Inkle (video game company)

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Privately held
Industry Video game
Founded November 2011 (2011-11)
Founder Jon Ingold, Joseph Humfrey
Headquarters Cambridge, United Kingdom
Products 80 Days

Inkle is a game company based in Cambridge, United Kingdom that specialises in interactive narrative. They are notable for games such as 80 Days, which was Time Magazine's Game of the Year in 2014,[1] and Sorcery!, a well-received[2] recreation of Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! gamebook series.

Inkle has also created inklewriter, an online tool for creating interactive fiction.


Inkle was founded in November 2011 by Jon Ingold and Joseph Humfrey.[3] Their first project was an interactive, choice-based version of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, written by successful gamebook author Dave Morris and published by Profile Books.[4] It received mixed reactions, earning a Kirkus Reviews "Best of 2012" star,[5] while The Guardian describing it as "digital butchery", noting it's "bewildering" format and how - despite being billed as "interactive" - users cannot change how the base story plays out.[6]

In May 2013 they released the first in an ongoing fantasy series, Sorcery! (video game), based on gamebooks by famous UK games designer Steve Jackson. The adaptation was widely praised, with IGN calling it "a prime example of what can happen when traditional storytelling gets along with contemporary game design"[7] The sequel followed in November 2013 and was substantially larger in scope.[8]

They have collaborated with Penguin Books on two apps. 2013's "Poems By Heart" is a memorisation game intended to help readers learn poetry and was chosen as one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013.[9] In the same year they also worked with New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong on "The Cainsville Files", a visual-novel style interactive prequel to her Cainsville book series.[10]

Gamasutra named them one of their top 10 developers of 2014, saying 80 Days "set an exciting bar for what mainstream interactive fiction could look like... without sacrificing sophistication and depth for accessibility".[11] The New York Times cited it an example of successful interactive storytelling[12] while The Telegraph newspaper called it both "one of the best branching narratives ever created"[13] and "one of the best books of 2014".[14]


Inkle has also created inklewriter, an online tool for creating interactive fiction.[15] It is used in schools[16] and was awarded a "Best Website for Teaching and Learning" award by American Association of School Librarians in 2013.[17] It is also used by some game developers;[18] for example Stoic Studios to aid in development of their game The Banner Saga.[19]


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