The corridors and walkways of PAX never have any shortage of pixelated homages to the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, but seeing a 1-bit title is rare. Developer Panastaz and publisher Ysbryd Games are attempting to capture Lovecraftian lore and the works of Junji Ito in World of Horror.
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The story begins as many horror tales do – in a small Japanese town, things start… happening. Changing. With zero reliance on jump scares (as that would be pretty hard to do with the 1-bit aesthetic in the first place), World of Horror is all about setting the mood instead, with grim atmosphere and disturbing events. Combat is turn-based, and the title is a roguelike, so you’re encouraged to try different approaches to surviving the encroaching madness from playthrough to playthrough.
At shows like PAX, everyone is trying to capture “the look” so you can stand out in a sea of amazing indie games. World of Horror’s strange 1-bit curiosities excel at snagging the eye of the passing crowds, and horror experiences are generally difficult to relay on a loud, incredibly busy show floor. The fact that World of Horror somehow managed to do that as the hordes consumed convention center pizza and trampled by with swag bags laden with merch is a testimony to its potential – and I can’t wait to check out more when it launches on PC this year.