[PAX EAST] Hands On With World of Horror

Written by Derek Wright

Introducing: World of Horror Switch Preview

What really scares you? Is it a masked man in a dark alley waiting to strike? The monster hiding underneath your bed or in your closet? The thought of crippling student loan debt stopping you from reaching financial stability? With most of these scenarios, one aspect that is commonly present is the unknown. The fear of what could be behind us or what could be lying in the shadows. H.P. Lovecraft took this fear to a cosmic level with his many stories of unknown beings. Junji Ito took it a step further by illustrating gruesome horrors both unknown and known, local and cosmic. Which leads us to where we are now, stuck in a World of Horror.

World of Horror comes from developer Panstaz and publisher Ysbryd Games. Set in a small, seaside Japanese town where the Old Gods have returned, World of Horror should immediately grab the attention of Ito and Lovecraft fans. Upon starting the demo, I immediately fell in love with the lo-fi nature of the game. It is drawn completely in Microsoft Paint and is being described as a “1-bit” title. Because of this, animations are limited, but that doesn’t matter. The art is stunning in its homage to Ito. If you haven’t seen Junji Ito’s work, I would suggest looking it up, but be warned, it can be quite graphic and disturbing.

What Lies Beneath?

I began the demo in a school that was seemingly empty. I began to search for a way out when I encountered an enemy and began to fight it. Even more surprising, World of Horror is a turn-based RPG. The battle system added more tension to the game, as your character did not have much to rely on to fight back. Weapons are available to pick up, but when faced with overwhelming horrors, it can get tricky.

I survived the encounter by the skin of my teeth and eventually found myself in the school gym. A pool was laid before me and a key item was submerged in the middle of the pool. Convenient, yes? Against my better judgement, I dove in and found myself face to face with another unspeakable horror. Unfortunately, I succumbed to its eerie grasp and was defeated. Even though I did not survive the encounter, I left the demo station with a wide grin. I was sold on World of Horror and cannot wait to dive into the full game.

Don’t Look Back

When it releases later this year, players will be able to take control of 5 characters while searching for meaning in the terrible events that are unfolding. Each of the games many scenarios contain multiple endings, allowing for more replayability, if you can make it to the end. Over ten different scenarios are available, and each one will test your ability and sanity. To make the story even more terrifying, horror novelist Cassandra Khaw was brought in to add more depth and bring the story to life.

World of Horror is set to bring other worldly terror to the Nintendo Switch in 2020.

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