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Pony Island creator unveils genre-bending card-based horror odyssey Inscryption

Coming to PC next year.

Daniel Mullins - creator of such jaw-dropping, genre-defying delights as Pony Island and The Hex - has revealed his latest "self-destructing love letter to video games". It's called Inscryption, it's a card-based horror "odyssey", and it's due to arrive on PC next year.

As anyone that's played Pony Island or The Hex can attest, Mullins' games aren't exactly known for shyly staying within the boundaries of convention. In Pony Island, for instance, what starts out as a fairly mundane arcade game soon becomes a battle with satan for the player's very soul, while The Hex dances furiously through the annals of video gaming to deliver a fascinating genre-bending murder mystery treat.

All of which is to say that Inscryption's final form could very well be anything - or equally possibly, everything - but, for the time being, Mullins is describing it as a "narrative focused, card-based odyssey that blends the deck-building rogue-like, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into a blood-laced smoothie."

The gameplay gif accompanying the reveal doesn't, it's fair to say, make Inscryption any easier to pin down. There are bear traps; there are cards labelled with the likes of stinkbug, squirrel, and opossum; there are increasingly unsettling opponents bathed in an infernal glow; there are clasping hands, a strange log cabin, and the phrase "The man assured you of the value of the pelts". Truly, I have no idea.

Mullins' previous efforts, with their irrepressible energy and ceaseless invention, exhibited something of an inescapable pull - fascinating, funny, and much shrewder than their initial whimsy might suggest. Needless to say, Inscryption is already on my watchlist, so roll on 2021.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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