World of Horror PS4 Review – Point-and-click adventures have been around for decades, allowing the delivery of complicated stories using limited resources. The list of games in this genre is extensive and full of choices.
However, how many point-and-click adventures are also roguelikes? And then, how many of those are horror themed? I don’t know too much about the genre apart from the fundamentals, but I feel confident that World of Horror places itself in a niche all its own with all those qualifiers.
World of Horror PS4 Review – A Unique Horror Point & Click With Compromised Controls
The entirety of the World of Horror takes place in the small town of Shiokawa, Japan, in 1984 and naturally this being a horror game, there are several strange happenings pop up across town, creating local mysteries for you to investigate and solve. The ultimate goal is to solve all mysteries, find a bunch of magical keys, and then use those keys to enter a mysterious lighthouse.
The visual style speaks for itself, bringing a Junji Ito style to an 80s, 1-bit style PC presentation. This creates an interesting effect, combining the need to use your imagination with the vivid horror detail found from the world renowned mangaka.
There are several ways to approach each run. You can choose between a fixed character and path, a random combination, or a path and character of your own choosing. Regardless of which path you take, you always begin these investigations in your bedroom.
The entire game is menu-based, with a low-bit image to represent the situations you find yourself in. Everything is delivered through text boxes, and all interactions follow standard Dungeons and Dragons rubrics. The game even performs stat roll checks to see if you can complete the task ahead of you. As such, fans of Dungeons and Dragons or even just table top games in general will get a kick from how World of Horror leverages its UI.
Making A Run
When you choose a mystery to investigate, the game shows you a basic path in order to learn what you need to progress. You can certainly veer off that path a bit and in fact, it’s more beneficial to do so, since this provides opportunities for you chances to find weapons, level up, and learn spells.
A full run to completion takes between an hour and two hours. Before that though, you spend a great deal of time taking trial runs to learn how the items, spells, and navigation through World of Horror’s 1-bit realm of dread work. With levelling demanding a lot of experience, you either figure out a way to efficiently solve each mystery or explore all over to get stronger.
The major downfall to this formula is seeing the same scenes over and over. These scenes don’t take much time at all, which helps mitigate the repetition. At the same time, you end up spending a lot of time just skipping through events just because you know what you need to select in order to progress.
Cumbersome Console Controls
A significant challenge for developers of games like this is to translate the controls that center around a mouse and then make them player friendly on a controller such as the DualShock 4 or DualSense pad. Generally speaking, this translation happens one of two ways: either a full overhaul or a full commitment to using a joystick as a makeshift mouse.
In World of Horror, this choice ends up somewhere in the middle, generally favoring the controller. However, many situations pop up that force you to use the joystick. This is due simply to the fact that the on-screen buttons are too far away from each other and as such, this leaves using the joystick as an inevitability every once in a while.
Even with the button controls, navigating menus takes some effort. Each input forces a delay between the next input. So moving across menus takes a little while. The game does let you increase the cursor speed, but it will take half a second or so at the max speed between each button press.
Ultimately, the controls used in World of Horror get the job done, but they do not make the translation from PC a perfect one.
A Workable Transition to Consoles
All in all, World of Horror finds a way to translate a beloved niche PC point-and-click game to consoles. Button and joystick controls make navigating more cumbersome than other games, and a panel-based rogue-like formula opens the door for some numbing repetition.
Either way, there’s a unique concept here, placing a horror scenario in a table top style experience. Considering the combination of genres at play here, this is an easy recommendation for any fan of those genres looking for something unique to dive into.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.