INK is a 2-D platformer by developer Zack Bell Games and publisher Digerati. The goal of each level is to defeat all the enemies in the level and then reach the level’s exit. In each level, the walls and floors start out invisible, but you can make them visible by splashing ink (paint) on them. Your character will spread ink on any surface it touches, when it double jumps, and when it is killed. Luckily, the game shows a measure of mercy by keeping surfaces visible in a level after you die. Which is a good thing because this game is hard.
As you progress through the game, the levels start adding spikes, then spikes and turrets, then spikes and turrets that lock on to you, then . . . well, you get the idea. And if you get hit even once (by enemies, turrets, spikes) then you need to start the level over again, with the visible surfaces as the only proof that you did the level earlier. Be prepared to die multiple times per level in this game.
Because the surfaces start out invisible, this will lead to multiple leaps of faith (or multiple times of falling off the level or running into spikes that are only visible after you touch them). I’ll admit this is an interesting mechanic, but I still wish the game would allow you to be hit more than once.
INK has a level select screen, so you can replay any level you want without having to go through the entire game again to reach it. It also has a timer you can turn on for when you do the level, but I think the timer is only for bragging rights (I never turned it on because with how hard the levels were, turning on a timer that tracks how long it takes me would just be humiliating). There are also medallions you can collect in some of the levels, but they start out invisible like the rest of the level and each time you die, the medallion is put back where it started. In other words, you have to get the medallion—which is usually in a hard-to-reach spot—and then get through the level without dying. The game will keep track of whether or not you collected a level’s medallion. I don’t know if you get anything for collecting all the medals because, as I previously mentioned, this game was hard enough to get through without stopping for detours.
While I thought the levels (when I could see them) were well designed, overall, I found playing INK to be very frustrating. I would only recommend touching this game if you are either very skilled at platformers, or you don’t mind having to repeat a level 20 times to complete it. However, because the game has features to allow you to stay interested in the game after you complete it, I think a fair rating (if one includes the difficulty as a factor) would be 7/10.
Here is the INK Console Trailer:
INK is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam.