Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Release Date: 05/08/2018
True to the name, Inksplosion has a lot of ink littering the screen, with more of all sorts of colors bursting out whenever the enemies are defeated. Being a single screen arcade game, there’s not much else to discuss since outside of the black outlines distinguishing the enemies and player from the mess of a background. (which can make the score counter hard to see in Classic mode
Inksplosion comes with three different modes of play, although only the classic mode is available from the start. The game might feel very strange at first, since it makes zero effort to explain anything taking place whatsoever, with not a single instruction given to newer players. Luckily, the game’s easy enough to grasp after some trial and error, with you moving around the playing field with the left stick, aiming with the rick stick, shooting with the right trigger and holding the left trigger to slow down time. What the game doesn’t tell you right away is that your health bar and slowdown meter are the same, which led to me mysteriously dying during my first few games as I originally thought it was a freak glitch, only for me to get the hang of things as I realized that deciding whether or not to use the slowdown mechanic or hold back to not lose health was key to survival, acting as a risk and reward system.
Each round of Inksplosion randomly assigns you a random weapon, from a sporadic laser beam to a rapid fire shotgun, all while the enemies spawn with their own set of weapons. Kill every enemy on the screen to move onto the next, and avoid taking damage to rack up the multiplier, and repeat until you die. That’s all classic mode has to offer, and to be honest it isn’t that much fun due to how quickly screens will be cleared, with the only real point to it serving as artificial padding for the Arena Mode, unlocked after 100K points and is easily the better mode of the game, as it takes the same scoring concept from the classic mode, but instead of splitting up the game by rounds the entire experience is a single-round ordeal, with infinitely regenerating enemies and rotating weaponry without any of the transitions that flows a lot better, with the main goal being to see how many enemies you can kill before your own death. Last but not least is the Hard mode… Which is just the exact same thing as the classic mode but with enemies doing more damage, leaving nothing else to see as the game’s pretty much done from here.
In conclusion, Inksplosion is a really average shooter, with nothing really to engage the player save for the arena mode, and even that’s locked by a Classic Mode unlock requirement for the sake of padding out an already insanely short game. How short, you may ask? Well, outside of the replay value depending on how much the three modes hook you into the game, it took me around 10 minutes to unlock all three modes, and 15 minutes to unlock the game’s Platinum Trophy on the PS4. Easy platinums aren’t a bad thing, but I do like when they’re bundled with either an extremely inexpensive game or one that’s still fun even after obtaining it. Sadly, Inksplosion only has one good mode out of the three it offers, and it just didn’t hook me with the same feeling a true arcade experience should, especially with no leaderboards to speak of. Not too expensive for an average arena mode and an easy platinum (with cross-buy, too) but there’s not much else here.
I give Inksplosion a 5 out of 10.