Inscryption, the “dark and disturbing” deck-building horror game from Pony Island and The Hex developer Daniel Mullins, will be shuffling onto PC just in time for Halloween, on 19th October.
Described as blend of deck-building rogue-like, escape-room puzzler, and psychological horror, Inscryption – a much-expanded version of Mullins’ game jam title Sacrifices Must Be Made – traps players in the cabin of a sadistic stranger known as Leshy, forcing them to play a mysterious game using cards acquired through “draft, surgery, and self-mutilation”.
At its simplest, the goal is to play cards, each depicting a woodland animal, onto a board consisting of four columns by two rows – your cards are played on the nearest row while your opponent plays to the rear. Each card will attack and take damage from any adjacent enemy cards at the end of a turn, but if there’s no card to block an incoming attack, players will take damage directly. Whoever damages their opponent enough will win the game.
That, though, is just the start, and Mullins merrily heaps on the sinister convolutions from there. In order to bring your cards into play, for instance, you’ll likely need to sacrifice some of the cards already on the board, forcing you to plan around power and expendability. Then there are sigils that imbue cards with different abilities – perhaps granting them the power to fly over the defensive line to immediately land a direct attack, or making them unkillable so they don’t leave the board when you drive a dagger through their heart.
And then there are the other complications, including weird rule-twisting totems, strange new events as you progress along a branching map, and even the occasional break from the table as you’re given leave to explore Leshy’s decidedly unsettling cabin. It’s as odd as it sounds, but if your curiosity is piqued, Mullins has released a very welcome demo over on Steam.
And if you like what you see, the full version of Inscryption will cost £16.79 (with 10% off pre-purchases) when it comes to Steam on 19th October. Inscryption is also available as part of a bundle containing Mullins’ acclaimed earlier titles, The Hex and Pony Island, discounted by a whopping 42%, meaning you can get the complete collection for £16.24.