When I took my first look at World of One my first thought was ‘this looks like Limbo’ and it wasn’t even half correct. World of One earns its comparison to Limbo and other similar games like Inside or Little Nightmares due to is puzzle platforming nature and simple colour scheme focusing on black, grey and white. The only other colour you’ll see often is red, showing where you lasted died by painting the world with your blood. Besides these few similarities it’s got its own spins that set it apart.
Over the years these dark, creepy platformers have started to become more common since Limbo gained its popularity. I never played any of the other similar platformers until I got on World of One but the use of the conventions started with Limbo such as the focus on symbolism and use of imagery to give backstory. World of One does give you some information outright as you progress however so there’s definitely a more apparent story that reveals itself as the game goes on. I don’t want to go into detail about it though since the sense of mystery behind the character is one of the main focuses. The story could be very confusing to some as it doesn’t outright tell you things and you need to piece some together yourself but it it much more apparent than Limbo for example.
The gameplay is simple, get to the object at the end of the level. Depending on the chapter you need to get to a different thing but let’s just say lighthouse since that’s where you need to reach during the first chapter. Some levels may have you flight a boss and instead you’ll just have to work out how to defeat them. These boss fights offer a change in pace compared to the slower approach you’ll have to environmental hazards. There are checkpoints that you can activate after getting past most obstacles so despite the difficulty you’ll be spared the frustration of being sent back to the start of a level.
Each level takes place on its own individual ‘world.’ A 2D sphere that rotates with the player as they move across each direction. This allows for some unique gameplay mechanics since you’ll get ‘moons’ that orbit the world, granting you a reduced gravity effect that is required to get over some obstacles. Other parts of the environment may need to be used such as filling a bucket with water then using it to grow mushrooms that act like trampolines. Some of the puzzles on levels I found to be quite frustrating due to the lack of hints actually being to the point that you have no indication at all as to what you have to do. This can make some levels needlessly long and frustrating.
The fact there is a combat system is one of the things that sets World of One apart from the games that inspired it. After completing the first chapter you will be given a shovel which is used to complete puzzles at first but then also becomes your weapon for the combat system. Without it being a main focus of the game it sadly falls short, not being anything particularly special and only really challenging in certain situations. Despite the little gripes I do I have with the game it’s visuals are perfect for its world design and the eerie music that accompanies the dark visuals go well together. Boss fights are accompanied by a rock style soundtrack to fit the change of pace that comes with their fights.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher