A Platformer Where Painting Is Just As Important As Jumping

When you start a level in Ink, there’s nothing. By the end, it’s a platforming kaleidoscope.

Am I the only person in the world really hoping for another de Blob video game? There’s something about filling a world with color that scratched an itch I never knew I had.

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Even if another de Blob never comes to fruition, I’ve got Ink to keep me company for now. Besides Ori and the Blind Forest, it hasn’t been a banner year for platformers, but Ink is a total delight. And if you’re familiar with Super Meat Boy, the controls are going to feel right at home.

Every stage begins with a feeling of anxious isolation, as you wonder what mysteries await you:

There’s no way to know what’s next without experimenting with the limited powers you have.

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You’re able to spread paint around by touching walls or jumping in mid-air. The latter sends paint flying in all sorts of directions, and can be used to try and feel out where the next jump should be, if there’s nothing immediately around you.

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Some levels will play with expectations, revealing a little bit of the environment.

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In this case, the game drops a few enemies. Until you bop their heads, the exit won’t open, and if you die, they all respawn. Thankfully, everything you’ve already painted sticks around.

Ink starts simple enough, but ramps up the difficulty in the second world; the game stops screwing around, and you’re suddenly presented with walls that want to kill you.

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These walls also hope to crush the bouncy square that is your body:

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As Ink tosses harder challenges your way, extremely precise controls (use a controller!) come into play. The first 20-or-so levels gets players used to splattering paint around the world, while everything after is about stacking that knowledge on top of finger dexterity.

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And that’s Ink! It’s only $5 on Steam right now, and comes with my highest recommendation.

I played a few minutes of the game, too, if you want to see it in motion.

You can reach the author of this post at patrick.klepek@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.

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