You Have Never Played Anything Like This Junji Ito Horror Game

I’ve noticed that people get misty-eyed when they talk about a Junji Ito-inspired roguelite role-playing game. World of Terror. If their husband was cold, they would have wanted to keep him for a long time. It has been out in some capacity, either as a demo or in early access, since 2017, but, finally, on October 19, Polish developer panstasz released his full-grown 1.0 version to an itching crowd the way you might throw an animal a treat—it slips from your fingers, and it’s caught.

I usually scoff at that kind of hunger, but World of Terror worth it. Although the final form of the game is not very different from its previous iterations, there is a respectful superiority of the poetic horror story, and it shows the importance of making people wait – the beauty of anticipation and, then, if you don’t get it. that, the cosmic release.

To approach World of TerrorThe complete version, I felt like I was opening a moth-eaten almanac, one filled with recipes on post-it notes and mysterious dates written in and out of pencil. Like physical objects that change over time, the game is forced into a particular form. Its 1-bit MS Paint work shows it off best. It sticks to a definite vibe ACROSS World of TerrorThe game’s, unashamedly and masterfully imitates the amazing ink paintings of Junji Ito and a different visual take on horror.

I take a second to appreciate it. There were tons of color palettes to choose from, everything from cloudy seaweed greens to the more traditionally terrifying clotted blood reds, and I experimented with adjusting the aspect ratio to show the whole dumpy’ 80s PC that it simulated or full-screen the game to fit my actual computer.

Once I’d had my fill of full-screen, piss-yellow (there’s a time and place for this), I checked out the young adults—the five playable characters I’d unlocked were all college-age—and settled on Haru, 24, who is an addict. of cigarettes. “You’ve got a new status,” said the ever-populating notifications at the bottom of my computer screen. “(NICOTINE) WITHDRAWAL!”

A screenshot shows a boss encounter in World of Horror.

Screenshots: panstasz / Kotaku

Episodic horror, over and over again

That would be true for my usual playthrough, which allows me, among other things, to choose my character’s stats and whatnot. Old God I want to destroy my life. Extracurricular Activity mode is the game’s standard setting, and Quickplay acts as a playthrough randomizer, but none of this guarantees me that my God has chosen—The God Forsaken Thing, a gilded mirror with a black core. This makes it home, the place where I can change Haru into a clean bomber jacket or take a shower to fill up the stats, increase my destruction, a percentage that activates God’s resurrection and ends a game when I’ll let it be 100.

With that settled, I set out to solve the five mysteries that plagued me decaying town in Japan with the dark aim of opening a miserable lighthouse at its end. I like to call these mysteries World of TerrorThe “episodic” elements, but the game clearly prefers them to be roguelike, making it so that the items or status effects you accumulate during a mystery affect your narrative in the next mystery you play in a set.

Unraveling a mystery takes me five to ten minutes, assuming I survive its turn-based combat with a Jane Doe worm-eaten corpse, or a spawning man. noodles from his cracked skull like a planter pot, or something. of the game’s many abominations. If the heavy “power attacks” I’m spamming (power spells don’t help my cause, one of my health stats, and I don’t have enough time in a typical encounter to learn the secret combination of applause and bows I had to release the ghost’s ass) couldn’t save me from death, my next playthrough of the same narrative was a bit different. I meet another scary woman who wants to kill me, I find things in fresh cobwebbed corners, I have the opportunity to buy new things or receive different perks, or try to opening another one of many mystery endings.

Read More: The Old-School Adventure World Of Horror Is Like Stepping Into A Junji Ito Manga

These random encounters are the most obviously evil element of the game, but they’re not what I quickly learned to like the most. I was more attracted to the atmosphere it created with the subtleties. Its pixel-art style ensures that the gore is more suggested than shouted, and that’s shocking, and World of Terror effectively uses narrative generalizations, too.

A screenshot shows an enemy encounter in World of Horror.

Screenshots: panstasz / Kotaku

I caught myself nervously watching my ticking doom counter, which increased with each passing moment. The invisible “city statuses” that slowly drip throughout the game constantly separate my character, giving me the chills. Contaminated Water will turn my tap water into mud, for example, taking my bath time life away from me. Cut Off From The Outside World informs me that my town has lost its radio signal—this has no obvious consequences to the game, but I realize I can’t call for help, and the thought plagues my mind.

Unlimited anxiety, dissatisfaction, please

Two hours into my approximately three hours of play time, I felt a tension headache coming on. I enjoyed the vibethe vague brutality of World of Terrorproud of, flowing enemies and all their scary names—“Something Really Evil,” “Scissor Woman,” “You?” It made me think of the palm-sized, daily ambiguities that pierce my paranoia as I float around my house—didn’t I leave the light on here? Who moved my phone? Is this abdominal pain a WebMD case study?

but World of Terror sometimes it feels too full for me to settle into its powerful, unconventional terror. I admire that, like the Ito comic, World of Terror have a sense of being apolitical. on full of horror genre which I love, rarely is something scary just because it is. on World of Terror, women are disgusting. Men are disgusting. Noodles are disgusting, because the world is dark and only getting darker, and the only thing that is pure is to accept it.

This silent fear is sometimes swallowed prematurely World of TerrorMany many elements – changing stories, reaching their many endings, getting the keys to open the burning lighthouse, adding perks to find things, or incantations, or mysterious ritual that changes every game, and… Sometimes while I’m playing, I look at the plants in my room instead of the screen, because they’re not noisy. I let Haru die and end my run prematurely.

I will return to his dying hometown in Japan one day. There aren’t many horror games like this, games that don’t need to be talked about, sometimes offensive tropes to scare you, games that are so well oiled, they are confident that their horror will spread to you just by touching them, like. brush a wet area and put it in your hand.

I was impressed. However, I think I always wanted to World of Terror in the wider acceptance of the minimalism it practices in moments that speak so well. I understand that ambient horror. I can live with it.

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