Thursday, August 13, 2015

PC Review #122: INK

Title: INK
Developer: Zack Bell Games
Platforms: PC, Mac
Price: $4.99
Zack Bell was one of the developers behind the platformers Frog Sord and Super III. They were solid platformers even as alphas, but unfortunately, both had to be put on hold. So it was nice to see INK released on Steam, a new game from Bell, just as solid and fun as his past work, and an excellent precision platformer.
The most succinct way to describe INK is Super Meat Boy mixed with The Unfinished Swan. INK was originally made for Ludum Dare 32, and has been expanded with more levels and new mechanics. It's a challenging platformer, each level filled with hazards ranging from roaming enemies and deadly drops to turrets. The controls are responsive, letting you to evade danger with ease and deftly double-jump over projectiles. You're not defenseless either, able to stomp on enemies and bosses to damage them.
But on the other hand, INK feels different from other precision platformers in regards to pacing. Levels in INK start out as blank canvases; sometimes there are enemies visible, but typically, floors and walls are hidden. Upon death or when double-jumping, you release an explosion of paint, revealing the area around you. Gradually, the outlines of surfaces become visible, as you carefully jump around the levels

This change adds an interesting wrinkle to INK's gameplay.  I found myself approaching levels more cautiously and slowly than other games in the genre, at least towards the beginning of the levels.  It's not until many deaths later that the levels are clearly visible and you can quickly make your way towards the exit.
INK is colorful, fun, and challenging, and adds an interesting technicolor twist to the genre. You can purchase the game on the Steam.

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