As WGG’s main source of Horror, I was given the opportunity to go hands on with an incredibly interesting game last week and to follow up with the publishers at PAX East over the weekend. That game was World of Horror, a 1Bit Horror RPG, designed and developed by one person, Paweł Koźmiński, and published by ysbryd games. As their Twitter states the game is ” 1bit cosmic horror made by one dude in MS Paint “. How fucking bananas is that? The game in my opinion is combination of Junji Ito inspired, page like manga screens, with rogeuelite mechanics similar to Darkest Dungeon, and a pretty in depth RPG level and combat system akin to EarthBound.
The visual style of World of Horror is so incredibly unique and fleshed out in a gorgeous yet grotesque black and white, manga like manner. In my full first playthrough, I spent a good couple of minutes in awe at the fact that they also put in an option to change to a dozen different hues. If you aren’t feeling the black and white you can experiment to find a new hue that felt like the game was being played on an old tube TV. Visually World of Horror is stunning with interesting environments and gruesome cosmic horror based enemies to fight along the way. You’re tasked with solving a handful of mysteries, with the main theme and end boss being the same, but the instances in the core of each mystery being randomized. This all reminded me of selecting a specific dungeon in Darkest Dungeon to explore as the map, enemies, and interactions are procedurely generated as you progress. On top of all that, the combat and stat system reminded me of old school RPGs like EarthBound. Your’e given the usually stat block of Strength, Stamina, Knowledge and so on, each being impactful not only in combat, but also the randomized events that take place throughout the mysteries. You’re also given an action bar that allows you to set up your dodges, buffs and attacks in a turn based style.
I’ll keep saying it, but World of Horror is gorgeous. I love me some good cosmic horror and I love it being represented in such a disturbing Junji Ito fashion. It is a one of a kind type of game, visually, for me. The roguelite aspects aren’t egregious and have a good balance of variation in subsequent playthroughs of each mystery. The stats, spells, and combat all fall into that sweetspot of turn based RPG that I have been waiting to get my hands on again for a long time. There are a good amount of interesting locations to explore as well all about the neighborhood.
Because the middle chunk of mysteries are random, I found on some runs it was almost impossible to just find a weapon and had to resort to kicks and whatnot. That being said, I found out of complete luck, that you can purchase a scalpel from the Hospital to bypass some of these combat woes. Upping the weapon finding, or giving you a mundane weapon at the start could help with this as well. The combat and party system could also benefit from a little more explanation too. It is almost more imperative to mitigate damage than it is to dish it out, so Dodge is almost always a necessity, but determining the best overall attack patterns is all trial and error. There is also a party recruitment system, but not in the typical RPG style where you control a group of characters attacks. What they actually are is a way to boost certain stats and that was also learned through trial and error.
All this being said, World of Horror is still only in Early Access on Steam right now, so there are bound to be more updates and a final released product in the future. When speaking with Jacob Burgess, ysbyrd’s Director of Operations, at PAX East, he explained how their goal as a publisher is to give the developers the freedom, time and resources to make their best product possible which gives me great hope that when this game does fully release, it will be even better than expected. The game is uniquely gorgeous, the mysteries are interesting, and the combat feels pretty well fleshed out. I had such a great time playing it and all I can do is hope that more people go and check it out. I will be keeping a close eye on this one and will surely follow up when more news or gameplay drops.