Best Games Like Inscryption

Need a shot of spooky with your deckbuilding gameplay? Here are the best games like Inscryption on Steam and other platforms.

Inscryption is the latest genre-bending love letter to video games from developer Daniel Mullins to take the internet by storm.

It combines deck-building, roguelike, and escape room gameplay with dark imagery you’d expect to find in a horror game.

For more games like it, join us as we highlight the best games like Inscryption on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch platforms.

This includes card games like Inscryption that feature infinitely replayable gameplay and unsettling atmospheres.

With that out of the way, let’s peel back the curtain and take a look at games similar to Inscryption!

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To get started, we suggest anyone who enjoyed Inscryption go back and explore Mullins’ previous work, such as the 2D point-and-click adventure game The Hex.

Although it may not fall under the same category as Inscryption from a gameplay perspective, it explores many of the same themes while swapping between different game genres and telling a unique story.

There are countless meta-level dialogue and nods to video game culture as a whole that get woven into a captivating story set in a mysterious tavern where six video game protagonists have gathered.

Players are tasked with reliving each character’s memories and witnessing the events that led them to the tavern where a murder is about to take place.

Coming soon, Black Book is a gloomy RPG quest centered on Slavic legends. The game puts players in the shoes of Vasilisa, an adolescent sorceress who has to fight a bunch of evil foes.

The story sees Vasilisa setting off on a journey to recover an ancient wish-granting relic called the Black Book and use it to bring back her dead lover.

To do so, she’ll have to uncover all seven of its seals across the rural countryside and confront whatever horrors await her.

Similar to Inscryption, the gameplay revolves around battles using cards where Vasilisa combats demons, carries out exorcisms, and safeguards her companions encountered during her journey.

For more roguelike horror like Inscryption, consider picking up the follow-up to Red Hook Studios’ grim and gritty strategy RPG, Darkest Dungeon.

Darkest Dungeon II maintains the dark atmosphere of the original while refining its turn-based combat system and bringing players along for a “roguelike road trip of the damned.”

In it, you’re tasked with guiding a party of misfits traveling by stagecoach across a treacherous landscape brimming with otherworldly monsters and unspeakable terrors.

Instead of constructing a solitary deck during each run like in Inscryption, the game showcases a vast lineup of characters with distinct merits and flaws that can be merged in thrilling ways.

While it may not have the same amount of strategic depth as Inscryption, Pawnbarian is an interesting combination of puzzle roguelike design and turn-based tactics gameplay.

In it, you control one of three chess-inspired heroes as they set out to conquer three tiny dungeon boards teeming with hellish monsters.

Using traditional chess moves, players must navigate around the board while finding ways to outmaneuver opponents by leveraging their hero’s special traits and attacks.

Like Inscryption, cards can be upgraded to unlock additional powers and the game provides a series of extra difficulty modifiers for an added challenge.

Slay the Spire is another indie game that blends roguelike progression with deckbuilding mechanics to create an infinitely replayable gameplay loop with tons of room for strategy.

Much like Inscryption, each run sees you progressing through a series of card-based battles with random events, branching pathways, and opportunities to expand your deck.

There are various starting conditions depending on the character chosen, adding another layer to Slay the Spire’s strategy-driven design.

It also happens to be a lot more replayable than Inscryption due to the sheer number of different viable builds and randomness that occurs with every new run.

Our next recommendation is Monster Train, another deckbuilding roguelike in which players try to guide a train filled with monsters across a hellish landscape that has frozen over.

The game features five monster clans to pick from that can be leveled up throughout each run to unlock new cards for future playthroughs.

Naturally, combat is turn-based and incorporates modified card-battling mechanics that allow you to mix and match minions and spells from several clans instead of just one.

Similar to games like Slay the Spire, Monster Train puts its mechanics front and center, offering equally satisfying gameplay as Inscryption at the cost of having a weaker story.

Seeing how welcoming deckbuilding fans have been of Klei Entertainment’s deckbuilding RPG Griftlands, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of the game.

Either way, we’ll take any opportunity we can get to highlight a fantastic game from a fantastic developer whose catalog includes indie hits like Shank and Don’t Starve.

Like Inscryption, the game does a good job of striking a balance between card-based battles and narrative sequences that change based on the player’s choices.

This results in typically longer runs compared to other deckbuilding roguelikes like Slay the Spire and Monster Train as the game takes its time establishing its setting, characters, and stakes.

Going back even further in Mullins’ portfolio, Pony Island is psychological horror masquerading as a simple puzzle game.

You play as an unknown protagonist attempting to play on an arcade machine that’s seemingly broken until things start to get weird and it takes on a life of its own.

Every puzzle you encounter functions as a sort of meta-level commentary on video game UIs, menus, and HUDs and often require you to explore unconventional solutions.

As things progress, Pony Island continues to up the tension with hostile remarks, snide comments, and unsettling imagery designed to mess with your head.

Speaking of messing with your head, Iris and the Giant is a melancholic and gripping adventure about a girl who’s forced to face her fears in an imaginary world that exists only in her mind.

Like Inscryption, the game combines deckbuilding and roguelike progression with RPG mechanics peppered as Iris sets out to defeat her own personal demons.

Throughout each run, players are given opportunities to customize and expand Iris’s decks as well as earn experience points to increase their skills in different areas.

This allows you to refine in on a specific playstyle and end up discovering potent new builds.

Draft of Darkness is a deckbuilding roguelike with similar survival horror elements as Inscryption and a gritty cyberpunk aesthetic.

In it, players set off across a post-apocalyptic dystopia where they’ll explore procedurally generated dungeons, recruit allies, and synergize decks to create powerful card combos.

Turn-based battles have you facing off against infected creatures, government robots, and survivors with dwindling resources you’ll have to manage.

Over time, you’ll personalize your deck by trading for better equipment and cards while advancing through the game’s meta-progression system in which every decision affects the outcome of the story.

Switching from cyberpunk to full-fledged fantasy, Banners of Ruin is another deckbuilding roguelike that sees you assembling a party of up to six animal-based characters with unique cards and abilities.

The story takes place in Dawn’s Point, a city on the brink of collapse as rival factions fight for control, forcing you to crush any enemies that get in your way and forge unlikely alliances.

Each run sees you collecting weapons and armor that grant special effects to your characters during increasingly difficult card-based battles.

Similar to Inscryption, players can use the knowledge from failed attempts to make better decisions as well as earn tokens to unlock new cards and passives for their next run.

Another fantasy-themed deckbuilder worth checking out is Trials of Fire, in which players choose three heroes before setting off across a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Tactical turn-based card battles play out similarly to that of Inscryption, with players having to make tough decisions regarding character positioning and deck management.

To this point, the game puts a big emphasis on deck customization and maintaining a well-rounded party of heroes capable of dealing with any threat.

While the expanded number of three hero decks compared to Inscryption’s singular deck can take some getting used to, the potential for synergizing cards is also much higher.

If you find yourself craving another genre-bending deckbuilder with a roguelike gameplay loop reminiscent of Inscryption, look no further than Loop Hero.

Presented as a tactical auto-battler, it places a big emphasis on drafting and strategizing your character’s loadout before the start of each run.

Instead of tackling challenges firsthand, gameplay centers on arming your hero with powerful loot before sending them out in the wild to battle enemies and overcome obstacles.

With every loop completed, your deck expands to reveal new enemies, buildings, and terrain cards that can be strategically placed to maximize resource farming and upgrade your camp.

Shying away from deckbuilding roguelikes, My Beautiful Paper Smile is a psychological horror adventure puzzle game with a devilish hand-drawn look.

In it, you play as a kid stuck inside a twisted school run by masked foes known as “the Powers That Be.”

To escape, you’ll have to sneak your way around the facility solving puzzles and avoid being detected by the Authorities’ patrols as well as a host of strange creatures lurking in the shadows.

If you appreciated Inscryption’s atmospheric setting and unsettling characters, then My Beautiful Paper Smile is a great alternative with equally eerie imagery.

Next up, Rusty Lake Hotel is a short point-and-click adventure game with a horror mystery at the center of its narrative.

In it, you’re given the task of preparing dinner for five guests staying at the prestigious Rusty Lake Hotel for the duration of a single week.

Things quickly take a turn for the worse when guests start turning up dead, forcing you to search for clues, solve puzzles, and piece together evidence to sleuth out the murderer.

Like Inscryption, the game features unsettling imagery throughout its depiction of its characters, environments, and story-based events, all of which can be experienced in a single sitting.

Considering the extensive number of deckbuilding roguelikes covered in this list, we thought we’d take a moment to shine a light on the other component that makes up Inscryption’s gameplay.

During specific moments in the game, your character has the ability to stand up from the table and investigate a dimly lit space containing interactive items like clocks, chests, and statues that hide secret cards.

Aside from breaking up the card-based battles, these sections harken back to the golden age of escape room puzzle series like The Room.

Each entry introduces a new mystery for the player to solve using unique contraptions and clues found throughout the atmospheric environments with a tinge of creepiness.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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