Have you ever gone to one of those events where you drink wine and paint stuff? Yea, me either. Sounds like fun though! What if you can paint your environment as you see fit? Well, that sounds like fun too, I would paint the dog blue, paint the car yellow, and even paint me as a rainbow! Suspend your disbelief for a little bit and try to follow me down this rabbit hole I just opened up here. Welcome to the Saturday Nindie review everyone, I have a neat little Nindie title by the name of INK that I picked up and am excited to go over it. This game is not like the other titles I have gone over previously so the way this is going to look will be a bit different. If you can follow me on this journey, you may be able to find another gem to add to your Switch collection.
Color The Town Red
The game does not have a dedicated storyline, this is a straight-up puzzle game through and through. You’re thrown into this black void of a level, not too certain of what to do. One of the cool parts of the game lies in some minor details and simple mechanics. While you’re moving left to right you will be pouring out ink from your cube like body to reveal the invisible layout of the puzzle for the room you’re in. I can only assume the character sprite is supposed to be a sponge? We’ll go with that for now. So our hero Mr. Sponge man is tasked with having to get from the starting point to the open door in order to progress to the next level. Simple right? It starts off that way with the first level. This being the first level, it’s, of course, the tutorial level where the game will teach you the basic move set you need to learn in order to progress forward. It’s just like any other tutorial, press the A or B button to jump, press left or right on the thumbstick to move left and right. Now, that’s it for your basic moves. You’re also equipped with a double jump, although the idea of a double jump is not new it has an interesting feature in this game. When you double jump you spray ink all over the place on the map which will reveal other ledges and platforms for Mr. Sponge man to get to in order to complete the level. Alongside the ability to double jump you’re also able to glide on and jump off of walls. Which is helpful because, you guessed it, that helps reveal the invisible platforms and ledges.
The controls are OK for what they ask the player to do, I had only one problem with the mechanics in the beginning. When you double jump the character sprite, I mean Mr. Sponge man, flashes a little. It’s like when you take hit damage and have that second or two of invisibility. It threw me off at first because that’s what I normally see when playing another title, not a puzzle game. Like anything else I got used to it and soldiered on. It’s not the biggest complaint but I just wanted to address it. Progressing through the game you will notice the difficulty of it will start to increase. It would be boring if it didn’t. The puzzles become windier which requires you to become a little more agile with Mr. Sponge man. It’s from here you need to start looking more carefully ahead of you so you’re not just blindly jumping onto a platform. That’s where the double jump starts to become more useful and you’ll see yourself implementing it a lot more from here on out.
Believe it or not, there are also boss levels in the game too! I know, I couldn’t believe it myself but apparently, it’s a thing. Like bosses often do, they will require you to take the skills you have acquired through your playthrough to beat them. We’re not talking Skyrim levels of skills or anything people but it’s still fun to go up against these guys. The biggest complaint I would have about the game is how it handles you falling off the map or killing yourself. There is no penalty. None, zip, nada. You fall off the stage and get right back to business. This is great for those of you who are looking for something to pick up and casually play. To me, that cheapens the experience a little bit though. There isn’t that big feeling of excitement after beating a level you kept falling off the stage on because you know if you just keep playing you will eventually beat it.
I do like to talk about the music of a particular game in my reviews as well but being this is more of a puzzle game there isn’t really much to talk about music wise. The music is pretty good, it is mostly electronic synth compilations throughout. You don’t really hear much o a variant on the soundtrack until you get to the 20th stage but being the stages are relatively short that’s not all that bad for a puzzle game. The boss fight definitely ramps up the pace which is good because it would be a snooze fest if it didn’t. Other than that, there isn’t much else to say about the music.
With the amount of color that is in the game and the number of puzzles for you to play and beat, I would recommend picking up this game. It’s a creative idea to bring color to a colorless world and find your way through each level to progress. It’s like a metaphor for life…or it could just be a really colorful puzzle game. You choose!
For my Nindie Saturday review, All4Gamerz gives INK for the Switch a 7/10. For the amount of money, it is a charming title to add to your collection.
I hope you all enjoyed my take on this colorful game, let me know what you think in the comments below. Have you played this game before? Do you love it or hate it? Let me know!