The convoy of little circular creatures moves quickly towards the portal entrance. If I reverse the gravity too late, not all of them will make it through the portal safely, but if I reverse it too early, I might send one through the top of screen and into oblivion. Carefully, for the fifth time, I try to time it perfectly… and finally succeed. The tiny circles under my control move through the other side of the portal and float to the top of the room, sticking to the thin block of terrain I placed earlier. They all continue moving upside-down towards the end of the level. I breathe a sigh of relief.
Inklings may sound very similar to one of the first great puzzle games, Lemmings. That’s because it is. Released on iOS, Windows, and Mac, Inklings is a great puzzle game that combines Lemmings-style gameplay with a dash of modernity. It's less about environmental obstacles and more about manipulating the physics of the game to achieve your objective.
Your goal is to escort a group of sentient circles wearing glasses from the beginning of a stage to a black hole serving as the exit. To help you safely care for the Inklings through the many levels you have a variety of tools at your disposal. For each stage you’re given a mix of abilities like changing the directions of gravity, placing new pieces into the environment, digging through walls, and much more. Timing isn’t a massively important part of the game, and I only found difficulty in my twitch skills in a select few instances. Most of the time it’s about strategically placing and planning your way through a stage. There are often quite a few factors to take into, and taking all of your abilities to figure out the best way through a complex puzzle is a blast.
The complexity of some levels gave me a run for my money at some points and when you couple some of the more obtuse puzzles with the need for precise movements at some points, Inklings can turn into an unforgiving experience, even when using the slow time function. Some levels require some serious thought and dexterity. This isn’t a game that you’ll tear through in a couple of hours. At least, it took me a good deal longer than that.
The game certainly has a lot of colour variety throughout it’s many stages. The visuals are very imaginative and feel right at home here with distinct differences between levels. It all evokes the feelings of a child’s drawing, in the best sort of way.
Inklings (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Inklings really is a great modern puzzle game. Whether you’ve been itching for more Lemmings, or just a new puzzle game that’ll make you think, this is definitely something you should check out. While it may look like a rip-off of a classic series, it adds its own flair to both the gameplay and look, and deserves a spot in any puzzle-aficionado's library.