System: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Zack Bell Games
Price: £8.09/€8,99 (Discounted to £6.47/€7,19 until 28/06/2018), $8.99
Overall feeling: I like it alot!
(Our review copy was kindly provided by Digerati)
Being a huge fan of the platform genre, the game INK intrigued me as soon as I read about it, and I’m happy to write that it currently ranks as one of my favourite Switch indie games.
In the game, the player controls a simple white block, and the goal is to move, jump, double jump, and slide to the allotted goal. This may sound like a typical platform game, but INK’s splash mechanic is what makes the game unique.
Every level begins with a blacked-out screen that renders every surface invisible. The only visible objects at the start of each stage are; the obstacles to avoid, keys to open certain platforms, enemy blocks and the end goal (if within range)
So how can players fulfil the game’s objective if they face a blacked-out screen? Well the white block acts like a sponge soaked with paint, and so simply moving around or sliding down walls results in a trail of multicoloured paint.
To make things even more challenging, some stages require gamers to squish enemy blocks before reaching the end goal, and others will require players to avoid spikes and numerous missiles. Triangular missiles simply shoot straight, whereas circular missiles home in to your position. If that isn’t challenging enough, there are also 20 coins placed in awkward places to find and collect. All of this together results in manic and frantic game play that’s both challenging and rewarding.
Another INK video#NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/mHyk4HDqMa
— Jonah (@weloveninty) June 19, 2018
Make no mistake, INK is tough, but yet not overwhelmingly so. The game’s difficulty level at no time feels unfair, and the short nature and clever design of each stage means that even the toughest areas don’t feel impossible.
The game contains 75 stages overall, and as expected, the difficulty level ramps up as you progress through each level.
The Switch version also includes an exclusive two-player mode that supports split joy-con play that suits both competitive and co-op play.
INK’s controls are implented well, and even though they don’t feel as tight as those in a Mario game, they suit the kind of game that INK is. During my time with the game, I’ve never felt as if the controls were responsible for my numerous failures. INK’s controls may take a little time to get used to, but the game’s early stages prove to be a good training ground.
Visuals, and Sound
INK’s visuals are reminiscent of classic arcade games like Pong. The graphical style is simple but also very effective, particularly in terms of the way in which colour is used. The games’ soundtrack is pleasing and helps to make what is a tough game feel peaceful and relaxing to play. The individual responsible for the game’s soundtrack has done a great job and deserves a tremendous amount of credit.
If at first you don't succeed… #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/ZxqKN40Muv
— Jonah (@weloveninty) June 19, 2018
I want more!
O why is there only 75 stages? I must confess that I haven’t quite finished the game yet, but that’s mainly due to wanting to make the whole experience last a little longer. Saying that, there’s still the exclusive two player co-op mode, 20 bonus coins to collect, and even a timer in order further test and refine your skills. I imagine hardcore speedrunners will have a great time with INK.
As you can probably tell from my review, INK has won for itself a big fan, and I for one hope that a sequel is in the works. The game doesn’t fit into the casual bracket, but If like me, you enjoy playing both casual and more intense/challenging games then INK may just be for you. Taking all things into consideration, the game’s quality, the added bonus of being able to play in handheld mode, as well as the exclusive two player mode, and a reasonable price, I’m happy to give INK a I like it a lot award!
I just saw the trailer for it this morning. I’m not much of a platforming fan but it looks neat!