For starters, the way your followers or companions who you have join you during an adventure is great. They don't directly add to your combat power, nor do they show up to help you with the weird shit so much. Instead, they act as a stat bonus (or sometimes negative- I try to kill these ones off as soon as possible of course) and can be used in combat as a one off attack (which always kills them) or they can be used to “distract” an enemy, which has a chance to kill them and grants you some more combat speed for the encounter. I think this design to hirelings is really interesting and, in the grand scheme, kind of unique. Having an extra hireling or follower who doesn't directly double your player's ability to do stuff is pretty nice, it's the sort of abstraction in gameplay I think works well. You can also consider that a highly charismatic character could have an entourage of a bunch of helpers, but all they do is add maybe a small bonus to a roll or act as a meat shield for an attack. I think that would be a nice way to “balance” out the player characters with a lot of charisma versus the ones with a little that doesn't involve just letting them have a ton more powerful helpers. Of course, balance isn't necessarily a primary goal of a game, which is why I put it in quotes, but it's still nice to strive for a “balance”.
I have no idea why I find this so fascinating. I have a weird thing for games with “Power” as a sort of generic stat, or all encompassing thing, but to me in World of Horror this seems perfectly fitting. Like the more powerful something is, the more impossible it is for a vunerable human like yourself to actually fight it. It's not that it necessarily dealing more damage to you, because enemies in this game can do more things then just damage your basic health or sanity. It's more like it's “presence” is more powerful. Harder to destroy and physically harm, it's pull on the world is supernaturally stronger. While it rubs slightly against the concept of a clear division of ghost enemies (which can't be hurt by physical attacks at all) and more regular monsters or creatures which can be anything from weird mutant people to serial killers to otherworldly entities. The more powerful they are, the more they transcend the physical reality you live in, the less you can do against them. Like they seep into the shadows of the room, their malovelnce almost makes them intangible. Almost like they are more of a presence then a flesh and blood creature you ever hope to fight.
Edit: While writing this, the developer came in and dropped a new case file and a bunch of new events, so that's one me I guess. Like I said, this game is in development and has some great vision behind it!
case files I think are the worst thing about the game; not the files
themselves; most range from decent to really good. The idea to give
case files multiple endings was brilliant- it adds to replay value
and gives you an incentive to play a specific way if you're looking
to get everything. But you have to do five of them every run, which
always ends at the lighthouse. Because of this, you'll be doing
almost half of the case files every single time you play, so the more
runs you do (and since you'll die a lot) you'll be seeing the same
cases over and over.
So here's my suggestion- make it so you only do 4 case files. This would cut down on seeing the same cases over and over, though obviously that would make the game much easier. In that regard I could see an overall increase in either the amount of Doom you get from events, or cutting down the amount of free healing you get after a case file. First you get a free +1/+1 for simply solving a mystery, then you get ANOTHER +1/+1 for taking a bath, and finally you get to pick another point to restore for either Stamina (health) or Reason (Sanity). This means you're getting a total of 5 stat points restored for completing a case file!
Second; the above issue is also present for Doom. In my first playthrough where I got to the lighthouse, I had about 90% Doom. I was excited to see the end of the game so close to the wire; but then I saw that I was getting Doom for climbing the staircase at the end even without failing a skill check. This I thought was terrible- since all games must end at the lighthouse, and you can't go into town or do anything (unless if you have an item or spell or something that reduces Doom, getting to 100% Doom isn't actually an automatic game over. Have a certain 90%+ Doom is actually a game over, since it's unavoidable Doom. This I felt wasn't very fun, but it's ultimately a minor complaint, as any playthrough where you have such a high level of Doom you're probably screwed anyway.
Finally; the events. After finishing a mystery, the game will have random events that can make it more difficult. I think these are great, but my problem with them is that they are not at all “balanced” with each other. What I mean is that some are relatively minor, and some are almost crippling. If after doing the first mystery my event is “Contained Water”, I just restart my run. Why? Because that event prevents you from bathing between missions. This bath restores +1/+1 to your stats, and you get to pick either +1 Reason, +1 Stamina, or +5 XP (usually not worth it unless if it's your first bath when you full health anyway). As such, this one is pretty terrible to get, especially early. However some of them, like the TV signal going out, doesn't do anything as far as I am aware!
So here's my suggestion for this- make it so finishing a mystery doesn't actually restore any stamina or reason. Why? Because this makes your recovery more reliant on the events, and ultimately more difficult. Instead, you can both bathe once after finishing a mission, and relax once, which uses the TV. Taking a bath restores +1 Stamina, and then you can pick another option- one option can be to restore another +1 Stamina (hot water?), and one option could be to soak (removing a minor injury). This would better fit the theme of the bath being your physical recovery. You could also keep in the option to bottle up some bath water (which I thought was hilarious, until I saw that it just gives you the “bottle of water” item you can drink- so stupid! Make it so you can sell your bath water to a perv. Much better and more fitting). Then, the TV acts as your ability to recover your reason. You automatically restore 1 Reason, then can watch a comedy (+1 more reason), watch the news (+5 xp perhaps?). I'd also like to see an option here to reduce Doom, perhaps watching a nature documentary reduces Doom somehow, or calling in things of what you found to science organizations as they work to understand it.
The reason why I suggest these changes is because at the end of the day, it's actually less stats total (+2/+2 maximum instead of the +2/+2/+1 choice of stat you get as vanilla) and makes the random events less totally punishing. You could also take the above and make it so one recovery action (bath or relaxing) can be done to recover the other stat as an option. So like in vanilla, you can take a bath to restore +1 Stamina, but can choose to use cold water which restores +1 Reason. This way, if the water is contaminated or the signal goes out, you still have a small, steady supply of healing, it's just slowing dwindling. This I feel matches the game's tone a lot better.
Regardless of my minor nitpicks; World of Horror is a great game. Even if the words “indie early access” frighten you, I already put about fourteen hours into the game with what it has to offer already. The music and art is enough to push it to yet another level- and I haven't even checked out the modding scene yet. This game is great and I'm eagerly watching its development- I can't recommend it enough.