The group behind Monster Train has been laborious at work on their latest twist on the roguelike components. The studio’s earlier mission discovered gamers navigating a practice on its method by way of hell, utilizing deckbuilding card mechanics to battle one difficult battle after the subsequent. In Inkbound, the group has held onto the roguelike components, however nearly the whole lot else goes in a brand new route.
Players every management a personality making their method by way of a magical world referred to as Atheneum, a spot from which numerous tales emerge and are available to life. Players enter realms outlined by books and assist to form and outline the worlds and narratives inside. Drawing inspiration from isometric RPGs and MOBAs, every participant strikes by way of the fictional lands and paints the bottom with area-of-effect powers that intention to carry down the creatures encountered alongside the way in which.
Inkbound might be performed solo or with as much as 4 gamers concurrently. In the turn-based tactical battles that ensue, Shiny Shoe is experimenting with an intriguing strategy that permits a number of gamers to behave concurrently.
The focus is on character development over the course of a given run by way of new powers and bonuses, however you can even gather glyphs that carry over between your runs; glyphs might be spent in any given session to open up new missions, paths, or different helpful conditions, however there’s additionally extra to spend in a given run than glyphs you possibly can earn, so it’s crucial to avoid wasting these glyphs for a run-through the place they’ll make a distinction.
Each participant can specialize their efforts round a most popular playstyle or expertise with an preliminary class choice, and the lessons I realized about have been stunning and strange. The Magma Miner is a heavy melee-oriented brawler who units enemies on fireplace. The Mosscloak is a fast-moving fighter specializing in crucial hits or quick strikes. The Obelisk carries double shields and, unsurprisingly, helps to tank for the celebration; the extra harm they take, the extra this class can dish out. And the Weaver creates threads to enemies that harm and debuff, with a transparent drive towards organising elaborate combos.
Aesthetically, Inkbound’s isometric presentation is vibrant and alluring, with vibrant coloration and lightweight utilization, mildly cartoony visuals, and a frenetic tempo to exploration and fight that retains the motion gentle and breezy. At sure moments, it jogged my memory of visible palettes I’ve seen in video games like Torchlight and World of Warcraft. In the battles I witnessed throughout an early demo, characters would emerge into rounded area areas during which battles would unfold. Success usually got here all the way down to a mixture of good improve choice forward of the battle and good positioning whereas confronting the numerous monsters that present up.
Whether with card decks or isometric turn-based area fights, technique roguelikes stay or die by tense choice factors, difficult however balanced fight, and intelligent upgrades that allow you to overcome seemingly not possible odds. Shiny Shoe has already confirmed its capacity to iterate and construct a recreation of supreme depth and problem with its final mission. Inkbound remains to be early, however my glimpse suggests the group is making use of the teachings it realized and shaping a brand new mission that is perhaps simply as fascinating as its final, albeit with a very completely different look and vibe.
Inkbound is aiming for launch in 2023 on PC.