Monster Train creators making new co-op RPG
Shiny Shoe, the creators of fan-favorite deck-builder Monster Train, is branching out of the card battler scene with Inkbound, their newly announced title. Inkbound will be a roguelike, tactical RPG taking place in a world called The Antheneum where anything that's been written in ink can become a reality. It's up to Binders, the characters that maintain these stories, to protect them from a mysterious force that is unbinding them.
In terms of gameplay, what's been revealed thus far has spelled out an exciting game that is sure to keep players around long-term... if they succeed.
Andrew Krausnick (Shiny Shoe, Creative Director) wrote: “Fans will notice that Inkbound shares DNA with Monster Train, but we expanded upon what we learned making that title, to create a richly different experience, which also combines our love of co-op games and ARPGs.”
The storybook worlds that comprise the bulk of Inkbound's gameplay are procedurally generated, guaranteeing unique playthroughs each round. Touching on Krausnick's previous comment, the game has promised the same build crafting mechanic that's been well-loved in Monster Train, but translated to character building instead of decks. Co-op gameplay will be "rewarded, but not required" of players; so while Inkbound will be playable in solo mode, a lot of the language and marketing used by Shiny Shoe implies that playing co-op will make it better. In co-op, Binders can work together to stack their abilities and create powerful combos. Or, you can create more structured builds where one supports and the other tanks-- it's up to players to respond accordingly to the varying dungeons and enemies.
Speaking of the procedurally generated dungeons, Shiny Shoe has seemingly hinted at live service potential down the road, implying some interesting seasonal shifts that could affect gameplay. Inkbound's press release states: "This is a living game, which provides us with the opportunity to nurture our community over the long term... Our goal is to give Binders new surprises to discover every week – whether it’s deadly new enemies, powerful loot, or even entirely new biomes. And that’s the mission statement of Shiny Shoe. We want to attract a base of players who love our games and find new reasons to keep playing them so that they’re remembered fondly 20 years from now.”
Inkbound will release sometime in 2023. For those curious to read more or see gameplay images/footage, I recommend you check out Inkbound's Steam Page.