World of Horror is some neat Junji Ito-inspired horror

I knew I should’ve destroyed that damned Lump of Flesh but with dark forces on my trail — drawing bloody sigils on my apartment door, even — and my stamina flagging, I was desperate. The ritual gave energy, sure, but I don’t think it was my own. Soon after, I took a box cutter and opened tidy gill slits in my neck. The ‘Insmasu look’, they call it. I was losing myself. I was almost relieved when my next investigation, into the janitor making mermaids out of students, took everything I had left. Gozō, The Thing Forsaken By God, awoke but hey, but it was no longer my problem.

Kyōfu No Sekai; World of Horror [dev blog] is my sort of thing.

If that sounds like your bag too, an early free prototype is up on Itch.

So! Your goal in World of Horror is to stop old gods from awakening. No biggie! Pick your character, pick the god you wish to face, and away you go. To defeat the god, you’ll need to solve a number of supernatural mysteries which portent the end days, cases such as students vanished in the woods while filming or strange strangulations in locked rooms.

It’s easiest to think of as a card-based RPG with a bit of dice rolling (or, a comparison: like Yahtzee’s The Consuming Shadow with less and different combat). Each mystery takes you through a series of locations, which you investigate by pressing a big Investigate button to draw a random appropriate encounter. You might rifle through newspaper archives, find a magic shop, have dinner with a friend who serves suspiciously delicious meat, or be attacked by a woman who wishes to add your ribs to the collection you can see through her shredded chest.

Many encounters involve stat checks, need specific items, drain your mental or bodily resources, or are straight-up fights. Combat’s done with dice rolls, augmented by magic and items; fleeing is often the most sensible option.

And yup, that rib-collecting woman is borrowed from a Junji Ito story. World of Horror developer Panstas is openly inspired by the Japanese horror artist (you might have read The Enigma of Amigara Fault or Uzumaki/Spiral, as they seem to go around online every so often), both in the tone of everyday horror and, yes, sometimes content.

Obviously, I’m pretty into all this. I’ve yet to stop any dark gods from awakening but hey, I sure have seen some unpleasant things. I dig meandering through its mysteries, even if the current prototype ends up repeating events a lot. I like having terrible things happen to me, and how even rewards often have negative consequences. I feel like a small person going up against cosmic powers that will surely crush me. I dig the 2-bit Mac stylings too. Good stuff. I’m excited to see where continuing development takes this.

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10 Comments

  1. Kolbex says:

    CURSIOUS CASE

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    X_kot says:

    Reminds me of the Arkham Horror/Eldritch Horror/Elder Sign games from Fantasy Flight. That art is fantastic!

  3. Jokerme says:

    You had me at Junji Ito. I’ll be looking out for this.

  4. Wow Cool says:

    I love HyperCard stacks!

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    cpt_freakout says:

    Looks very intriguing – hope you guys cover it when it comes out!

  6. Darth Gangrel says:

    What will you never find in Ribs Woman’s fridge: Spare ribs.

    • April March says:

      Please spare us these awful puns!

      Nah, I’m just ribbing ya.

  7. FordTruck says:

    just read Junji Ito and knew i’d be getting this lol

  8. Sunjammer says:

    It’s about time more games looked to Ito. IMO he’s going to be looked back on in the future as one of the greatest authors and artists working in horror, easily on par with Lovecraft and often surpassing. As big a HPL fan as I am, that well is drying up, while Ito is still creating remarkable worlds with incredible power.

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      Harlander says:

      Unlike Lovecraft, a lot of Ito’s stuff makes me go “I don’t want to see that mess, it’s too horrible.”

      I guess that makes it a great success.