Honestly I should know better by now than to publish stories with titles like "World of Horror will finally release in Summer 2023" because that is a guarantee that the game in question will not finally release at whatever time or date I have said. This is a tempting opportunity that the universe will use to humble me, something I have failed to learn after ten years of writing about games.
There’s no ignoring the signs. WORLD OF HORROR leaves Early Access and launches in its full frightening incarnation on PC, Switch, and Playstation on October 19th 2023!https://t.co/vgR6YByvKL#WORLDOFHORROR @panstasz pic.twitter.com/xl5NjaFNlkJune 12, 2023
Anyway, cult-hit indie survival horror RPG World of Horror will release on October 19th, 2023, says publisher Ysbryd Games. October being in, of course, the fall.
I'm not bitter, however, because World of Horror is an incredible game that we're all blessed that it exists. It's a bizarre fusion of turn-based roguelite RPG and survival horror visual novel... thing. It's infused with a kind of cosmic horror that was nurtured in the comics of Junji Ito and is distilled by the mind of creator panstasz into a fine soup of gruesome strange.
In World of Horror you're a character trying to save the town of Shiokawa from all manner of terrible creatures and one big terrible bad at the top of the horror heap. It's a game I lose more than win, but that's part of the fun—finding and collecting new terrors for your index of bad things. You can tweak and twist what's in the game and how you start it, leading to a surreal and cosmic horror tale generator par excellence.
Earlier this year I called it "one of those games you hear about from people for years to come." That's an assessment I stand by, because World of Horror isn't really designed with a specific established genre in mind. It's a clickable collection of abominations and terrors rendered in that telltale black-and-white 1-bit weirdness, with an interface more reminiscent of early mac games than a modern videogame.
World of Horror has been in development since before 2020, and has had a long development cycle with its own ups and downs. There was a while there where I despaired it'd ever be finished owing to the solo developer's extended absence. But the pace has been brisk since 2022, with new updates coming along pretty regularly and dropping delightful new horror in our laps.
The most recent update, Dreadful Dreams, adds the horror KTU-RUFU to the game, a kind of Cthulhu takeoff that's inflicting its terrible nightmares upon mankind. It includes such delightful patch notes as "ROOFTOP GIRL has started whispering to herself" and "added new items: RUSTY SICKLE, HANDCUFFS, SWITCHBLADE."
You can find World of Horror for $15 on GOG, itch, Steam, and Windows Store. It'll release on October 19th, 2023, but they also said it would release in Summer, and October is not Summer, so make of that what you will.