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What we think about Inkbound: Full game review

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By Brennan Forrest - - 5 Mins Read
Inkbound gameplay
Featured gameplay screenshot | Steam

Shiny Shoe’s latest creation, Inkbound, presents a refreshing take on the familiar rogue-like deck-builder genre.

This game sets itself apart with a mix of turn-based combat and the addition of multiplayer functionality. While the market is saturated with rogue-like deck-builders, Inkbound introduces a unique 3D role-playing element that breathes new life into the genre.

At first glance, Inkbound may not seem revolutionary, given the prevalence of rogue-like turn-based titles. However, the game succeeds in offering a twist on familiar mechanics, delivering a rich experience with different character classes, engaging play styles, and skill upgrade paths.

Inkbound gameplay is designed to unfold naturally, gradually introducing complexity without overwhelming players.

Exploring the Narrative and Characters of Inkbound

Inkbound plunges players into an interesting storyline centered around the Atheneum, a vast library of stories plagued by encroaching corruption known as the Blight.

As a "Needless" — an entity emerging from the Ink with little identity or purpose — players interact with gigantic characters like Bin and Nib, who bestow unique abilities known as Aspects.

Defeating the Guardians of the Void propels players into the heart of the Atheneum's mysteries.

The game's narrative takes shape through interactions with different characters, each possessing their own quirks and stories.

From the awkward Counselor to the mysterious Carver, these characters deepen the lore of Inkbound and provide incentives for players to explore and progress.

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As players forge bonds with these characters, new items and Aspects are unlocked, making subsequent runs interesting. 

Inkbound multi-player gameplay allows friends to look into the Atheneum together, enhancing the cooperative experience and providing new dimensions to combat strategies.

Watch Inkbound gameplay trailer



Diving into Combat Mechanics and Character Progression

The core of Inkbound lies in its innovative combat mechanics. Players utilize Will to activate abilities during turn-based encounters, collecting orbs to reduce cooldowns and enhance tactical options.

Movement during combat adds a layer of strategy, enabling players to dodge attacks strategically.

Each character's aspect encourages distinct playstyles and builds, allowing strategic adaptation and experimentation. For example, the Magma Miner is excellent at generating heat and causing area damage, whereas the Weaver shields allies and manipulates enemy positions using threads.


Inkbound gameplay screenshot
Gameplay | Steam


The Aspects themselves are all well-designed and facilitate different kinds of builds and play styles.

As players progress, they can augment their abilities with Vestiges, passive bonuses that enhance combat effectiveness based on specific conditions. Destroying Vestiges strategically grants permanent bonuses, rewarding careful decision-making during runs.

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Challenges and Multiplayer Dynamics in Inkbound

Completing runs in Inkbound unlocks greater difficulties and new challenges, providing avenues for character progression and mastery.

Boss encounters present unique tactical puzzles, requiring coordinated efforts and strategic planning to overcome.

Inkbound's multiplayer mode amplifies the excitement by introducing cooperative play changes.

Teammates must coordinate actions use individual strengths to tackle formidable foes and maximize combat efficiency.

Despite its strengths, Inkbound faces some criticisms regarding environmental diversity and repetitiveness in layout and structure. However, its engaging combat system, narrative depth, and multiplayer integration make it a standout among turn-based rogue-likes.

Further Exploration: Unlocking the Depths of Inkbound

The progression system in Inkbound is designed to encourage continual growth and experimentation.

Players earn experience points from quests and encounters, unlocking new Vestiges, cosmetics, and character customization options. This sense of progression adds a layer of satisfaction to each playthrough, motivating players to push their limits and strive for mastery.

Inkbound's vibrant community further enhances the gaming experience, with players sharing strategies, tips, and stories of their adventures within the Atheneum.

Online forums and social media platforms are buzzing with discussions about the best builds, boss strategies, and hidden secrets waiting to be discovered. This creates a sense of camaraderie and shared enthusiasm, fostering a welcoming environment for newcomers.

In addition to its multiplayer mode, Inkbound also offers competitive elements, such as leaderboards and timed challenges.

Players can test their skills against others worldwide, vying for the top spot and bragging rights. This competitive aspect adds another layer of excitement and replayability to the game as players strive to outdo themselves and climb the ranks.

The inclusion of leaderboards and timed challenges adds a competitive edge to Inkbound, motivating players to hone their skills and optimize their strategies for maximum efficiency. Whether aiming for speed runs or high scores, there's always a new challenge to conquer.