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World Of Horror spreads Junji Ito-inspired spookings in October

Early access ending after three years

Terrible scenes in a World Of Horror screenshot.
Image credit: Ysbryd Games, Playism

After three-and-a-bit years in early access, the striking Junji Ito-inspired spook 'em up World Of Horror is committing to a release date for the full game: the 19th of October. This is technically a delay from the previously planned summer launch, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to launch a horror game in summer anyway. This is also when it will launch on consoles.

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World Of Horror is a turned-based investigation game set in (and around) a Japanese seaside town where terrible, terrible things are happening. Disappearances. A coma epidemic. Deaths to dares. Weird fish. A village festival. Homemade mermaids. Other oddities. And then increasingly ominous and cataclysmic events as the personal horrors of Junji Ito build into the cosmic horror of Lovecraft.

It all plays out through HyperCard-style interface, an overwhelming array of boxes and buttons. Forget solving mysteries, figuring out how to play it is the first task. I quite like this. I'm a fan of an unknown interface. So off you go, clicking on buttons to go places, clicking on buttons to explore and investigate, clicking on buttons to equip items, clicking on buttons to chat to people, clicking on buttons to engage in turn-based combat with Ito-esque horrors that will tear your flesh and shatter your mind. It's run-based with multiple playable characters and many more cases (each with multiple endings) than you'll see in a single run. Each run potentially builds to a world-saving showdown, but probably ends in your death.

I'm still not sure what to make of World Of Horror. It's a game I want to like more than I actually like it. I like the stories. I like the art. I like the mysteries. I like the monsters. I like the horrors. I like the HyperCard-y interface. I like poking and prodding to figure out how everything works and why. I don't find the difficulty fun or challenging in an interesting way, or maybe I dislike some of the trial-and-error, or maybe the whole roguelikelike format feels a strange fit for this type of game. Not sure. I haven't played World Of Horror in years, so I look forward to revisiting in October to see how I feel once it's in its final form.

I first played World Of Horror back in 2017 with the free prototype. It then entered early access in February 2020, aiming for a full release at the end of 2020. It was nice to feel optimistic in February 2020, wasn't it? But the journey's end is finally almost in sight, and publishers Ysbryd Games are seemingly confident enough about that to put a date on it.

World Of Horror is on Steam, Itch, GOG, and the Windows Store (it was on Game Pass for a bit, not anymore). Come October 19th, it will also hit Nintendo Switch and PlayStations 4 and 5.

NotE3 and Summer Game Fest 2023 is over for another year. You can find out all the latest news by visiting our E3 2023 hub, or you can catch up with our round-up posts of everything that was announced at Summer Game Fest, the Xbox Games Showcase, the PC Gaming Show, Day Of The Devs, and our top highlights from the Wholesome Direct.

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