WORLD OF HORROR Review — An Amazing 1-Bit Nightmare
If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews, you should know that I love two things: point & click games and horror games. The awesome developers at Panstasz asked me to review their first game, WORLD OF HORROR, which is both. For those who don’t know, WORLD OF HORROR is a rogue-like horror RPG with a distinct art style. Think of it as a combination of Junji Ito’s & H.P. Lovecraft’s visionary horror aesthetics. But how does this hold up as an actual horror game? Let’s find out!
Welcome to WORLD OF HORROR
As soon as you boot up WORLD OF HORROR, you’re immediately thrown into the game as a young girl in Shiokawa, Japan. Something strange is happening in the city and it’s your job to find out what’s happening. This story is primarily a horror mystery involving cults, Eldritch gods, and other horrific monstrosities. I can’t explain why — whether it’s the classic-yet-terrifying art style, the plot itself, or the atmospheric music — but I found myself mesmerized by the game as soon it started.
The plot was never predictable, which is refreshing since most horror games, unfortunately, fall into that trap. I think this is helped by the Lovecraftian elements that play into the main narrative. However, I do wish the game had a better cast of characters (from what I’ve experienced at least) — it could have helped if the game added a few side characters that worked alongside the protagonist.
A Frightening Resurrection of Classic RPGs
WORLD OF HORROR’s gameplay is a return to form of classic RPG gameplay. The gameplay has you managing stats such as Strength, Dexterity, and Knowledge. If you’re familiar with classic RPG games or text-based adventures, then you won’t have any trouble learning how the game works. But if you are new to these types of games, you might want to take some time and experimenting to fully grasp the gameplay. While the tutorial does teach you everything you need to know about stats and currencies, it would help if it actually gave a demonstration of how they work.
The gameplay suffices as a classic RPG. You won’t find Obsidian Entertainment or Divinity levels of RPG elements, but there’s just enough to satisfy hardcore RPG fans, like perception rolls, turn-based combat, and actions that have consequences. There’s not much else I can talk about in terms of gameplay. Relatively speaking, it’s quite simple on the surface, though it can get quite in-depth if you keep going.
Junji Ito’s Horrors Come to Life
In my opinion, the greatest aspect of the game is its art style and soundtrack. The aesthetic is heavily inspired by Junji Ito’s critically-acclaimed manga series. You might already be familiar with some of his finest works, like Uzumaki and Tomie. WORLD OF HORROR takes such heavy inspiration that people might think Junji Ito worked on the game himself. While the monster design isn’t as detailed or creative as Junji Ito’s designs, they still managed to create some interesting creatures that work really well with the black and white, 1-bit art style. I’m still amazed that this was all made in Microsoft Paint.
The soundtrack also works incredibly well with the whole atmosphere of the game. The 1-bit sound reminds me of DOS games or classic text-based adventure games. The track that was most memorable was the main theme, as I think it captures the essence of the game. Whenever you encounter monsters, the soundtrack and its associated sound effects can creepily effective, especially when playing at night.
Overall, WORLD OF HORROR offers an amazing 1-bit horror experience. If you’re looking for a refreshing and new type of horror, then this is the game for you. The main narrative is captivating and intriguing and the art style and soundtrack are horrifically amazing. The gameplay is well-balanced and not too difficult for newcomers to the genre. However, the game could use a better tutorial and characters with more fleshed-out development. The best thing is that this game can run on even the oldest of computers.
You can buy the game on Steam, PS4, Xbox One & Nintendo Switch.