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Inkle partners with Google on new game

Inkle's The Forever Labyrinth puts players in a narrative rogue-like that's instantly playable on the browser and at no cost.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

February 1, 2024

1 Min Read
The NPC cast of Inkle's The Forever Labyrinth.
Image via Inkle/Google.

At a Glance

  • The new collaboration with Inkle gives Google the chance to experiment with what kind of games it can put on its ecosystem.

Nearly two months after releasing A Highland Song, UK developer Inkle has collaborated with Google Arts & Culture on its next project.

Revealed today, The Forever Labyrinth is billed as a "narrative rogue-like adventure" that can be played for free. Players explore a labyrinth with ever-changing rooms to find their missing friend.

Each room is filled with art from across the world and all of human history. The game also features general characters from certain time periods players interact with, like a monk and conquistador.

Last year, Google Arts & Culture launched a game development program for small browser games. It actively courted Inkle, which it challenged to "take people on a unique journey of artistic discovery and exploration."

Inkle-co-founder Jon Ingold called The Forever Labyrinth "a story about making connections between people and art." In working with Google, the game became "bigger and broader, adding more art that connected in new and different ways."

Google continues pushing into games

The Forever Labyrinth comes at an interesting time for Google, which is still looking for a place in games. With Stadia now gone, it's opened up the Google Play Store's billing options and its PC equivalent.

Last year, it was reported that YouTube was looking to bring instant games to its browser and mobile app. Inkle's newest may be a testing ground to see if that type of game takes off with players.

In January, Ingold wrote about the narrative design of its 2021 game, Overboard!. And in 2022, Game Developer talked with him and fellow co-founder Joseph Humfrey on its music, which can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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