Why Inscryption is the best video game of 2021

[Ed. note: The following contains spoilers for Inscryption.]

Encode It’s one of the most confusing games I’ve ever played.


For us Game of the Year 2021, Polygon is celebrating our top 10 video games with a collection of essays. You can see Our full Top 50 list is here. Throughout December, we’ll also look back on the year with videos, special essays, and more!

Calling it a roguelike would be a disadvantage. Label it as a card game that will lack points. If it goes on too long, its horror qualities would be mythical, like describing a movie based solely on its opening scene. Encode is all of these things, yes, the same way a book is a collection of paragraphs – there’s so much more to it.

Even the way we talk About Encode There is an atmosphere of mystery. One day, just over a week before Halloween, it started appearing on Polygon’s Slack channels. Several writers tried it out over the weekend and showed up on Monday with excitement. “Is anyone else playing? Encode?? ” It spread slowly at first, then all at once: Threads formed, spoiler warnings popped up, and groups split into DMs to discuss the weird, confounding gameplay. This with other colleagues passed “that part”.

Fraudulent writing in the text

Image: Daniel Mullins Games / Devolver Digital

In other words, Encode created a moment, and we all loved it so much that we refused to spoil what made it so special. We trust the game to work its magic on newcomers, regardless of our shining, whispering praise.

Now, look back Encode By the end of 2021, with some distance from that initial frenzy, I can appreciate the game for more than just the excitement it stirs. It was released in a year filled with roguelite webs, time loop mysteries, and genre-defying breakout hits. However, it still stands above its peers. Its first action combines the easy strategy of a deck-building card game with the puzzle-solving of an escape room. Its second act takes us on a pixel art adventure that pays homage to everything from EarthBound for Pokémon. Its third act gives us come back to the roguelite format of the first chapter, but in a completely different setting: The shack in the woods has been replaced by a factory, with holograms instead of parchment, and floppy disks instead of cards. In addition, the dealer is a robot.

This is where the entire scope of magic is concentrated. While we are learning the intricacies of card game variations, Encode has been telling its story under our noses. In a way, developer Daniel Mullins has distracted us with some video games of a more cliché genre. With the rest, he created an entire cast of characters, each with their own fears, goals, and insecurities.

Inscryption - Luke Carder, a young man standing in front of a blue background screen, sitting and preparing to record a video of a card game

Image: Daniel Mullins Games / Devolver Digital

None of this is referring to the fake YouTube videos that tie all the acts together, or the easter eggs hidden in the credits or the real world history Mullins has tied up with. Encodeof legend. Some of the most appealing elements of Encodethe story goes outside the actual game. Devoted players followed a path to data-storage websites and real-world GPS locations, parse them through ARG that became a hallmark of Mullins’ portfolio. As Cass Marshall said above list of top 50 games of 2021, “Encode is a game about games, revolving around a narrative with layers like a Russian nesting doll. ”

Is not all of the active story, to be clear. In many cases, Mullins is trying a little too difficult ingenuity. The live-action plot theme focuses on the shady GameFuna company (Encodeby developer in the universe) ends with a staged murder in which neither the assassin nor the victim has the acting to make it feel organic. Furthermore, the majority EncodeThe second action pulls in legally: The novelty of the pixelated, top-down world quickly wears off, and the lack of any roguelite elements makes deck-building more complicated than a game round. guide.

But I would forgive any game for its valleys when the peaks are like this. I would choose the game that has a big change over the game that rides a constant wave of “good” every time. Like I like the intermittent perfection of Sopranos on the consistency of Wire, I can’t help but marvel at the greatness EncodeTheir goal is – even if it slips widely once.

Because when Encode is at its best and its genre-blending system is feeding its story and its deck-building mechanics are telling a story that can only be told through interaction, nothing else Just like that. Encode is a symphony for video games in general, and even if there’s a violin or two a little out of tune, it makes for an amazing climax.

https://www.polygon.com/22843002/inscryption-best-video-game-2021-polygon-goty Why Inscryption is the best video game of 2021

Aila Slisco

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