World of Horror
Ladies and Gents, I rarely find something that merges two things I love together as well as World of Horror. As a teenager I went through my dreaded Anime phase. While it was mostly a cringe festival with myself as the star. One of the only positives to arise from that horror show was a discovery. Chilling, twisted and not recommended for midnight reads, I’m talking about the work of Junji Ito.
Junji Ito took the type of horror that creeps and scratches at the back of your skull and added his nightmare vision to it. I like to call him the R.L. Stine of “Fuck that shit”. Take the creepy ghost in the basement narrative of Ito and drive it through an arcade with H.P.Lovecraft. What you just found is World of Horror, a horror RPG made by one man to bless us all with fresh nightmares.
So let’s start off where the game lives, in the gameplay. The game itself feels very open, despite playing just the three demo mysteries I got the sense that the space is kept at a specific size so you don’t wander off jumping at shadows. All three dealt with small areas, the first was just a school, the second a couple of major locations across a city and the third, a small village near a forest. I suppose it’s technically a card game, but not in a real way. The cards represent the items and enemies you acquire and engage, but they blend into the artwork in a way that seems natural and unobtrusive.
The goal of all the games I played was to stop the crawl towards the inevitable birthing of an eldritch god into the real world, you do this by defeating their agents in the world, the agents are all inspired by Japanese mythology and urban legends. They also all can be defeated by physical means or magical, usually requiring you to do a lil’ bit of Scooby Doo’ing around for clues to the ritual you need to weaken them or make them corporeal.
Graphically this game achieves something truly devious, it blends the butthole puckering style of Junji Ito with a retro computer 1-bit art style that adds an odd sort of weird credibility to the horror.
Pawel, the creator, deserves a medal for his ability to create a coherent and cruel visual style with plenty of noise and detail and doing with just two colours (that you can choose by the way).
The soundtrack is a spooky old school chiptune affair and really sets the mood, the creature sound effect and action sounds have a sense of tangibility to them. It does a stalwart job of framing in your ears what your eyes can see in front of you.
In summary, I loved it, I want more. Like the characters of Lovecraft and Ito, I’m hooked on this thing I don’t truly understand. My love for the style and feel of this game blinds me to the fact that it is clearly taking over my body to pave the way for the arrival of an antediluvian demi god made of fear and gore and the unkept promises of Peter Molyneux.
And I feel like this really deserves a note in 2018.
NOT A SINGLE FUCKING JUMPSCARE!
The horror was there to begin with, skin crawling, insidious dread that serves to herald a bold final confrontation. Not a boo or scream in sight.
I can’t Imagine what development of this calibre of horror does to the human brain, so as usual at Popcorn Horror, please support this game. It’s available on all the indie platforms you love, So maybe throw a few bucks towards saving the dwindling sanity of the acolyte chanting at the code.