HAVE A VIDEO YOU WANT TO FEATURE ON OUR PAGE?

Submit Video

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

Play ‘Inscryption’ And Don’t Read Anything About It Until You Do

Published 
| Last updated 

Play ‘Inscryption’ And Don’t Read Anything About It Until You Do

It’s hard to recommend Inscryption. Not because it’s bad - it’s one of the best games I’ve played this year - but because much of what makes it good are its many surprises. In telling people why they should drop everything and play it before it’s spoiled you risk taking away from their experience.

Advert


If that’s all you need to try it out then, please, head to Steam and start playing. There’s even a demo to get a taste of what’s in store, so you don’t have to drop £15 on a blind recommendation.


Advert

Read on if you need a little more encouragement.


Loading…

Advert


Inscryption appears to be a roguelike deck builder in the style of games like Slay The Spire and Hand Of Fate. You start each game facing a hand-drawn map charting a forking path through a creepy wood. Your aim is simple: advance through the forest, defeat the boss, and move onto the next map.


Advert

The path will take you to a wide variety of encounters. Some are straightforward, such as selecting a card from a randomised selection and adding it to your deck. Others, like the hungry explorers, are more involved. In that encounter, the explorers sit around a campfire, licking their lips. They encourage you to put one of your cards next to the fire where it can be warmed up, receiving a permanent buff to its attack or its health. However, every time you place a card next to the fire you risk losing it to the explorers who may pounce on the card, eating it.


Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital
Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital
Advert


You start each run with a small deck of beast cards with which to battle your opponents. A lot of the game’s mechanics will be familiar to you if you’ve played previous card games like Hearthstone. You play cards onto the table and at the end of your turn they attack the space in front of them, either damaging an enemy creature or, if the space is empty, doing damage directly to your opponent’s health. You win once you’ve done enough damage to your opponent.


Many cards have special abilities that modify these basic rules. There are cards that move lanes after attacking, cards that return to your hand when they die, cards that attack multiple lanes at once. If you lose a battle then you’ll die and have to start again on a new randomly generated board, losing all the cards and buffs you collected along the way.


If that sounds like your sort of game, then go play it. Still unconvinced? Read on


Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital
Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital


The board game is only the top layer of Inscryption. After a few rounds of cards your opponent - a figure shrouded in dark, only his hands and glowing eyes visible - encourages you to get up from the table and explore your surroundings.


You’re playing Inscryption in a candlelit wood cabin. There’s a cuckoo clock on the wall, a shelf of whittled figurines, and a single door. There’s a slit to see outside but a bright light makes it impossible to see clearly. It shakes and shudders with what sounds like someone on the other side beating it with their hands and feet.


Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital
Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital


The world of the board game and the cabin are linked. There are secrets and puzzles to solve, with clues to their solutions hidden in the world of Inscryption. The rewards for solving them are often cards and items that will then help you in the board game. These entwined mysteries are what hooked me in deep the first time I sat down to play - and then didn’t leave my desk for ten hours.


Again. If this sounds like your bag, you should just go and play the demo. Make up your own mind about playing rather than reading any more. Unless you really need more, in which case do, please, read on.


Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital
Inscryption / Credit: Devolver Digital


Little is as it seems in Inscryption. Some of the cards in your deck speak to you as you play them, whispering warnings about the strange man you’re sitting opposite. They plead with you to find their friends and enact a plan to escape.


Then there’s the strange case of your death.


When you die in Inscryption you don’t restart the game immediately. There’s a scene between losing the board game and being sat down to a new path. The man across the board from you will drag you into the back room of the cabin and kill you, turning you into a card in the process - and in every game afterwards you have the chance of coming across these failed versions of yourself on the board. You can add them to your deck, throwing your trapped soul onto the battlefield to try and get your new you closer to victory.


As you progress through Inscryption, defeating more of its bosses, solving more of its puzzles, you’ll only get deeper into this dark mystery game. It’s full of surprises and it had me gripped throughout, never quite sure what was next. I really can’t recommend this game enough, and try to go in as ignorant as you can be, because it is full of invention and creeping horror.


And now that you’ve read this far, do take my word for it and go play it.

Featured Image Credit: Devolver Digital

Topics: Devolver Digital

Julian Benson
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Xbox Game Pass

GeoBook 140X Review: A Sleek Laptop for Game Pass Players

18 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read