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Inkbound

Platform(s): PC
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Developer: Shiny Shoe
Release Date: April 9, 2024

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Inkbound' Leaving Steam Early Access In April With Big v1.0 Update

by Rainier on Feb. 27, 2024 @ 11:25 a.m. PST

Inkbound is a co-op experience that blends elements from ARPGs, tactics games, and roguelikes.

Inkbound takes players on a journey through procedurally generated storybook worlds, battling monsters that are set on unraveling the nature of reality itself. Players can dive in solo or party up via online co-op in hybrid real-time/turn-based encounters. All the while, heroes become more powerful the deeper they progress in each roguelike run.

Inkbound takes place in The Atheneum, a world that contains all the stories that have ever been written. Here, anything that's written in Ink can become real -- such as nightmarish carnivals, ancient ruins on the brink of volcanic annihilation, and more. The heroic Binders, charged with maintaining these stories, can go anytime and anywhere so long as it has been written. And if it hasn't, perhaps they'll create tales of their own.

Shiny Shoe has designed a combat system that blends the kinetic brawls of an ARPG with the deep strategy of a tactics game. Turns are snappy and quick, but players can slow down and take time to fully evaluate their current threats. Players choose the optimal times to rush enemies for melee strikes or to best position themselves for a perfectly aimed ranged attack. 

Developer Shiny Shoe is reaching a significant milestone in April for Inkbound, which will be leaving Steam Early Access with the release of its 1.0 update. Players will experience an all-new narrative questline – complete with an epic showdown against a world-ending threat – whether they’re jumping into Inkbound’s magical world for the first time or have been playing since the beginning.

“We've improved Inkbound tremendously from our initial Early Access release,” says Shiny Shoe Founder and CEO Mark Cooke. “From major new features like additional character classes and worlds to explore, to the numerous small incremental quality of life changes that add up to a much more polished experience. I'm excited to get 1.0 into players' hands!”

Inkbound's 1.0 release includes a host of new features and enhancements to its ever-expanding world. Here are some of the the highlights:

  • Epic New Questline, Complete with a Final Boss: Inkbound 1.0 includes the latest content drop, Rise of the Unbound, featuring new challenges and unlocks. This new narrative culminates with an epic showdown against the villain behind Inkbound’s unraveling world.
  • Full Controller Support: The fans have spoken! Inkbound’s 1.0 launch includes complete controller support – perfect for on-the-couch play.
  • Improved Steam Deck Experience: Inkbound supports online co-op play, but full offline play is also supported – perfect for Steam Deck players when they’re out on the road.
  • Localization: We’re adding localization to the game for the first time. The 1.0 release includes full localization in Chinese, Japanese, German, and French.
  • Narrative Enhancements: Inkbound 1.0 puts a spotlight on the game’s story with all-new cutscenes and a reworked narrative throughline. Progression is faster and more impactful, telling an immersive tale like never before with full English voiceover. 
  • Big Under-the-Hood Tweaks: A variety of improvements and enhancements are being added to Inkbound to fully mark its graduation from Early Access. These include a deep editing pass to ensure that that text is consistent throughout; quality-of-life updates; and player-requested balancing adjustments designed to keep Inkbound challenging over the long haul.

"Throughout Early Access we've iterated on how to create the best narrative experience in Inkbound and I'm excited for players to experience this version,” says Andrew Krausnick, creative director at Shiny Shoe. “We've focused the experience around the core storylines, eliminated randomness, and made sure all characters are fully voiced. If you're tried Inkbound before or are here for the first time, this is the definitive version."

Inkbound is now available through Steam Early Access for $19.99.

Inkbound has been built around cooperative play, which further enhances its tactical elements. Binders can work together to debuff enemies and follow up with devastating attacks. Or perhaps one Binder can hang back, keeping their party healthy during the battle. Every roguelike run is different, pushing players to learn from and adapt to each exciting new challenge. Co-op is rewarded, but not required. Binders can embark on their own solo adventures, but banding together is the safest way to take on the toughest challenges and acquire Inkbound's best loot.

Key Features:

  • WRITE YOUR OWN DESTINY: Discover the magical Atheneum and the infinite worlds contained within to protect it and become the fabled Inkbound. Or break free from your station and unravel the real story behind your creation.
  • FIGHT FOR YOUR STORY: Arm yourself with the brute strength of a Magma Miner or the swift attacks of a Mosscloak to survive. Embark on procedurally generated runs and weigh the risks of one path versus the potential rewards of others. Choose wisely, your survival depends on it.
  • CREATE YOUR STYLE: From a hat shaped like an astronaut cat to bat wings, unlock new amazing items with each run. Fight through rich, atmospheric worlds with outfits that will be sure to impress your fellow warriors!
  • A LIVING GAME: Experience a gripping story and combat that changes monthly, weekly, even daily! A living game, no two days are the same in the expanding world of Inkbound.
  • ENHANCE YOUR POWER: Learn exciting ability Bindings, choose powerful forgotten Memories, and equip loot from legends to become the Inkbound hero no one thought you could be. And a bonus feature you loved in Monster Train: discover hundreds of character builds by mixing and matching classes.

Inkbound is coming to PC (Steam) in 2024/2025.


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