PAX WEST 2018: World Of Horror – A Terrifying Experience
There are dark forces entering our world. There are innocent people being taken by demonic forms. It is the 1980’s, and when monstrous paranormal activity is reported, who are you going to call? No one, because its already being taken care of by a young high school girl. Ysbyrd Games and developer Panstas, introduced a new kind of horror video game at PAXWEST, one that will create a suffocating atmosphere of dread and terror, and refrain from the exhausted use of jump scares.
Enter the World Of Horror, a 1-bit survival horror and combat game where players will come face-to-face with madness itself, and embrace the otherworldy powers attempting to enter our world. I had heard of World Of Horror through the grapevine of Twitter, so seeing this in person made me incredibly excited to try it out.
World Of Horror takes place in Japan, during the 1980’s. A small coastal town is experiencing bizarre and repulsive oddities, sporadically appearing in the town. Their increase in appearance appears to be related to the world at large. As the 1980’s rage on, the madness of humanity builds and consumes all.
Nuclear war, crime, drugs, insanity, and the overall uncertainty of the future are creating the perfect environment for these cosmic monstrosities to enter our world. A lone high school girl seems to know about them, as well as a means to combat them. This is where my demo began.
World of Horror is a black-and-white survival horror game, where players will make tough choices, explore their environment, and combat the enemy. My goal was to eliminate a scissor demon, obsessed with beautifying herself with scissors. The task would not be easy as I would be infiltrating a dark and intoxicating haunted high school.
The objective was to aggressively search for the right materials to perform a ritual, summon the demon, and eventually defeat her. As the demo began, the game was already delivering on its promise to create an unnerving experience. Right from the start, the haunting chiptunes, coupled with the color palette and retro presentation, all created an unnerving experience. I had no idea what I would encounter or where. And it would only get more unnerving from there.
Exploration was similar to a point and click adventure. I chose specific parts of the school to search, including classrooms, and the rooftops. I searched lockers and classrooms, observing extremely strange oddities and apparitions. One such case was the rooftop. For inexplicable reasons, the moon contorted into a twisted face of evil. I had the decision to look up or head back downstairs, keeping my face from look upwards.
Regrettably, the character looked upwards and an evil power was transferred to her. She was branded with an ancient symbol on her face, and gain some abilities, at the price of health. I continued exploring, coming across one pulpous monstrosity along the way. This is where the game entered a traditional turn-based combat mode.
Here I was, locked in a school, hunting repugnant beasts, and staring at me, was a horrifying beast. I used a bat that I had acquired earlier, and my own martial arts skills, gaining some success, but suffering cuts and bruises. I tried other combat systems, such as studying the target and using defense to block blows to the character. I suffered “bleeding” and continued to lose health during the encounter. Determined to keep going, I repeatedly used the bat to continue fighting and eventually, the monster was defeated. I managed to perform the necessary ritual to summon and combat the demon of scissors. Alas, victory would not be achieved.
Already battered and wounded, the terrifying scissor demon appears, pulsating with flesh and brimming with tentacles, but having a doll-like appearance. Just as I was about to use the “spell” command, the Ysbyrd booth member informs me that the speels were glitched. If I were to use a spell to defeat the demon, the entire game would crash. I knew that I would undoubtedly be defeated, but I still gave it my all. After a series of physical attacks, many of which were like throwing a bowling ball at a battle tank, I was defeated, and the monsters proceeded to cut a smile into the face of my character via scissors. With that, the demo was over.
World Of Horror is shaping to be an absolutely amazing horror experience. As the genre has been lacking in a quality title for some time, it is great to see such a fresh approach to horror video games such as this. The earl Macintosh-inspired graphic designs, with the black-and-white color and 80’s setting sets the stage for something disturbing, terrifying, and incredibly unique. World of Horror launches for PC and Nintendo Switch in 2019. Other platforms have not been announced but have also not been ruled out.