This unique horror game with art made in Microsoft Paint launches soon for PC, but sadly skips Xbox

World of Horror screenshot featuring two pixel art style nurses in the center surrounded by game text. The game art was developed in Microsoft Paint.
(Image credit: Ysbryd Games)

What you need to know

  • World of Horror is a retro horror RPG developed by Panstasz and published by Ysbryd Games, launching on October 19, 2023.
  • The unique game art was created in Microsoft Paint.
  • It's available for various platforms, including the Microsoft Store for PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation. However, it has not been announced for Xbox.
  • Ysbryd Games previously published Cyberpunk Bartender Action VA-11 HALL-A, which was included in Xbox Game Pass.

Polish developers Panstasz released their aptly named indie game, World of Horror, in early access on PC in 2020. The spooky title is finally ready for its official '1.0' release three years later. World of Horror takes players to a rural seaside village in Japan that is expertly crafted in a uniquely retro '1-bit' style. There's a bit of a twist with the art, though. World of Horror wasn't created with traditional drawing apps like you might expect. Instead, this gruesome tale was crafted in its entirety in Microsoft Paint.

World of Horror is described as a love letter to the works of horror legends Junji Ito and H.P. Lovecraft. Players navigate through multiple narrative mysteries, each centered around an individual who lives within the village, using the power of dark rituals and puzzle-solving mixed with turn-based combat in a battle against The Old Gods. The unique art style is complimented with a similarly retro yet still haunting chiptune score to amp up the retro unease. 

World of Horror eschews horror tropes and jump scares to instead focus on terrorizing the player with generalized dread and malaise. However, the scariest part of World of Horror may be that the title has not been officially announced for Xbox. PlayStation 4 and 5, GOG,, Steam, and Nintendo Switch have all been confirmed for the release of World of Horror and the Microsoft Store for PC. 

The game's publisher, Ysbryd Games, has previously ported titles to the Xbox console. This includes Cyberpunk Bartender Action: VA-11 HALL-A, which launched into Xbox Game Pass. According to the website for World of Horror, the 2020 early access version of the game was included in PC Game Pass, though the game is not available on the service at the time of writing.

World of Horror (Early Access) | $15 on GOG

World of Horror (Early Access) | $15 on GOG

World of Horror is a retro-inspired horror RPG that uses environment and storytelling to instill a sense of dread in the player rather than relying on horror tropes like jump scares.

Price check: $15 (Microsoft Store) | $20 (Steam)

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.