INK is a fast-paced hardcore platformer developed by ZachBellGames and published by Digerati Distribution, the folks that brought us games like Bleed, Uncanny Valley, and much more. It tells the story of Inky the Ink Blob on his adventures coloring the world and killing bad guys one stage at a time. His mission is to fill the world with color and he won’t stop until the world is his literal canvas. He is the destroyer of evil and the harbinger of the color revolution. The protagonist’s name isn’t actually Inky, by the way, but it probably would be…If he had one!
The gameplay mechanics of this game are very similar to Super Meat Boy, but with its own unique qualities. While you do traverse treacherous stages filled with adversaries, traps, and other things that are just not nice, INK makes it a bit worse by taking away your best friend in a platformer: the terrain. Yes, you read that right, the terrain is completely invisible the first time that you start each level and the only way to reveal it is by splashing color all over it. There are three ways to Picasso the level with your own beautiful painting. Every time you either walk across a platform, double jump or kill an enemy, the paint will fly from your body and reveal more of the terrain. Luckily for you and me, the terrain will stay covered even after you die. This allows the player to learn the level and something that might seem impossible at first slowly becomes easier and easier.
While the soundtrack is exciting as it goes from calm and soothing at the beginning to super intense near the end of the game, it’s got nothing compared to the visual aesthetics of INK. At first, I didn’t think anything would stand out about this game. It was a platformer indie title that revolved around geometry, but oh was I wrong. The game is beautiful and the bursts of color were perfectly done and revealed the path with ease. I found myself in awe most of the time through this game and could not get over how colorful this game actually was. Going back to the soundtrack, it reminded me of The Impossible Game due to its peaceful music near the beginning of the game, but the further you went down the rabbit hole, you could tell that something intense was coming your way. This was a nice sound cue and a good way to identify harder levels before you even started.
In the end, INK has far surpassed my expectations and I loved almost every minute of the game. The game is priced at $10 USD, which I feel is fair. The game provides at least four to five hours of gameplay and much more if you go for collectibles or try and perfect the worlds. If you are a fan of any type of platformers, I would definitely pick this title up.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review
Final Score: 9/10