Thanks to Inkypen for the review code
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Price: Subscription Based
Release Date: 12/17/2018
Inkypen is a new subscription service exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, with the main goal being to provide access to a growing library of Comic Books from several publishers. Due to being a subscription service with a varying price between regions, along with a library that can vary, this will be a VERY different review from normal. For now, I can really only go over the library available now, and how the app works overall.
For starters, Inkypen makes you sign up for a subscription right off the bat in order to use it, yet oddly enough you cannot use eShop credit to pay for the $7.99 (here in the US) monthly fee. You have to enter your credit card info in the app itself, which feels a bit odd, but after you set up an account and do that (or in my case for review purposes, use a promo code) you’re good to go!
The main interface is very simple. It doesn’t really look that great, but you can at least save comics for offline viewing, or mark your favorites in order to easily find just the ones you like the mode. Viewing the comics works pretty well, with the joycons being used to change the orientation of the comics and I found the vertical mode to be the easiest to use, since switching pages is as simple as scrolling down like a web page.
In terms of how the app actually works and what it has to offer, well it does offer several comics from a couple of big publishers. Archie, IDW, and a few others put up their library of comics, featuring series such as Archie, Sonic The Hedgehog (IDW), Cosmo, Peanuts and a few Marvel ones, along with plenty of others.
Whether the lineup appeals to you or not depends on your own viewpoint. For me, I didn’t find much to enjoy in the current lineup. There’s a collection of Peanuts strips that seemed to update daily, but after launch, the actual lineup didn’t update anymore. I always wanted to check out the Sonic comics from IDW, but there’s only the first issue, unfortunately. Nothing from BOOM is in this app either, so no Power Rangers, and Archie is only a mixed bag of some oldies and new ones.
To be quite honest, I was surprised to see that the comics didn’t update on a daily or weekly basis, especially in the case of Peanuts. It may end up being on the Inkypen creators in order to get this off the ground and update the library, but for now the lineup is average at best, even though the publishers that are here did put a lot of their major series up. If you really like Transformers or My Little Pony comics, you’ll have some stuff to enjoy for a while, but if you are picky like me then you may be waiting a while for your favorites to get updated here.
There’s some really good potential here if they can snag the rights to the aforementioned Boom comics, though, and if some of these comics get updated as new issues launch in stores, because the controls on the app are simple and easy to use, and reading the ones I liked took little effort at all.
In conclusion, Inkypen is a service that has great promise. Being a comic shop on your Switch with offline support is very intriguing, but the default lineup may not be for everyone. It’s best to check and see which ones they have first and which ones they have recently updated before you decide to subscribe, as like with Netflix the lineup will depend on your personal tastes. As much as I love Manga, simple strips like Peanuts and a good action comic like Sonic/Power Rangers, I will admit that I was a bit disappointed with this starting lineup. Still, I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt, as the stuff I was able to read and enjoy I really liked, and the controls felt good when reading from top to bottom. (since scrolling from one page to another and zooming in and out is surprisingly clunky when you do it the other way)
This, I think you should wait a bit before subscribing to the Inkypen App. Check the lineup for yourself to see if it appeals to you, and if it has your must-have comic and it’s mostly up to date, then go for it! $7.99 is a good monthly fee for the idea they have going here, although I still wish you could pay with your eShop credit, ala Nintendo Switch Online and Just Dance Unlimited.