The Ysbryd Published Indie Finally Releases Its 1.0 Launch Out Of Early Access
World of Horror is a roguelite cosmic horror RPG inspired by Junji Ito and H.P. Lovecraft. It is built with a mind for tabletop and visual novel mechanics to immerse players in its short story structure as they delve into its environments and characters. The game’s creator, Polish artist Paweł Koźmiński, achieved an eerily retro but familiar art style that fits right at home with the body of work published by Ysbryd Games including Va-11 ha-11 a Cyberpunk Bartender Action and the upcoming Demonschool. World of Horror, also known by its Japanese title Kyofu no Sekai, is set in a fictional desolate Japanese fishing village of Shikawa. The town’s mysteries swallow you up in existentialism and ghastly urban legends as you fight to delay the looming apocalypse.
While the game’s most violent encounters adhere to turn based combat as you queue actions against disfigured apparitions and frenzied cultists, the game fully shines with its roguelite adventure aspects of exploration, investigation, and puzzle solving mechanics keep you coming back each time you die to make more of your run before you lose to the ticking clock of horrors. Moving from supernatural case to case within the village is rewarding and equally hypnotic and unsettling. Despite the conscious choice of medium, the tone is understated and tangibly atmospheric to where you can smell the water-logged shanty’s and palpable grief.
The art direction is effectively monochromatic in 1-bit design all within MS Paint and is accompanied by a suitably distorted, high tension chiptune soundtrack, as if it’s a hexed floppy disk from years past you’ve unfortunately happened upon. Many of the ghouls and demons are supposedly based on pre-existing horror manga and folklore, such as Kuchisake-onna 口裂け女 or ‘Slit-Mouthed Woman’ who is a malicious and wrathful spirit with a lacerated widened smile. Each of the creatures have respectively haunting and grisly imagery whether they are loosely based on something or original, they’ve all endured some kind of deformation or mutilations and inhabit Shikawa likely tormented and resentful.
World of Horror is an atmospheric and at times torturous bevy of tales that delivers a lot in a single sitting, and offers more to delve into each time you return. In the most complimentary way, it is visually macabre, but it also uses that tone to tell a mechanically tight novella with hair-raising art direction and adept horror writing, and is certainly a recent stand out in the horror games of 2023, especially in the indie genre. After a very long development stage, the game just recently achieved its official 1.0 launch out of early access, and has spent the last few years slowly inching its way to a polish that effectively encapsulates the artist and genres it so vividly depicts.
‘World of Horror’ is available for PC and Mac on Steam, directly from the publisher on itch.io, GOG.com and on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 5 and Playstation 4