Shiny Shoe announces co-op roguelike RPG Inkbound

Monster Train developer Shiny Shoe announced their next project, Inkbound. It is a roguelike RPG set to release in early 2023 for PC (Steam) that will have online multiplayer co-op support. Players interested in playing Inkbound early can head to its official website to sign up for beta access; they will also receive an adorable Space Cat helmet in doing so.

Shiny Shoe describes Inkbound's combat system as a "hybrid real-time / turn-based" and further expands on that by remarking that Inkbound "blends the kinetic brawls of an ARPG with the deep strategy of a tactics game. Turns are snappy and quick, but players can slow down and take time to fully evaluate their current threats."

Inkbound revolves around books that serve as gateways to new worlds. Shiny Shoe says that "no two character builds will be the same" due to how Inkbound allows players to mix and match up classes. One of its initial screenshots showcases being able to "draft an ability" between three abilities presented, which may point to how players are able to shape up their unique character build.

This game will see continual content updates after its launch, with "seasonal materials, monthly quests, and daily challenges."

Andrew Karusnick, Creative Director at Shiny Shoe, made the following remarks about Inkbound.

Inkbound is not a card game, however, like Monster Train you're creating and upgrading a build to change the way you engage with each roguelike run.

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.

Following Karusnick's comments, Mark Cooke, CEO of Shiny Shoe, shares his thoughts on Inkbound.

We cultivated an incredible community with Monster Train, so with Inkbound we wanted to explore ways to approach that shared experience within a new genre. 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.

Check out the Announcement Trailer for Inkbound down below, along with a description and its first screenshots.

Shiny Shoe, the indie studio behind 2020's award-winning Monster Train, announced its eagerly awaited next project. Inkbound takes players on a journey through procedurally generated storybook worlds, battling monsters that are set on unraveling the nature of reality itself. Players can dive in solo or party up via online co-op in hybrid real-time/turn-based encounters. All the while, heroes become more powerful the deeper they progress in each roguelike run. Inkbound is coming to Steam Early Access in 2023.

Inkbound takes place in The Atheneum, a world that contains all the stories that have ever been written. Here, anything that's written in Ink can become real -- such as nightmarish carnivals, ancient ruins on the brink of volcanic annihilation, and more. The heroic Binders, charged with maintaining these stories, can go anytime and anywhere so long as it has been written. And if it hasn't, perhaps they'll create tales of their own.

Shiny Shoe has designed a combat system that blends the kinetic brawls of an ARPG with the deep strategy of a tactics game. Turns are snappy and quick, but players can slow down and take time to fully evaluate their current threats. Players choose the optimal times to rush enemies for melee strikes or to best position themselves for a perfectly aimed ranged attack. 

Inkbound has been built around cooperative play, which further enhances its tactical elements. Binders can work together to debuff enemies and follow up with devastating attacks. Or perhaps one Binder can hang back, keeping their party healthy during the battle. Every roguelike run is different, pushing players to learn from and adapt to each exciting new challenge. Co-op is rewarded, but not required. Binders can embark on their own solo adventures, but banding together is the safest way to take on the toughest challenges and acquire Inkbound's best loot.

Here is the Steam description of Inkbound sharing additional details.

Inkbound is a co-op roguelike RPG that brings the best aspects of Shiny Shoe’s award-winning title, Monster Train, to a world where stories come to life. An unknown force begins to unbind these stories and the worlds they create. It’s up to you and your friends to protect them.

Write Your Own Destiny

Discover the magical Atheneum and the infinite worlds contained within to protect it and become the fabled Inkbound. Or break free from your station and unravel the real story behind your creation.

Fight For Your Story

Arm yourself with the brute strength of a Magma Miner or the swift attacks of a Mosscloak to survive. Embark on procedurally generated runs and weigh the risks of one path versus the potential rewards of others. Choose wisely, your survival depends on it.

Create Your Style

From a hat shaped like an astronaut cat to bat wings, unlock new amazing items with each run. Fight through rich, atmospheric worlds with outfits that will be sure to impress your fellow warriors!

A Living Game

Experience a gripping story and combat that changes monthly, weekly, even daily! A living game, no two days are the same in the expanding world of Inkbound.

Enhance Your Power

Learn exciting ability Bindings, choose powerful forgotten Memories, and equip loot from legends to become the Inkbound hero no one thought you could be. And a bonus feature you loved in Monster Train: discover hundreds of character builds by mixing and matching classes.