Inscryption – Review

Our Score: 9/10

Inscryption by Daniel Mullins Games is hard to explain. It’s a horror game with deckbuilding roguelike gameplay. So you must be thinking to yourself, what the hell? How does this even work? What is a horror deckbuilding game? Well, I’ll tell you what it is. Ambitious, spooky, and addictive.

Do yourself a favor and watch the trailer above. You’ll get an idea of what this game is. Because there’s so much in this game. And it mixes all of its different elements so incredibly well that it all feels organic.

What is Inscryption?

“Inscryption is an inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie. Darker still are the secrets inscrybed upon the cards…”

From this description, it’s still hard to figure out what it’s all about. The main crux of the game revolves around the roguelike deckbuilding part. You’re stuck in a cabin with someone who “politely” asks you to play a competitive card game with him. The catch being, if you lose to him, you die. Or get sent to the shadow realm like in the English Dub if Yugioh if that’s more your taste.


But the card game is only one aspect of it. Making progressions is all about moving from encounter to encounter on a map. You’ll be fighting bosses here and collecting cards to improve your deck.

The roguelike parts come from the exploration aspect of the game. You can try and explore the cabin and solve the puzzles that are strewn about. Succeeding will give you access to more cards and carvings. And these in turn will let you progress further on the map.

But, wait! There’s more. The game has a lot more to it than just the elements I’ve described. And to be honest, I won’t talk about them because they’re something I feel a player should experience on their own for the first time. As you progress, the game changes in interesting and unique ways that had me on my toes.

Before you ask, yes the game has a story that is revealed to you as you progress and solve puzzles. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s enjoyable.

Look and Feel

Inscryption’s art design and the atmosphere it sets is fan-freaking-tastic. The game loves its shadows and darkness to add a sense of dread. Furthermore, the 3D pixel art style that the games has, in my opinion, adds to the creepy and off-putting vibe of the game. The designs and the way they are used will make you feel uneasy and pump up that feeling of dread.

In horror games, I often find myself getting used to the world and area as the game goes on. This ends up making me feel less afraid of whatever scares and horrors the game has to offer. Here, the case is quite interesting. Because of how the game works with its map progression and story progression, you won’t ever find yourself getting comfortable. You won’t end up feeling like you’re in control and that you have mastered the shadows.

To match the visuals, the sound design is top-notch as well. Every sound feels so meticulously placed and ASMR-like. The cards being placed or shuffled, the slight creaking of wood, the sound of the various interactables. I had to turn it down a bit because I am a big scaredy-cat and the game was succeeding at scaring me.

And while I was a big wuss about the sound, I was still enjoying it. I’m someone who tends to get annoyed at games when they overdo certain audio cues and effects, especially in horror games. It is something that I feel cheapens the experience. But here, it was a different case. Although I was scared, I was still enjoying it and feeling myself getting pulled into the world. That to me is always a sign of good sound design.

Final Verdict

Inscyption by Daniel Mullins Games is a horror roguelike deck builder with lots of puzzles and gameplay changes to keep you on your toes at all times. If you’re a fan of horror games or roguelike games or games that are trying something fresh and new, this is for you. I can already see this game being played a lot over Twitch and YouTube for Halloween.

Inscryption will be out on 19th October and will be available on Microsft Windows, Linux, and Macintosh.

Leave a Reply