Monster Train Developer Announces Inkbound, A Co-Op Mishmash Of ARPGs, Tactics, And Roguelikes

Developer Shiny Shoe, the indie team behind 2020’s Monster Train, has announced their next game, dubbed Inkbound.

Unveiled today with a slick new trailer showcasing the game’s gameplay and cinematics, Shiny Shoe describes Inkbound as a hybrid of action RPGs, tactical games and roguelikes. It looks great too, and you can check it out for yourself in the announcement trailer below:

“Inkbound will take players on a journey through procedurally generated storybook worlds and battle monsters bent on unraveling the nature of reality for themselves,” reads a press release. “Players can dive in solo or team up via online co-op in hybrid real-time/turn-based encounters. Heroes become more powerful the deeper they advance in each roguelike run.”

The game is set to release on Steam Early Access sometime in 2023. It’s set in an area called The Atheneum, which Shiny Shoes says is a “world containing every story that was ever written.” There everything written in ink can become reality. These include nightmare carnivals, ancient ruins accompanied by volcanic annihilation, and more. Players take on the roles of binders tasked with maintaining these stories, and they can go anywhere at any time, as long as they are previously written in ink.

The developer says the combat system blends the brawls of ARPGs with the deep strategy of a tactics game, and you can probably already see how The Atheneum is setting the game up nicely as a roguelike. Combat rounds are “snappy and fast, but players can slow down and take their time to fully assess their current threat,” choosing optimal times to either swoop down enemies for big melee attacks or position themselves better for ranged attacks.

“Inkbound isn’t a card game, but like Monster Train, you create and update a build to change the way you engage in each roguelike run,” Shiny Shoe creative director Andrew Krausnick wrote in a press release. “Fans will find that Inkbound shares DNA with Monster Train, but we’ve expanded on what we learned developing this title to create an entirely different experience that also combines our love of co-op gaming and ARPGs.” “

Shiny Shoe explains that Inkbound was built around co-op gameplay, allowing Binders to work together to debuff enemies and then hit them with follow-up attacks. Or, on the contrary, a binder may choose to hold back and instead focus on keeping the group healthy. Being a roguelike game, every run will be different and the co-op changes that even more, although the developers say co-op isn’t required (but it’s rewarded!).

“We’ve built an incredible community with Monster Train, so with Inkbound we wanted to explore ways to approach this shared experience within a new genre,” writes Shiny Shoe CEO Mark Cooke in the press release. “Our goal is to bring new surprises to Binders every week – be it deadly new enemies, powerful loot, or even entirely new biomes. And that is the Shiny Shoe mission statement. We want to attract a base of players who love our games and find new reasons to keep playing them so they will be fondly remembered 20 years from now.”

While you wait to learn more, read on game informants Monster train review.

Are you looking forward to Inkbound? Let us know in the comments below! Monster Train Developer Announces Inkbound, A Co-Op Mishmash Of ARPGs, Tactics, And Roguelikes

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