Monster Train dev cuts all the monetization from its tactical battler, Inkbound

The developers of Indie RPG Inkbound will remove all the in-game monetization from it at the end of this month. Starting October 27, 2023, there will no longer be any battle pass or cosmetic shop inside Inkbound. They were already quite unobtrusive, but now they're going away entirely.

"We tried to make these as generous and straightforward as possible while simultaneously being 100% optional, cosmetic-only, with no impact on gameplay, and with no FOMO," said developer Shiny Shoe in an update on Steam. "However, it’s clear that industry and player sentiment is trending against the presence of these features. For that reason we are removing in-game monetization completely."

There's a bit more to it, but suffice to say that those who already bought the equivalent of a battle pass or any cosmetics are getting compensated, or getting all that material automatically unlocked, and the equivalent material will be moved to a new, freely accessible, "Cosmetic Vault." The previous free unlock tracks of the Leveling Passes will move into that vault.

Inkbound's especially notable to us at PC Gamer because it's developed by Shiny Shoe, the people behind Monster Train. PC Gamer called Monster Train the best card game of 2020. I'd contend that it's still pretty dang good a few years later and I think most right-thinking people would agree with me.

Inkbound itself is a pretty cool game. It's a fusion of roguelike RPG with turn-based battles that allow you to execute your turns alongside co-op partners in real time. The unique system lets you strategize and use abilities in real-time on the player turn, so you minimize waiting for the others you're playing with to act. Inkbound is set in a world where stories come to life, encouraging you to build crazy broken builds to work with your friends and take down nasty boss monsters. It's neat—the latest season lets you play as a kind of retro sci-fi space captain alongside the more traditional wizards and warriors.

You can find Inkbound on Steam for $20.

Anyway, if this is the kind of thing you support, you should probably consider voting with your wallet here.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.