Inscryption is one of those games where the less you know the better. A card battling roguelike on first impression, it's what happens outside those duels where the true magic lies. Daniel Mullins has crafted a deceiving title full of layers and surprises; pulling them back and learning how they tick is what makes Inscryption great.
Structured sort of like a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, a menacing figure sits across from you at a table upon which card battles are played. You must win each match by scoring points through attack damage and utilising the abilities of the cards in your deck. In-between encounters, the silhouette opposite takes on different personalities as you encounter situations rewarding new cards, items, and chances to upgrade your deck. If you lose two matches in any single area or succumb to a boss, you'll be sent back to the beginning.
Every battle remains engaging and intense, with the luck of the draw playing a large role in whether you succeed or fail. Improving your deck with better cards is satisfying, and coming to terms with boss mechanics means you can more easily beat them the second time around. Inscryption is a really solid card battler on par with the best the genre has to offer, but its secrets — which are plentiful — remain the real reason to play the game.
Leaving the table to explore your surroundings leads to secrets, puzzles, and discoveries you would never expect out of a game based on the screenshots accompanying this review. Trust us: you don't want to be spoiled. As such, we'll have to dance around this large element of the game to preserve the surprise. If you're in need of something that truly does go off the rails — in a very, very good way — then Inscryption must be top of your wishlist.
Porting the game over from PC has introduced a few slightly awkward control options, but they're something you'll get used to. Furthermore, this is a consistently difficult title so accept it'll take multiple runs before you find your feet.
Inscryption is a great card battler, but to even call it that sells what is a truly unique experience short. If you're at all interested in what else it has to offer, close this webpage, boot up your PS5, and buy the game. Keep yourself in the dark. You're better off for it.