Inksplosion is a retro-inspired arcade twin-stick shooter developed by Petite Games and published by Ratalaika Games SL. You take the role as the challenger, a skull-shaped individual, who enters a rectangular arena in hopes to leave the victor. Fight wave after wave of enemies to show your dominance and becoming reigning champion. Now, for the big question, can you handle the trials, or will you become part of the splattering in the background?
The gameplay mechanics that you will experience are very similar to almost every other twin-stick shooter on the market. If you have played anything from Binding of Isaac to Geometry Wars, you probably already know how this game is going to play out. You start the game, fight wave after wave of differing enemies until you reach the ending or get a high score. Wow, when I say it that way, it makes it sound like twin-stick shooters are boring. Well, that usually not the case and I am usually a big fan of shmups and twin-stick shooters alike. However, this game does not provide anything that makes those other games great. Inksplosion provides no upgrades, only three or four diverse adversaries, and there are only three different game modes. Yes, you read that correctly, I said three and one option is just the ‘hard mode’, which isn’t even that much harder than its predecessor. In addition to this, the only thing that differs between normal mode and arena mode are the waves present in normal. Yet, arena barely felt any different throughout.
However, the game does have one cool feature when it comes to actual gameplay. Every wave, your weapons are randomized, and you receive a new one. This allows you to get a feel for everything the game has to offer without having to unlock them, but it does come with a few downsides. Half the weapons are pretty useless, and I noticed myself just hoping to get anything beside them. My least favorite would have to be the distance gun that just felt like it was more of a hinderance to me instead of actually being an offensive attack. While my favorite being the shotgun due to its immense damage and large area of effect. It is quite a treat when luck is on your side and you receive that sweet, sweet shotgun.
The visuals aesthetic of Inksplosion is definitely the best aspect, hands down! The game begins quite dull, being in a dark room surrounded by your enemies. However, once they are eliminated, they explode in a colorful array that sprays the wall. The more you kill, the more the background is showered with these vibrant colors. While these lively ink splotches may not be a lot, it was one of the most intriguing characteristics in an otherwise lackluster game. The soundtrack was ok but didn’t provide much for enjoyment. Other than a couple tunes in the background and a voice over reading waves like he was reading medals in Halo. Again, not much was offered here, but with how the rest of the game was going, I wasn’t expecting anything special.
I was really looking forward to reviewing this title and was severely disappointed by what I experienced. I was intrigued through my love for vibrant colors and was hoping the game would have the appeal of INK, a previously reviewed platformer, but in shoot ‘em up form. However, I was left with an uneventful game that provided little content with almost no replayability. It gets even worse when you can play everything in around 25 minutes with ease. I did everything you could do and even played a few modes multiple times and clocked in a mere twenty minutes. I bet you are thinking to yourself right now, ‘well it’s a twin-stick shooter, I will just play the game to try and get that nice high score on the leaderboards! Well, that’s were you would be wrong too, as this peculiar title doesn’t have any leaderboards. I would never have imagined that a game of this genre would think it was smart to ignore something as simple as leaderboards.
Overall, Inksplosion is a pathetic title that offers almost nothing when it comes to gameplay. The game is priced at $5 USD and that might even be a bit too much. The game has a few cool visuals, but other than that it is a monotonous mess. The game does have easy achievements if that is something that you are interested in, but I could not recommend this game for anyone unless that is your plan from the get-go.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 3.5/10
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