• Thu. May 19th, 2022

Inscryption: the genre-defying deck-building game we didn’t know we needed

ByLinda W. Smith

Apr 14, 2022

Inscryption is the latest game from Pony Island creator David Mullins, and despite appearances, it’s more than just a deck-building game on PC. Where classic deck builders like Magic the Gathering are more technical strategy games, this title immerses players in its mysterious history. Sure, it has its strategic aspects, but the game mixes genres by featuring escape room-style puzzles and procedurally generated custom bosses that remember players’ weaknesses and fears.

Taking place in a dark cabin, the game’s ominous environment envelops the player in an archaic wood-panelled room, rather than reducing gameplay to a simple tabletop experience. In fact, at times the gameplay extends into the room itself. This will force players to rise from the chair they are sitting in and continue to fight enemies using environmental elements to attack and defend, an effect reminiscent of breaking the fourth wall of theater and other visual media.

Many players have already praised this PC game for its innovative and dynamic gameplay. Moreover, the game has a special cinematic quality and pays homage to the nostalgic video games that all gamers know and love. As a prime example of its critical appeal, popular game review site Polygon awarded Inscryption the Best Video Game of 2021 accolade.

This roguelike deck-building game redefines horror and keeps players on their toes

Dynamic structure

The game has a liquid and adaptable structure. Players have always noted that one of the coolest parts about it is its replay value, including a particularly cool map creation feature. Each time a player dies, they have the option of crafting a card to protect them in future battles. In fact, this is how many players eventually beat certain bosses, dying enough times to successfully craft the perfect card to counter their attacks.

Because the script is not fixed, but rather procedurally generated, the game adapts to the person playing the game. This makes it impossible to play the same game twice, with unique combinations of boss characteristics and game mechanics highlighted with each successive game.


It definitely delivers the edge of your seat, biting gameplay that every gamer dreams of. With many twists and turns, game progress is delineated by a series of accumulating tokens. Once the number of tokens reaches 5, the game ends.

The protagonist sits at the dimly lit table, grabbing their cards as eagerly as they are dealt, and animal-like figures on the cards hiss warnings and secrets, increasing the player’s sense of unease. All this is placed under the watchful eyes of the croupier plunged into darkness. Such tense scenes are reminiscent of the memorable card games of literature, as in Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451.

In fact, there are several parallels between this video game and Fahrenheit 451. Obviously, there’s the element of an all-knowing antagonist who constantly flips the script on the player. More so, there is one particular scene that conveys the palpable tension in Fahrenheit 451. The scene takes place during a game of poker, where the antagonist, Beatty, has subtly revealed to the main character, Guy Montag, that he knows that Guy has taken some restrictions. books at home. Guy caves under the pressure as the two continue their game, a dynamic that is clearly reminiscent of the Inscryption vibe.

In what often amounts to a life or death situation, Fahrenheit 451 and Inscryption rely on psychological horror and suspense to drive the story forward.

Empty Bradbury’s 1953 novel is highly influential and considered one of the earliest examples of post-modernism

redefining horror

Like Fahrenheit 451, this game is not what you would call horror. Instead, it’s much more psychological, focusing on generating a feeling of unease and goosebumps. Bosses tap into a deep part of the player’s psyche, reaching the kind of primal fear that’s hard to reason with.

Inscryption doesn’t rely on mundane horror methods to scare players, which makes the game all the scarier in its own way. From robust video gaming and literary homages to incredible leaps beyond the bounds of its genre, this masterpiece promises an exciting and unexpected gaming experience. It’s a refreshing perspective that will hopefully set a trend for future titles.

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