Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Feb 17, 2022
    100
    The art style, mixed with the fun mechanic of deck building, puzzles, and overarching story is just phenomenal. And that my friends, is just Act I, at already 8 hours of playtime. Inscryption has three total acts, with much, much more content waiting for you to uncover. It has been a bit since I finished the game, but I haven’t been able to put out the review because of life things. Even so, months later, I still can’t get Inscryption out of my head. It’s just that good. You will not find a better bargain for your buck as far as story-rich horror games go.
  2. Jan 13, 2022
    100
    This game is utterly bizarre. Gripping. Breath-taking. Surprising. Innovative. Turbulent. You simply must experience it yourself, from start to finish, to truly understand how amazing it is. One of the best games of the year.
  3. Nov 30, 2021
    100
    All I can really say is that I think the narrative is extremely well done and I should have expected that coming from the guy who also created Pony Island which I thoroughly enjoyed as well. The art design and the audio design are also top notch. Expect to see this on plenty of GOTY lists as well as GOTY discussions because what I think Inscryption is extremely well done both in narrative and gameplay. I have a hope that maybe someday we see a multiplayer spin off because there’s still a lot this IP can offer, and I have friends who have played this as well and loved it and I really would like to challenge their decks. It could have survived on simply being a great card game and it managed to exceed that simple expectation and left me wanting more.
  4. Nov 16, 2021
    100
    Incsryption is a deck-building roguelike game with a great metafiction scenario. Even the deck-building and roguelike elements are just part of what this game makes you think it is, as the game’s structure keeps changing as you progress. This continuous change of style makes you feel like you're playing a very special game, and it will keep you excited throughout the experience.
  5. Nov 9, 2021
    100
    Inscryption is full of charm, humour, and a healthy dose of mystery. Forget what you think you know about this game, it’s so much more.
  6. Oct 18, 2021
    100
    Go into Inscryption as unspoiled as possible, and trust in the game. You will find a deeply enjoyable card game, wrapped in a series of dark mysteries, wrapped in…well…other stuff. Part CCG game, part escape room puzzle game, and part bonkers gonzo whirlybird lunacy, Inscryption is one of the best games of the year. They should charge more for a game this good.
  7. Nov 1, 2021
    95
    When I was first assigned this game for review, I thought that it might be just another card drawing and puzzle affair that seem to be common these days. However, Inscryption kept my attention until the very end. The plot, the dark theme, and the mysterious mechanics is so well thought out that I have to give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up. The only downside that I can think of is that replayability might be limited after the first couple of play throughs. Even with that said, this title is worth the price of admission.
  8. Oct 18, 2021
    95
    Inscryption is a game that seeks to advance the medium, challenge the player and make him participate in something huge. This would be enough to consider it a great title, but on top of that it is brilliantly designed and the characters and story will not be easily forgotten
  9. Nov 22, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is an oddity of the best order. It's a horror game that isn't aggressively trying to scare you. It's also a clever card system wrapped around a compelling mystery that plays with video game conventions. Like a bat out of hell, Inscryption came out of nowhere and quickly became one of my favorite games of the year.
  10. Nov 19, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is a masterpiece. It combines rogue-like elements with card-based gameplay and brings with it with one of the best stories we’ve experienced in a long time. The only real criticism we have is the relatively short time it took us to beat the game. Nonetheless, Inscryption is one of the best games of the year, indie or otherwise.
  11. Nov 16, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is a damn fun card game: a roguelite, a puzzle game and a story with horror tinges, and all of this is barely enough to describe what on balance are only the first hours of the experience. It is the consecration of Daniel Mullins and his idea of the code as a sentient and malignant entity that turns against the user, upsetting his role and his relationship with the game. A card game with a punk soul, developed by a developer with a punk soul and distributed by punks who have made subversive indie their trademark. An absolute triumph.
  12. Nov 9, 2021
    90
    Inscryption, without a doubt, is one of the best indie games of 2021. In the indie scene, there are quite a few risky and unique projects, but few are also as fun in the most playful sense as Inscryption.
  13. Oct 30, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is much more than a card game with a roguelike base and puzzle touches in an escape room setting. Without a doubt, it is one of the great surprises of this year 2021.
  14. Oct 28, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is as consistently fun as it is surprising, with a wonderfully creepy story cleverly tying its ever-evolving mechanics together.
  15. Oct 20, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is another great experience from Daniel Mullins and his studio. Their take on the already very crowded card game and rogue combination is a unique but recognizable one. I liked the combat, the level of complexity, the challenge posed by the bosses. And I loved the way it integrates with the wider world of the game and the story it tells. I would like to see more use for the sacrifice mechanic and some extra ways to cheat the rules. But self-aware creatures, cards that immortalize failed runs, and general creepiness add a lot to the core concepts. Inscryption has all the necessary ingredients to set a new standard of quality for its genre and keep fans engaged for tens of hours.
  16. Oct 19, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is an amazingly well-put-together piece of work. The atmosphere presented…well, I’ve already doted on it multiple times. And I’ll do so again: it’s unsettling, occasionally oppressive, and always keeps the player on their toes. It could easily carry the work on its own, but luckily the card game mechanics are solid and sound as well. It’s easy to pick up, but with a ton of variables to allow customization and multiple viable approaches to the challenges provided. If only it didn’t stumble literally right at the finish line, I’d call this a near-perfectly designed game. Unfortunately, that last moment soured me on the experience…not enough render the whole thing moot (a la Mass Effect 3), but I just can’t shake it off. Despite that, Inscryption is a game that I can recommend highly. Even if you’re not typically a fan of deckbuilding games (just as I used to be), if you want some unsettling vibes for the season, this is your game right here.
  17. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    Far more than a card game, Inscryption is a dark odyssey into an even darker narrative – commanding your attention in an exciting, gripping manner.
  18. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    On the surface, Inscryption is described as a card game, but it hides a lot more than just cards under the bonnet. Prepare for a layered story, thrilling surprises, and terrifying yet fascinating characters that will keep you glued to your seat. The game masterfully expands on the story playthrough after playthrough, providing a fresh perspective with each run. In this sense, Inscryption is a great twist on the otherwise repetitive roguelike formula that has dominated the deckbuilder genre in the last few years. This, in addition to the strange storytelling we’ve come to expect from Daniel Mullins, makes for a gaming experience that is not to be missed for card game and narrative game fans alike.
  19. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    Inscryption manages to combine an expertly-crafted card game, a nail-biting tale of horror and enjoyable escape room adventures into another genre-defying gem and easily one of the year’s best games. Whether you come for the gameplay and strategy, the story and atmosphere, or both, you’ll walk away awestruck at the sheer, brilliant madness you just experienced. Daniel Mullins does it again, and once again, we urge readers not to read the reviews or other coverage as much as possible and just go in blind, experiencing this twisted odyssey for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
  20. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    All in all, Inscryption is a great–and spooky–game that is constantly expanding and re-inventing itself, and I recommend it to anyone who loves horror. As long as you approach it with an open mind, a strong stomach, and the willingness to keep trying, you should have a great time with this title. Just remember: if you think the game is over in the first few hours, it’s time to hit the New Game button and see what you’ve unlocked.
  21. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    With its dreary visuals and unsettling soundtrack, Inscryption offers a unique deck-building experience with added immersive puzzles. It creates an incredible atmosphere for a game with such a simplistic and dark design. Still, it delivers it in a memorable way, accessible to anyone who dare set out on the journey. In a world where roguelikes are daunting for some, this is one nightmare that I didn’t mind diving back into.
  22. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    Fresh, intense and challenging without being complex; that's how we would define Inscryption. Mullins' adventure, published by Devolver Digital, is a card game but also an escape room. The card battles are fast, fun and extremely varied and in the background there is also an interesting, exciting, well-acted plot.
  23. Oct 18, 2021
    90
    Inscryption is refreshingly unique. With all the roguelike deckbuilders popping up these days, they can all start to blend together. Inscryption manages to stand out from the crowd in all the best ways. Complex card strategies blend with escape room puzzles far better than should be possible. And the whole package is wrapped in such perfectly, wonderfully creepy trappings that it’s perfect for the Halloween season. Just remember: don’t ever assume you’ve reached the end.
  24. Oct 19, 2021
    88
    This is a game unlike any other, that delivers one surprise after another, with plenty of twists to create an experience where nothing it what it seems.
  25. Dec 2, 2021
    86
    Inscryption uses the appearance of Roguelike cards to "cheat" players in, and then uses the depth and fun of card battles to firmly hold on to players. When players are immersed in it, the game then presents a completely different look with a subversive "new game" - such an experience is indeed hard to replicate and impressive.
  26. Nov 10, 2021
    86
    Despite minimal flaws, Inscryption masters the experiment of blending a card game and horror into a bizarre mindtrip.
  27. Dec 19, 2021
    85
    Inscryption is much, much more than a deck building game. Rogue lite, escape game, horror, adventure ... the title of Daniel Mullins Games is a game of everything, which succeeds almost everything it does. By never giving the player time to be bored, offering a well thought out narration and never hesitating to surprise the player who thought they had covered the matter, Inscryption is a small UFO in the video game. If the second part of the game turns out to be a little disappointing and the random dimension may frustrate people less used to the genre, it's hard not to warmly recommend this experience as strange as it is surprising.
  28. Oct 31, 2021
    85
    If Inscryption can repel some with its pixelated graphics and its purely textual dialogues, it fully assumes its old school side. And it is right to do so since its artistic direction is clearly convincing. As for the gameplay, it is full of creativity and offers us an adventure where the rules are constantly reinvented to surprise us each time in a particularly efficient way. Another little indie gem.
  29. Oct 26, 2021
    85
    Dark, intriguing, compelling: Inscryption is an absolute must-play.
  30. Nov 6, 2021
    82
    Inscryption combines roguelike mechanics with an oppressive and gloomy atmosphere that will terrorize you. Its strongest asset is in its narrative and artistic direction, although it falters when it comes to graphics.
  31. Nov 19, 2021
    80
    Even if you feel extremely tired from the oversaturation of card-based games you should give Inscryption a change. Its fresh take on the genre offers an especially clever satire of the card-based motif and an overall experience that in the end feels like a well-crafted story-based game disguised as a roguelike. Its full story comes to an end at around 8 hours, but not before it provides a wealth of unexpected twists and turns in both its gameplay and presentation.
  32. Nov 15, 2021
    80
    The first act is just brilliant. Not only is the core card game at its best, but it's also where those mechanics are best served by the richly atmospheric trappings surrounding them. The following two acts admirably offer new twists on the mechanics and a different perspective on the narrative, but neither prove as satisfying as the original. Alone, Act 1 is one of the best games of the year, but everything that comes after drags it back into the pack.
  33. Oct 27, 2021
    80
    Developer Daniel Mullens returns with another strange meta-game about card games, games in general and player expectations. Astonishingly he once more succeeds in completely surprising us, which at this point isn't much of a surprise.
  34. Oct 19, 2021
    80
    A work of devilish cleverness that’s both a mockery and celebration of collectible cards games and an increasingly disturbing horror story about the cost of victory.
  35. Oct 18, 2021
    80
    Inscryption’s arrival in mid-October makes for a perfect Halloween game. What seems most vital for the game's success will be to casually get it to people who won’t know what to expect, like fans of deckbuilders just looking for another to add to their pile. Still, even if players go into Inscryption expecting the unexpected, there’s entertaining depth to its mechanics and narrative, a form of storytelling that could only exist in a video game.
  36. Oct 18, 2021
    80
    Inscryption is a great creepy experience to get your skin crawling with some thought provoking depth in its gameplay.
  37. Oct 18, 2021
    80
    Inscryption turned out to be a small surprise, an indie title that breaks the rules of card games offering players something more elaborate and exciting, by adding in a mixture of roguelite, puzzle and horror. A pity that the game has no voiceover: it would have made its particular setting feel even more alive.
  38. Oct 18, 2021
    80
    Daniel Mullins has done it again! After Pony Island and The Hex, Inscryption is another strange and profoundly unique adventure that everyone should play. A roguelite card game which is also a narrative adventure, a puzzle game and a crazy thriller full of fascinating weirdness. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  39. Oct 18, 2021
    80
    The game is an unholy hybrid of a roguelike deck-builder and first-person escape-room experience that reveals itself to be a grand reflection of and meditation on lives lived within a bubble.
  40. Nov 19, 2021
    77
    Inscryption does a lot of things right. At the same time, the abundance of superfluous elements upsets the internal harmony of this game.
  41. Oct 28, 2021
    75
    Overall, Inscryption probably feels more like a traditional videogame than his previous works, but it’s a more difficult experience, with much relying on one’s luck and the RNG. While I believe deckbuilder fans could be interested, this is likely of more interest to connoisseurs of weird or strange narratives. I’ll leave it at that since saying more would likely spoil the trick, and like any good magician, I’m guessing that Mullins is loath to have his secrets revealed so easily.
  42. Oct 18, 2021
    75
    I was deeply absorbed until the game flipped for the first time, then I fell out of love. I reconciled before the end, but I was still left feeling like I played a few similar games of different quality. Maybe it was a good idea to change things up before it had the chance to grow stale, it’s just nothing gripped me as firmly as the first chapter.
  43. Oct 18, 2021
    75
    Inscryption's twists and turns are hit-or-miss, but the game's oddities are worth experiencing for yourself.
  44. Oct 18, 2021
    75
    Though uneven in its middle section, Inscryption is a clever and refreshing horror-adventure card game.
  45. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Dec 15, 2021
    71
    In the first few hours, you get to know and love Inscryption. Then, it genre-shifts to the point of total unrecognizability. [Issue#257, p.78]
  46. Edge Magazine
    Nov 4, 2021
    70
    Were Inscription half as long, it would probably be twice the game. [Issue#365, p.114]
  47. Oct 22, 2021
    69
    At its best when it's strangest, Inscryption doesn't know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Oct 27, 2021
    Inscryption is a card game and more than just a card game. One in which the cards talk, complain and give you clues. No, I don't mean the next move, but clues to solve a larger puzzle that makes up its mysterious story, full of puzzles and meta-narrative uses of video game language. [Recommended].
  2. Oct 22, 2021
    A bold, stand-out, knockout of a card game that drips with imagination and menace. [Eurogamer Essential]
  3. Nov 17, 2021
    Inscyrption’s deft handling of roguelike and strategy elements means that once you’ve hacked out a reliable approach, you can make progress very quickly. This is good because, as I’ve hinted at, the cabin is only the first portion of the game. To say more would enter into spoiler territory. But despite all the secrecy, there is much more to Inscryption than the slow reveal of its mystery. Inscryption is a great game, spoiled or not. That’s what will help it stay relevant not just for a moment, but for years to come. [Recommended]
  4. A finely crafted card game sealed in a meta-narrative wrapper that you sometimes have to tear off when it snags, but when that wrapping falls away, Inscryption reveals itself as a rare shiny. A clever game without taking itself too seriously. Metafiction always runs the risk of being pompous and showy. By contrast, this is an impish game, trollish even, repeatedly reinventing its own rules. A beautifully cursed creation. [RPS Bestest Bests]
  5. Oct 18, 2021
    As a love letter to card games, it’s cunningly crafted, and full of fascinating twists. As a pool of secrets, it’s deep enough to drown in. As a hybrid of the two, it’s one of the best games of 2021.
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 263 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 263
  1. Oct 29, 2021
    10
    I have never played a game so original before.. don't spoil yourself anything and buy it!!
  2. Oct 29, 2021
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Part ominous masterpiece and part - something else - Inscryption is an easy game to recommend for anyone who enjoys deckbuilding games and occult settings. It just can't sustain its greatness for its entire play time.

    Imagine being forced to play a deckbuilder in a gloomy, claustrophobic cabin where your life is on the line if you lose. Your mysterious adversary is torn between espousing his contempt for you and showing off his skills as the consummate DM. Your opponent enjoys the game, even if he is convinced you will lose. Your captor's enthusiasm and love of gaming itself is one of Inscryption's best features.

    The deckbuilding aspect of Inscryption is excellent. You will die several times, but you will learn, improve your tactics, and find ways to overcome challenges that first seem impossible. Victory is exciting and rewarding.

    Problems begin after you achieve that victory. There's much more to the game, but all of it is a dramatic step down from the battles in the cabin. The remaining content is too easy, too unfocused, and too uninteresting, especially coming off some of the most memorable gaming I've ever experienced.

    I recommend Inscryption but wish all of it was as well-designed, challenging, and atmospheric as the fight to survive in the cabin.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 27, 2021
    6
    I can only describe this as too many similar ideas crammed into a relatively short game and a pretentious developer who feels the need to cramI can only describe this as too many similar ideas crammed into a relatively short game and a pretentious developer who feels the need to cram really bad and unnecessary "meta" nonsense into the game. It constantly detracts from the good core concepts at every turn.

    It feels like a bait-and-switch from how severe it contrasts with itself and it's identity crisis.
    Full Review »