Inked: A Tale of Love | Nintendo Switch Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Developed by Somnium Games and published by Pixmain, Inked: A Tale of Love is a hand-drawn puzzle adventure set in a beautiful world drawn by ballpoint pen and inspired by Japanese folk tales. It is available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. In this review I will talk about the Nintendo Switch version, which I played in handheld mode.
You assume the role of a retired, nameless hero as you embark on a journey to search for your love, Aiko. Armed with a paintbrush, you must manipulate the environment to navigate your way through each chapter. This can be in the form of moving blocks to create platforms or bridges, moving blocks on top of weighted switches and moving ramps to create a course for a ball to roll down. I thought the puzzle designs were really inventive and just about the right blend of challenging and rewarding. Never was I totally flummoxed, but they always made me use my brain and really think about what I had to do next. All the puzzles in Inked: A Tale of Love have a similar objective but they were different enough that it never felt repetitive.
Along with the absolutely stunning hand drawn visuals, Inked: A Tale of Love also boasts a wonderful atmospheric soundtrack which changes with each environment. The game recommends that you play with sound on and would definitely agree with that sentiment in order to get the most from the experience.
With 10 different minimalistic worlds to explore, Inked: A Tale of Love is a fairly short title at just under 3 hours for a first playthrough but I would urge anyone to give this a chance. There are collectables hidden in each level which unlock different artwork which can be accessed via the main menu. I would say it is unlikely you will find all of these collectables in your first playthrough so this does have a little bit of replayability value to it.
The controls in my opinion are what really let this game down. It is not very intuitive when it comes to selecting and moving objects therefore I found it quite frustrating at times to get the objects actually placed where I wanted them on the screen, sometimes this took me several attempts. I am sure this would be better suited to keyboard and mouse or touch screen but with the controller, I found it to be a little bit annoying.
All in all, Inked: A Tale of Love is a beautifully crafted game with bucket loads of charm and a really heartwarming story about loss and hope. I really enjoyed my playthrough and would encourage anyone with a love for puzzle games to give this a shot.
PaultheBrave09's Rating: 3.5 ball point pens out of 5.
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