of course, I experienced some rough patches and, as I write this, there was no save or continue options available as the dev works out some kinks in the programming.

Still, I enjoy the game enough that I know I’ll be going back to play more soon. I can’t say it terrified me, but it definitely kept me captivated with its haunting music, horrifying art style, and massive amount of choices and new material. As such, I would highly recommend give it a try. Even if you’re not ready to buy it, you can play a demo here.

8/10

x P.L. McMillan

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