World of Horror screenshot of the flaming idol rising

While the screenshots and the gorgeously grotesque artwork might make you think that World of Horror is some sort of visual novel, in reality it's a surprisingly intense roguelike. As I've mentioned throughout my review, it's very easy to make a series of mistakes that will absolutely cripple your character, both in combat and during regular investigations. However, once you get past the difficulty curve and figure out what World of Horror wants from you, there it a lot to enjoy as well. After all, the greater the challenge, the better it feels to trounce all over it and rise triumphant!

So if you're thinking about diving in yourself, allow me to give you some handy tips and advice to help you avoid being devoured by a spider god or just set ablaze for all eternity. Without further ado, let us begin!

Video version of this guide (~11 minutes)

1) Don't forget the essentials

First and foremost, there is a handy little secret hidden within your wardrobe. The figurine standing on the top left shelf contains a tiny bit of money, and you should absolutely take that on every single playthrough. It might not sound like much, but a little bit of extra cash in the early game can sometimes be exactly what you need to set yourself up for a good run. 

There's also a chance you can find a random consumable item in the cupboard behind the character on the main house screen. The odds of getting a good item (or anything at all) aren't great so it's not something you can rely on to shape your runs, but the occasional boon is always welcome in my book.

It's also important to mention that you should bathe at the very start, and in between every mystery. At the very start this represents a nice +5 experience boost, while later the bath will allow you to recover some much-needed stamina and sanity. So much like real life, don't forget to keep yourself clean - it'll help you a lot!

World of Horror screenshot of the secret funds hidden in your wardrobe

It's hidden in plain sight!

2) Play it safe, but don't be paranoid

World of Horror is going to present you with countless decisions throughout any given run, and very few of them are going to be purely positive. For most of them you're going to be faced with either taking a small loss in order to avoid the situation, or taking a big gamble that can either hurt you severely or give you something of interest.

The important thing here is to manage your risk. If you don't have much perception, trying to search a body for clues is more often than not going to end in disaster. On the other hand, if your character is quite knowledgeable, investigating mysterious runes is more likely than not going to result in you getting some juicy experience.

There is no exact rule that will tell you when you should go for it and when you should play it safe, but just remember that you need to go through five mysteries and then a final zone in order to win. So don't waste all of your health early by taking bad risks as that will come to bite you later. On the flip side, also don't become paranoid and avoid every event as the occasional calculated risk will help you get ahead of the curve. It's a fine line to walk, and something you'll get better at the more you experiment.

World of Horror screenshot of the pillar of doom event

Investigate if you're able, but don't be afraid to retreat if you aren't

3) Don't rush through fights

Unless you're lucky enough to wield one of the ridiculously powerful weapons, most combat encounters in World of Horror are going to take a while. As such, trying to destroy your enemies as quickly as possible is often going to be the wrong move. After all, you don't want to win a fight but leave with such little health that a stiff breeze suddenly becomes a deadly threat to you.

So unless you're able to burn the enemy down in a turn or two, it's highly advised to use dodging or blocking together with your attacks. This won't even reduce your damage output by all that much since you'll usually have enough time units to also squeeze in some boosts to your hit chance, thus giving you a solid guaranteed hit every turn. And then, once the enemy is low enough, simply stop dodging and instead focus everything on offense so you can bring them down before they can even swing back.

World of Horror screenshot of the generally useful combat sequence

A dodge followed by a boosted heavy attack is a solid combo for most weapons

4) It's okay to run

While fighting enemies is generally worthwhile since it's a great source of much-needed experience, sometimes you're going to run into monsters that are either far stronger than you or simply too inconvenient to fight at that moment. When this happens, just run!

Yes, you're going to get a sizable doom penalty by doing so, and that does indeed reduce the amount of time you have left in that run, but that's perfectly fine. Attempting to heal your wounds after a bad fight will likely give you a bunch of doom as well, maybe even emptying your item or money reserves, so by running you can actually minimize your losses even though it might not seem like it at first glance. So if you can fight enemies, you should absolutely do it, but just don't destroy your entire run by trying to avoid taking a bit of extra doom.

World of Horror screenshot of the loss screen versus the spider god

Running away is a lot better than becoming spider chow

5) Start with a shopping trip

While going to the shops in World of Horror increases your doom, it's still something I'd highly recommend you do. Having a quality weapon early, as well as a stat-boosting item that can also help with various events, will let you pull ahead of the curve and set yourself up for a much smoother run than what you'd have by simply going in unprepared.

The exact items don't even particularly matter. A hammer is just as useful as a dagger in the early game, and the same thing goes for the various equippable items like the flashlight, camera or even the compass. Just having anything to help you out at the very start while you're still weak is quite handy.

That said, my personal favorite item is the holy candle as it offer a nice stat boost while simply sitting in your inventory, can be consumed for an emergency heal, and has the potential to reduce doom by 9% through various events. For 2 bucks you really can't ask for much more!

World of Horror screenshot of the highly useful holy candles

When it comes to items, the holy candle is a powerhouse!

6) Achievements unlock important features

In most games achievements are just fun little extras, but in World of Horror they're incredibly important as they're used to unlock different types of items, characters and locations for you to mess around with. Some of these achievements are fairly easy to complete and can be done as a part of any random run, whereas others are rather tricky and require some very precise maneuvering.

As such, my advice would be to check the list of achievements in order to understand what sort of thing you should be looking out for while playing, as well as to write down a couple you'd like to focus on. It's also worth mentioning that even the most basic of achievements are worth doing since new locations unlock based on the number of achievements completed, and some of these like the Occult Shop, Pharmacy and the Monument can be of great use to any run.

World of Horror screenshot of the achievement menu

There's quite a few to uncover

7) Plan your route

Not all of World of Horror's mysteries are made equal. Some are remarkably short, others have boss fights, and some are lengthy adventures that will take you far beyond the city itself. As such, it's important to plan your route, even if this isn't something you'll be able to do throughout your first few runs.

For example, you generally don't want to leave the city on your first mission as this means you won't be able to visit the shops. Similarly, you don't really want to fight a boss too early as you'll usually scale a lot better than they will. Personally, I like to knock out the short and boss-free missions first to get myself a level up or two, then tackle bosses in the mid-game, and then do the lengthiest, city-based adventure last as this lets me figure out how many (and which) healing supplies I might need to grab before going for the finale.

8) Don't be afraid of making sacrifices

It doesn't matter how well you play, sooner or later World of Horror will erode both your health and sanity, thus forcing you to enact desperate measures in order to survive. This is perfectly fine. Do not be afraid to make horrific sacrifices if it means you'll be able to keep going.

For example, if you're low on stamina and the only way you have to heal yourself will give you a curse - take it! Even if you get super unlucky and land one of the deadliest curses, it's still better than dying to a random event right then and there. Similarly, items and spells that reduce your maximum health but give you health right now are amazing. You're probably never going to reach that cap again anyway, so it's essentially free healing!

World of Horror screenshot of the disgusting lump of flesh item


9) You don't have to be perfect

As awful as this sounds, you don't actually have to save everyone. Your mission is to prevent the end of the world as we know it, and if this means you have to throw a few people to the wolves along the way, then so be it.

So depending on your current status, don't be afraid to go for the bad endings in certain mysteries in order to preserve your health. Trying to save everyone by doing a tough boss fight is commendable, but what good will any of that do if you get crippled in the process and end up losing the run in the next few minutes anyway? That said, if you're strong and healthy enough you should consider fighting the bosses for the experience and potential item drops, but just don't overcommit to a sketchy fight because you're worried about 'failing' the mystery.

World of Horror screenshot of a mystery that ends with you sacrificing an ally

It's rough, but sometimes that's just what it takes to save the world

Closing thoughts

There you have it, nine simple tips that will hopefully make your time with World of Horror nice and pleasant despite the whole 'end of the world' thing. That said, World of Horror is still a remarkably tricky game, even on the lower difficulty settings, so don't be surprised if you kick the bucket over and over again. 

Failure is only a part of the learning process, and in the case of World of Horror, a key reason why the game is so addictive. After all, if getting to the top of that lighthouse wasn't such a monumental struggle at times, then victory wouldn't taste so sweet! So just keep at it, learn from your mistakes, and you'll be cranking up the difficulty soon enough in order to keep chasing that feeling of triumph!