Inscryption announced, a deckbuilding horror roguelike from the Pony Island dev

Daniel Mullins, creator of fourth-wall-breaking puzzle game Pony Island, and similarly twisty murder mystery The Hex, has announced a new game. Inscryption chucks elements of horror, room escape-style puzzling and the deckbuilding roguelike into a bubbling cauldron, while teasing (of course) plenty of disturbing secrets and twists. The trailer above should give you a good idea of what to expect.

While the core of the game appears to be its roguelike aspect, which resembles a much spookier Hand of Fate, there are scenes of the player getting up from their seat to solve The Room-style mechanical puzzles inside the gloomy cabin setting. You can see shots of a top-down, sprite-based game towards the end of the trailer, seemingly to show the world outside the cabin. It's just the sort of the bold mash-up of genres and styles we've come to expect from Mullins—I particularly like the design of your card game opponents, who are so wonderfully, cartoonishly exaggerated. They look like they've come straight from a ghost train.

True to the cabin theme, the cards you'll deal are themed after woodland creatures, and you'll gain them via "draft, surgery, and self mutilation".

On its Steam page, Mullins describes Inscryption as an "inky black card-based odyssey that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie."

The game's due out sometime in 2021. If you want an example of the kind of outlandish tricks Mullins has used in previous games, here's one of the great moments in PC gaming, from Pony Island.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.