Pretty good right? With that said, I have one major issue with the game, and that would be the ending. It’s very rare that I have this sort of problem with a game, but Inscryption honestly feels much less interesting to me for the way the story and meta-story around the gameplay shakes out.
To my mind, there are four main portions in Inscryption. Three of these are obvious, and they’re demarcated by the mechanics and style shifts that take place: the section in the cabin, the old school game section, and the section in the bunker.
The fourth section though consists of information about the protagonist, Luke AKA the Lucky Carder. And while this section is generally interesting, and feels meaningful MOST of the time, it falls apart massively for me at the very end of the story, specifically because the whole thing ends with Luke being shot in the head.
I don’t like the ending for a large number of reasons. First, it refocuses the whole thing on Luke and “The Real World,” when the in-game world of Inscryption is far more interesting. Second, it feels like a very traditional and FUCKING BORING creepypasta ending. “And then everyone involved was killed secretly by the secret government.” I just spent 12 hours playing your game, not 20 minutes reading a story. Man door hand hook car door is more satisfying.
I know that there is an ARG related to the game that might bring more information about the in-universe lore and story to the front, and I looked at it a bit, but frankly after it roughly said “There’s some sort of secret thing called OLD_DATA that America might have stolen from the Soviets and was found on Hitler’s body” I stopped giving a shit.
Also, while I’m doing all this griping, I may as well get one last thing out of my body: the ending reminds me of Watchman. We know that at this point Luke has leaked information about GameFuna’s abuse and misbehavior to a reporter, and he’s actually on a call when the murder. Are we supposed to supposed to assume that this person will just go “Oh, weird” when it turns out Luke was murdered and robbed when someone finds his body? Or are they going to investigate? Or is the secret government going silence them first? And perhaps more importantly, WHY SHOULD I CARE?
If I’m being honest, the reason this section fails so miserably for me is that the rest of the game is 10/10 or 9/10 purely on mechanics and aesthetic, and the ending is a solid 7. Things like Ouroboros carrying over its stats between game resets, the game booting with a screen that teaches you how to play cards while simultaneously also illustrating the sort of weirdness involved in that a new game can’t be created, the weird custom cards. Everything else is awesome and brilliant.
And then the ending just sort sucks all the oomph out of it.
Author Note: With the addition of Kaycee’s Mod, there’s a semi-infinite roguelike mode that uses act 1 of the game as its base for a more randomized and replayable mode, there’s some more content. I still wish that the game was longer though.