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Inscryption - "An inky black card-based odyssey"


Lying Cat
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Its really not scary in general, although there is an element of underlying dread and it does have some physcological horror to it, but that is a very small part of the game. It's certainly nothing close to a traditional horror game. There's lots of dark humour to it. If you have played any other of Dan's games (Pony Island/The Hex) you can expect the same kind of spooks.

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I do love the way the game completely fools you into thinking it's going to do one thing and then suddenly a curveball is well and truly smacked into your head.

 

Spoiler

The whole bit with the caged wolf and how you go about freeing it is fantastic. Also, the knife. Oh, that was just great.

 

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14 hours ago, El Spatula said:

This makes me feel well thick. Can't even beat 

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The Prospector

 

Just get my bum kicked :(

 

You might just be getting a bad draw, which can happen, and screw you over. It does give you ways to make things easier, though. Make sure you're getting up from the table and looking at the various items around the room. And try to save some of the objects you collect along the way for that battle - they can make all the difference. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 23/10/2021 at 13:24, Jamie John said:

I've heard lots of glowing reviews of this. Another one for the list, sigh. How long is it?


Now I've gone through it, I echo @strawdonkey's 10 hours or so - I ended up clocking just over 12 hours, but that's because I was a bit rubbish at the start and had a couple of good runs culled.

As mentioned, the game is more than happy to just keep giving you stuff over subsequent playthroughs, to the point where my final run was absolutely laughable.
 

Spoiler

Seriously, roll the credits before you read this shit

Spoiler

Well, until the rest of the game started. 

To copy my talk with Strawdonkey elsewhere: Basically, my last deathcard ended up making a 1 blood cost card with 7/7 stats, and a trait that gave me a free item. I then lucked out by making a totem that did the magpie fetch card ability whenever I played a squirrel. So, uh, every normal encounter was an instant win, and boss encounters was 'play whatever the fuck I want until the last round'.

Oh, and I used a deathtouch card to blow up the moon instantly.

But the rest of the game was wonderful. In hindsight, all the Nintendo Switch port begging would pretty much fuck up most of Act 3 (risking files to delete, pulling friends data, pulling all current Inscryption games from the internet to send the cards you make, etc etc), but I guess they'd work around it like Undertale and Doki Doki.

The ending sequence was absolutely brilliant. While it was absolutely wild that Dan decided to shoe-horn in the Necro and Wizard encounters, the most heartfelt moment was just playing against Leshy again, with none of the murder cabin stuff. The way he provides you with all the cards you had, talks about them, is actually happy when you defeat one of his cards.. and even if you're supposed to lose, he just removes the scales. The guy just wanted to play against the person who bested him, and it's just a really touching moment. Well, for someone who was basically your nemesis at the start of the game and is the entire premise for people who haven't played through the entire thing.

 


Highly recommended, and will probably be one of the best games I've played this year.

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Finished my second playthrough mopping up secrets. Good news is its still fun to play twice, though the first part is the most fun as its got the most variety. Bad news is that finding the secrets I'd missed was a bit of a grind, and hardly revealed anything new, although there was a tiny bit of extra content. Was it worth it? Not if you are after more much more in the story, but if you just want to enjoy the game again then by all means go for it.

 

But as creator Dan Mullins has done before, there is much more waiting to be uncovered, and its up to fans to dig it all up.

 

I'm going to spoiler the rest as it contains massive plot and gameplay spoilers for the game. Don't read until you have finished, and don't worry, this is stuff you are never going to figure out by yourself, its a proper ARG.

Spoiler

So two game news articles have recently popped up detailing findings that the community has made about the hidden plot of Inscryption. However they are a bit confusing and instead I'd point you to their source, a google doc where one of the game's discord community members has been compiling all the info and plot developments from the ARG they discovered. And only the Google doc has the final lore and ending, last updated only a few days ago!

 

That doc is here:

https://docs.google.com/document/u/2/d/e/2PACX-1vTXY6k5k-6p_kjjI_scaBtAjn495e9HqOz8vl95YSBdycjcfU1TUjjT6uWv5b-1R0xvC1SZxGV99Qt7/pub

 

Just like with Mullins previous games this is an insane achievement to construct an ARG to uncover lore, and very cool. But what annoys me, just like with The Hex, is there's almost no way you could figure this out yourself unless you are a detective or coder with a lot of spare time. I think its great to have easter eggs for the community to uncover, but the main game's ending has so many unanswered questions that I feel a bit cheated. I spent ages uncovering all the extra obvious secrets and it uncovered almost no new lore or expansion on the ending. At least The Hex had a more contained ending, where it felt more finished via a normal playthrough.

 

It seems Mullins wasn't expecting the community to get so far so quickly, probably because it took much longer with The Hex, but Inscryption seems to have been way more successful. So he felt it necessary to time-gate the last secrets, maybe so more players had a chance to join in the fun of the ARG before its all solved (and of course flooding Youtube with any extra content found and potentially spoiling it for new players). But in the last few days it seems the final pieces of the puzzle were released into the wild, bringing this incredibly creative game within a game to an end.

 

 

Spoilers for my secrets playthrough follow:

 

As for my playthrough, I spent ages in part 1 because I wanted to try failing against Leshy before getting the film roll, and tried different things to uncover more secrets. I got all the extra cards I know of from the cabin, and killed the moon in one hit with a deathblow card, sorry Leshy! I never did figure out a way to get out of the locked room after unlocking New Game, and you can't return to it after you get properly into act 2.

 

Part 2 I wanted to collect all the cards, unlock the demon in the crypt, and I'd read you can fight against the Mycologists. Unfortunately that turned out to be slightly false, in fact you just need to cycle through the 4 transmutations (I checked online after spending nearly an hour repeating the same transmutations). I figured out how to unlock the demon and found a few extra hidden screens. Annoyingly though to do the Mycologists stuff and get enough foils to unlock packs and cards missing from my list, it was a horrible grind using the training dummy in the magic tower. Its the only fight you can repeat. Eventually using a reward from the demon, I constructed a deck which generated insane amounts of bones and used that to repeatedly buff a variable power skeleton card to give it insane damage for overkill points. I also bought the Ouroboros which when it dies, goes back into your hand and gets a permanent +1,+1. By cycling the Ourobroros in the dummy fight (you can manually kill it with the hammer), I got it up to 30/30 before I got bored. Finally I unlocked all the cards I needed and continued to part 3.

 

Part 3 was actually the fastest part, the robot fights aren't too hard when you better understand the robot mechanics and can start building a good deck right away. I concentrated on a good spread of low cost cards with multiple abilities, and the Ouroboros would sometimes pop up to to end matches prematurely (its still 30/30!). I didn't find anything new to unlock in this part, sadly, even with the Fisherman and the wizard locked in the puzzle drawer. I'd already mopped up the pelts in my last playthrough, so the only new content was from keys I'd unlocked via the Mycologists and the demon in part 2. One of them is a new boss fight which is cool, and would have been very tough, but my Ouroboros came in at the end to clutch it out. The ending didn't change at all despite all this, which was a big disappointment.

 

Now I've done it all I will be looking up more secrets I may have missed online. There are tons of cool little easter eggs to find, like if you keep sacrificing the undying cat in part 2, it eventually changes into an angry undead cat which you can no longer sacrifice for free. I'm sure there must be some hidden interactions with the wizard card in part 3, he keeps talking about stimulation. Maybe if you buff him a lot or keep him alive long enough his card gets a big boost? All just speculation of course, I'm not playing through again just to test out card interactions! 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

For those who have gone through the game (don't click otherwise): looks like Dan Mullins has added a beta for a new part of the game: Kaycee's Mod, an endless mode! 
 

Spoiler

For Part 1, that is. An endless version of Leshy's Cabin that gets harder and has modifiers, new cards, a new encounter, and some dev logs from Kaycee.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Think this is up there as a contender for game of the year for me - it so cleverly subverts expectations at basically every turn.

 

The fact that ENDING SPOILERS:

 

Spoiler

He built two whole extra encounters that barely get used at the end (each of which could have easily made a whole act) is just showing off, in the best way. 

 

What a game.

 

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This is really good

 

Okay, finished it now -

Spoiler

man gets shot is a hacky way to finish but really inventive and playful and abundant up to then. The mood in the cabin I think is unlike anything else I've played

Decent (spoiler including) podcast about it:

https://eggplant.show/84-digging-the-rabbit-hole-with-daniel-mullins-inscryption

Edited by panda_t
finished it, listened to a podcast
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Dipped my toes in, died twice and starting again. Still struggle to understand the rules and logic, tbh. Is there any tutorial for people new to the game but also new to card games? The IGN or Gamerant faqs aren't too helpful.

 

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

This is currently £6.79 for less than 24 hours on the Epic Store if you use the £10 off voucher before the promotion runs out. I'm installing it now ^_^

 


this has my excited my coupon has disappeared so I’m guessing it expired in the last hour. 
 

meh!

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I started playing this earlier. It's definitely pretty weird, but in a good way. I'm only about 40 minutes in and I'm finding it quite tricky. I never seem to have enough cards to sacrifice, certainly compared with my opponent, who is apparently able to lay three cards at once when I sometimes struggle to lay even one.  I managed to beat the first boss on my initial attempt, but it was touch and go. Had to break into my emergency squirrels!

 

I'm intrigued to play more but I'm not sure how I'm going to feel when I get bounced back to the beginning again when I die. We'll see.

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Without spoiling anything, expect to die quite a few times early on, but the game is good at lowering the difficulty after every time you die.

 

It's pretty impossible not to win after enough deaths.

 

Has anybody tried the mod? Is it any good?

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1 hour ago, Isaac said:

Has anybody tried the mod? Is it any good?

 

A friend of mine has been playing it religiously for a couple of weeks, so it must be doing something right.

 

I was going to wait until the Deck is out before I jump in, however.

 

Spoiler

Primarily, in the hopes that there's a Kaycee's Mod for Act 2, because I prefer the Pokémon TCG vibes of it.

 

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Spoiler

I've seen a lot of people online say they hated that part, but I was honestly swept along by it. I guess it depends on how well you take to the conceit. I found the part after a little less good as it felt "colder" but oddly enough that feels very intentional. I just wanted the whole lot, dammit!

 

Yes I'm being deliberately vague even in a spoiler.

 

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40 minutes ago, Benny said:
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I've seen a lot of people online say they hated that part, but I was honestly swept along by it. I guess it depends on how well you take to the conceit. I found the part after a little less good as it felt "colder" but oddly enough that feels very intentional. I just wanted the whole lot, dammit!

 

Yes I'm being deliberately vague even in a spoiler.

 


 

Spoiler

I think the problem with Act 2 was there wasn't anywhere near as much explanation to the various mechanics the game offered at that point and it just leaves you to figure it out in comparison to Act 1. I ended up bumbling through with a bastardised Grimmora deck that abused skeleton generation, but after Act 3 I would have felt comfortable enough to implement P03 and Magnificus' cards because it actually fucking explained how they work mechanically. A post-game mod could stretch the second act legs a lot more than the first, although that's merely opinion based on not playing Kaycee's Mod and not expecting any of the other scrybe's cards to be implemented within. 

Of course, I can't fault the game, because intentionally forcing you to play the game in a certain way is how the story itself is driven - and how each of the scrybes alone can't create a 'perfect' game, which in turn leads to the game simply not existing at the end of it all.

 

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Spoiler

Yeah ultimately the criticisms feed into the story itself. As for leaving you to just figure stuff out: I honestly loved how during that part it required you to experiment with the new stuff and that you had to figure stuff out on your own. It reminds me of what it was like to play some covertape games back in the late 80s/early 90s that often didn't have a manual so you had to work it out as you went along. This feeds into the sense of discovery about all the weird things in the game itself and the sense of role playing someone learning what these rules are.

 

I'm increasingly bored with games that feel they have to hold my hand every step of the way - some people do want that explanation and direction, but for me figuring weird stuff out on my own in a game like this is part of the fun.

 

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I'm a few hours into this now and am finding it both compelling and frustrating in equal measure. I'm up to the third boss and so far I've 

 

Spoiler

freed the stunted wolf from the cuckoo clock and got the film; used the caged wolf statuette to get the dagger; found the Failure goo thing that gives you hints; and done 3/4 of the sliding tile puzzles, although I'll be buggered if I can do the final one - I can't figure out the rules.

 

The Stoat has started to look like a robot, which is weird, and the Stinkbug now sort of looks like a geisha. The Stunted Wolf has also lost both of his eyes now, too.

 

All of them, and the jar of green goo, are telling me that I just have to beat the third area boss in order to progress - I'm guessing doing so will let me do something with the film I found in the clock - but it's easier said than done. Sometimes I just feel like the luck of the draw lets me down as soon as I come into a match and it's one I'll never win. Being sent back to the very beginning once you get to the third area is a pain in the arse, too. I'm sure it'll be sweet when victory finally arrives, but it seems like it's going to take a bit more of an effort than I was initially expecting.

 

Still, most of the time the actual card game, once you start to figure it out properly, is very satisfying to play, and the music, style and overall freaky vibe are all cool as well. I get the impression it's the sort of game where you're supposed to fail a fair few times first in order to be able to succeed later.

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