Final RPS Advent Calendar 2021, December 24

This is the last day of the RPS Advent Calendar. Here it is. It all leads to this door, a wooden cabin door that is a bit difficult to open. Wait, when do you put a pliers in your pocket?

Our 2021 game is Encode. Of course it is.

Alice Bee: Looking back at some of our other games of the year, it’s not really surprising to see Inscryption take a big spot on this year’s Calendar. It’s a we Game type: weird, dark, exciting, creative. A deck building game is both a great example of the genre and a subversion of it. A puzzle game that does weird, unsettling things. A story game breaking the fourth wall. A lonely cabin with a stranger challenges you to a game against him. But where are you? How did you get here? Why is that one card talking to you?

I’m still not very good at Inscryption. In general, I am not good at card players because I am too hasty to play strategically, to plan for a high salary in the future. All my RPG character builds are based on how much damage they do. But Inscryption’s card game is really only a small part of that, and it’s surprisingly easy to forgive. There are weird and terrible ways to win that don’t involve playing. And of course, losing is also part of it. Annoying, but necessary to experience.

If you’ve played Daniel Mullins’ previous games (Pony Island and hex), you’ll be more prepared for Inscryption, but you still won’t know what to expect. Because sometimes you have to look up from the board game in front of you. And that could be Actually terrible.

Coding gives this sense of presence, in fact playing cards that you would struggle to find anywhere else.

Alice0: I think I would be perfectly happy if Inscryption was smaller and focused on the first one. I could be even happier. While the part twists and turns and grows well and all, the opening is so strong that the rest feels counter-climatic and starts to pull. As good as Inscryption, I think I’d remember it better if the prologue was a bit longer after the credits rolled out. It’s good, mind.

Ed: The passcode is special. As someone who is also often impatient with numbers on cardboard rectangles, this is the only card game that appeals to me, and for one simple reason. Namely: because it feels really good to play. Not too many rules – although they are still fast, flexible and good – but more in the physical sense. You are forced to play a game of cards in a dark wooden house against your will, which is a terrifying premise, but it is your relationship with these cards that brings an atmosphere of insecurity to life. . Some cards beg you for help, while you leave others in disgust. Sacrifices must be made, mate, sorry. And sometimes, you have to get up from your table to get items for your mad master/enemy.

Coding gives this sense of presence, in fact playing cards that you would struggle to find anywhere else. And where else would you rather be at this festive time of year, than in the company of some murderous eyes and big hands?

A rank card that talks to you in Inscryption

Imogen: Encryption has many layers. The first is a nice card overlay, and underneath that is a creepy escape room. That’s all you really should know before you play, because as you go deeper, the game opens up to something completely new. And while at the surface level all of this is very interesting, it’s the little inconsistencies and weird code inside these classes that intrigue me most – an ominous goo jar, a oddly placed binary numbers, rule out comments from your catcher suggesting even numbers they’re confused on part of the situation.

It is precisely for this reason that I insist on having a notebook by my side the entire time I play. I watch for the odd, the little details that I’m sure will reappear somewhere, explaining something. After finishing the game, I was left with a page of notes that really didn’t make much sense, and in the end only my few clues were of any help. I’ve replayed it since then, looking for more answers in the game, and found a few points I missed, but certainly not all. But that’s fascinating. For the first time in a while, I don’t feel compelled to Google what I’ve been missing, I want to find the secret stuff myself! What if there were even any secrets? Not knowing just makes it all more interesting.

A deck of cards in Inscryption

Katharine: I first played Inscryption as part of the October Steam Next Fest demo, I know it’s something special. In some ways, this isn’t all that surprising to me, as both of developer Daniel Mullins’ previous games, Pony Island and The Hex, have also been right up my street. But as Alice Bee mentioned above, even this relationship with all of this Mullins doesn’t really prepare me for how deep Inscryption goes down the hyper-narrative rabbit hole, and I really love it. every second of it.

2021 is a strange year for games. With many major blockbusters either falling short of expectations or slipping into next year due to further delays related to the pandemic, the constant sense of surprise and enjoyment at what I’m showing has been in short supply for the year. now. In a way, it’s been a great year for indie artists to take center stage, but even some of my favorites from this year, such as Chicory: A Colorful Tale, Elec Head, Ynglet , Mini Motorways, Narita Boy and Olija (sadly not ‘not included in this year’s Advent Calendar but they are all great and definitely worth keeping an eye on), all of which fall into the same familiar model category belonging, semi-predictable have been delved into us by their respective genres. I’ll still try to find each of them, but the Code is what makes my heart beat a little faster, is something I really don’t know what’s going to happen next, and is what takes over my brain. no rent even after leaving my computer for the day. That Exactly what I wanted from my Game Of The Year and Inscryption got it a lot.

The card game itself may seem too simple for hardcore CCGer and deck builders, but the way it builds upon its own meta throughout the game, pivots and breaks its own rules. It when you peel back the layers, is one of its most amazing masts. It’s not just a story that keeps you trying, it’s a card game that teaches and then tests you with hand-style design so ingenious that you could almost say it’s a bit magical. Actually, scratch that. It To be magic as far as I’m concerned, and a truly deserved winner of our GOTY 2021.

Map screen in Inscryption

Let’s come: Like everyone else, I learned early on that Inscryption was a special game. The growing eerie and mysterious atmosphere about what the hell is going on and why that card is talking to you creates an intriguing and macabre premise in the best way. However, underneath all the tension and terror, Inscryption is a bloody brilliant CCG.

The strength of any CCG is its ability to let you discover synergies between cards. As you open the packs (or find them hidden around a murky cabin), you’ll begin to see infiltration strategies into your deck. Not long after, you’ll start to realize that if you combine Squirrel cards with that totem, you can get infinite sacrifices and easily play that Urayuli to really destroy your opponents. Finding those powerful combinations is what really makes a good CCG, and Inscryption works fast.

However, strategies never last long in Inscryption. As Katharine mentioned, there are a lot of rule changes or quick meta changes that will destroy your deck and force you to adapt in battle. It’s tough, so you’ll lose a lot before you fight your way to the bloody end. Changing the rules and giving the boss an advantage even seems completely unfair. Well, it’s not fair and Leshy is a bloodthirsty, ruthless monster that always wants to win. By subverting expectations and actively bending the rules to make the game harder, Inscryption’s CCG continuously evolves with its story to create synergy that defies the genre I love. .

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