Inked Review: Simply Beautiful

by Chris Camilleri
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The games industry is continuously evolving, and this does not only mean about the quality of games and the quantity of titles but also the incredible variety of platforms that games are now available on. We live in a blessed time, where we can play on pretty much anything we desire, at home or on the move. Mobile games are one such example.

Mobile gaming has risen in popularity recently, mostly due to the huge progress in technology and hardware that phones now possess. What started with a couple of apps on iPods and some games, like the world known Angry Birds, is now a fully fledged industries, with gaming companies opting to develop software primarily for the mobile sector instead of the console or PC market. Some games then get so popular that they surely reward the company for working on the mobile market instead of the home consoles, see Flappy Bird or popular Gacha titles. Inked, from mobile gaming company PIXMAIN, is an example of a mobile game with tons of potential.

Inked has the name of the game which pretty much speaks for itself, as the graphical elements scream of hand drawing. As one can see, the game is gorgeously brought to life with what looks like a simple pen, with a lot of marks making the art style seeming like its almost a sketch. This effect is consistent throughout Inked, making it stand out in terms of graphics due to its very simple yet effective shading.

Apart from the simple sketch style, the shading in the game is beautiful. Colours are never overwhelming on the screen, but are combined to create a satisfying visual effect where each tonality of blue blends together for a harmony to appease your smartphone screen. In Inked, you take control of a nameless hero, who will journey throughout the diverse landscapes in the game and tasking you to solve the puzzles you will face along the way.

Being a puzzle game, you will need to use your brain in order to advance to the next area. The puzzles are often fitting a missing piece to aid your traversal to the other side of a bridge, but there are also some physics-based puzzle-like for example dropping a ball onto an edged platform for it to roll over a hole and activate a switch. It is simple at its core, just like the art style, but has a layer of depth that will make players appreciate the game even more.

As you progress along the story of Inked, the puzzles will generally get tougher, although they never feel impossible. Conversely, they feel very rewarding when you manage to come up with the correct solution, as you will realize how ingenious the puzzle mechanics also are in the first place.

inked

Spread throughout the chapters are also collectibles in the form of Canvases, of which there are 9 in every chapter. There are three artworks to unlock for each chapter, meaning for every three canvases you find lying around, you will unlock a piece of artwork. It adds a further layer to scanning the scene you are currently trying to solve the puzzle for, and with such a beautifully drawn game, artwork is definitely an incentive to look for these collectibles.

In terms of soundtrack, the game flows with a very subtle yet charming track. Its soothing nature is the perfect accompaniment to a game which, while not stressing you out to find the solution, will tease your brain until you find the correct answer to the questions it is asking of the player.

Inked is surely a game which stands out due to its simplicity and beauty. It has incredible variety in its puzzles, while still keeping some elements constant to not make the difficulty ramp up, but still offer a good challenge for players. It is surely a game to recommend if you do like small puzzles or simple platformers, as its charming nature is sure to win you over.

Inked is available on Android and iOS. Be sure to check out Inked on PIXMAIN‘s official website.

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