This review contains spoilers

I wish this had just been a normal game.
The game starts out really strong. The first few hours of Inscryption are just a really great roguelike with some neat mechanics about exploring the space you're in tacked on. The sacrifice and bones mechanic is so much cooler than some kind of mana system. There are many viable strategies, and you don't need some broken combo to feel strong. The StS-like map is (as always) much better than in StS, my only complaints about it are that Totem enemies should reward you more and that Bonelord encounters feel kind of pointless. The atmosphere is amazing.
The biggest issue with this Act 1 of Inscryption is that it's a bit too easy, and that is before you unlock totems. Totems just feel like they're designed to break the game for you, because there are so many sigils you can give to your squirrels for a free win. I have honestly no idea how you're even supposed to lose with tutoring squirrels.
Just act 1, with some rebalancing and ascension and all that stuff might have been a great game. I know they’re making a mod for that, maybe I should check it out at some point.
Act 2 is so much worse. There are 2 new cost mechanics. I don't think it's possible to build a good Mox deck, and Energy cards are just way understatted to be any good. So you mostly end up playing the same kind of Sacrifice/Bones deck you've been playing for all of Act 1, only now it's more consistent because it's a CCG instead of a roguelike deckbuilder. I've won so many fights with double Mantis God turn 1. It's mostly trivially easy, especially because there aren't even any consequences for losing, so if you have a bad draw, just concede and retry.
The only encounter in Act 2 that isn’t super easy is the Magnificus fight, and that’s because that fight just throws all the rules out the window and makes up a new game. At least the music is nice.
Then you get to Act 3, and for a moment you’re full of hope that it might at least come close to the greatness of Act 1. The battles are trivially easy and boring, the overworld is ugly and confusing. As you go on, the game keeps throwing random mechanics at you and it feels like none of them matter.
I’d like to give a special dishonorable mention to The Archivist. Ohhhhh, you can show images when I open them, ohhh, only scary programs like Paint can do that (and yet you couldn’t even play the mp4 of the Utena musical). Ohhh now you’re threatening to delete my file ohhh how scary, ohh it isn’t actually deleted who would have thought.
The finale is fine. The bone-focused game seems kinda fun, wish we could play that one properly. The Yu-gi-oh-like with Magnificus is boring but I can’t say it didn’t make me laugh.
I have now written over 500 words without even mentioning the story. That is because the story is absolute garbage, in my opinion. I’m sure the Creepypasta fandom would have really loved this story in 2010. No one is shocked by self-aware video game characters, we’ve all played Undertale. Setting up a mystery and then “redacting” its solution is so cheap. The ending was so hilariously bad, I actually laughed out loud. Also, what was even the point of Grimora deleting the game?
During the finale, it becomes clear that all Leshy ever wanted was to play. This made me kind of sad. I also just wanted to play Leshy’s game, but Inscryption wouldn’t let me.

Reviewed on Feb 22, 2022