Inkbound, the turn-based roguelike from Shiny Shoe, throws you into a world where stories come to life and danger lurks within every written word.  While it boasts exciting combat and a unique world, it falters in variety and narrative.

Reasons to dive into Inkbound:

  • Fresh take on turn-based combat: Inkbound ditches the traditional turn order, letting players and enemies act simultaneously. This creates a dynamic and fast-paced experience that feels unlike other roguelikes.
  • Build diversity: With multiple classes and a wealth of unlockable skills and items, you can craft wildly different character builds on every run.
  • Co-op fun: Team up with friends (or strangers) for up to four-player cooperative adventures.
  • Mastery curve: Inkbound offers a deep combat system with plenty of room for strategic growth. Mastering its intricacies is highly rewarding.

Reasons to hold off on Inkbound:

  • Repetitive world: Despite multiple “books” to explore, the environments lack the visual variety found in other roguelikes.
  • Limited build options: While there’s some freedom, some players might find the core character archetypes a bit restrictive.
  • Thin narrative: The story takes a backseat to the gameplay, with minimal character development and plot progression.
  • Grindy progression: Unlocking everything Inkbound has to offer can feel like a slog, especially with the high failure rate inherent to the roguelike genre.

The Verdict:

Inkbound is a solid roguelike with a unique combat system and a world steeped in potential.  However, its repetitive environments and lack of narrative depth might not hold your attention for the long haul.

Critic Scores:

  • Metacritic: 78/100
  • Eurogamer: Recommended 


Inkbound is available for PC on Steam and GeForce Now.


If you’re looking for a challenging roguelike with innovative combat and a focus on strategic builds, Inkbound is worth checking out. However, if you crave a rich narrative or crave highly distinct environments with each run, you might want to look elsewhere.

Ultimately, whether or not Inkbound is worth buying depends on your priorities in a roguelike experience.

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