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Ink (Xbox)

Developed by ZackBellGames, INK released on PC (£3.99) back in 2015 and is available now on PS4 and Xbox One for £7.99!

INK is a fast-paced platformer in which you need to discover your surroundings first which you do by splashing colourful paint in all directions!

INK starts out each level with just your white block showing with darkness around you. Jump, slide and double jump and you'll start to unveil the area around you in beautiful colours. INK is a game where death is essentially encouraged, you'll need to die in order to know that you've definitely gone the wrong way... Thankfully, when you die you can still see all of the level that you had already painted.

When you've uncovered the level it really does look great, I've even found myself dying a few extra times just to make sure I've coloured absolutely everything in. I haven't encountered any screen tearing or framerate issues which is definitely a positive when you're slipping and sliding around!

For a game that can get quite frustrating after the hundredth attempt at a level, INK's background music is really calming, which I appreciate. It helps you to relax into the game a little and so is quite well suited to the game. I really like how when you jump or double jump you can hear the sounds of the paint sploshing around you.

Controls are simple to pick up and they are very responsive, even if a little sensitive to begin with and after a while you will get the hang of it and you find yourself dying a little less (yay). I'll be honest, the controls do take a lot of getting used to. I really wish there was an option to at least change how sensitive they are as there are a number of times when you jump and it just goes crazy. Your little white square (you) moves incredibly quickly, but to be honest, it is quite possible that it is intentional because you are trying to run over wet paint, after all!

There are 75 levels split over 3 worlds available to cover in paint and make your way through; with challenging bosses to defeat and enemies to kill, homing missiles and spiky walls which you need to overcome before unlocking the portal which will allow you through to the next level! Enemies are simple to kill with a well-timed jump on top of them (cue lots of erratic jumping either side of the enemy until eventually, an enemy touches me and I die...).

Some levels are harder than others and they definitely get harder the further through the game you get (understandably) but with perseverance, you eventually get through! Then there is the added complication of collectibles... some of them are in completely ridiculous places and so you are often faced with a dilemma: complete the level that you've been struggling to traverse for the last 3 hours (slight exaggeration) and move on to the next or risk getting that collectible that is surrounded by spikes... My mantra throughout has been "Ah, I'll come back for that."

It really is so easy to spend hours playing INK, it's another one of those games where on levels where you're struggling you feel so close to success, that you think "just one more go" and suddenly a whole day has gone by and the kids have gone unfed and turned feral. I think there is definitely a lot of play time to be had in INK because of how easy it is to simply "pick up and play".

Overall, I've really enjoyed myself whilst playing INK. It's such a simple concept but it's so much fun making all of the colours and splashing them around whilst you're trying to figure out the levels. Yes, it can get a little frustrating but tell me which platformer doesn't? If I had to give it a score, it'd be 8/10. Plenty of content for the price, definitely worth getting, especially whilst its £2 off!

Ink has 16 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. Every single achievement name begins with "INK" which I thought was a really nice touch. They are a mixture of requirements including fairly straightforward progression based and collectible finding and then there are some trickier ones, for example, beating worlds without dying... ARGH! If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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