Inkulinati: Early Access Impressions

Let me tell you about a game I stumbled upon recently—it’s not your typical game. Imagine you’re back in the time when knights and castles filled the lands, and the books – oh, the books! They were hand-drawn with the wildest pictures you could think of. This game, Inkulinati, turns those doodles into warriors on a battlefield like no other. It’s not just a game; it’s a step into a quirky world that’s as serious as it is silly.

Inkulinati’s Journey Mode

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I spent a chunk of time diving into the game’s Journey Mode, which is you on your own against a series of wacky challenges. It’s a mix of fights and special events, sort of like pages in a book. The battles are where this game really shines. Think of it as chess but with animals and monsters that crawled out of a history book, and each has its own crazy trick.

Here’s the deal: You have your little army, and the enemy has theirs. You need to wipe them out to win, but watch out for surprise disasters that could ruin the day for everyone. Every creature you control can move a bit and do one action before they take a rest. But here’s the fun bit – there’s no set turn order. You’ve got to choose who to use wisely: wake someone up, attack, push enemies around, or just move to safety.

Sometimes, the choice is made for you – you’ve just got to moon that minotaur-like beast so it skips its turn, and you live to fight another day.

The Struggle of Strategy

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Inkulinati is in Early Access, which means they’re still fine-tuning things. A few pieces are standouts, like dapper donkey bards with a sleep-inducing tune, and they ruled the game every chance I got. But even when some parts seem too strong, or you’re getting your tail burned faster than you can say “singed bunny,” it’s still all in good fun. That’s because playing with death is just another part of the game’s strategy.

You’ve got resources, see? The usual gold and whatnot, but also boredom – yep, boredom. Draw the same animal fighters too often, and it costs you more ink, the stuff you need to keep playing. It’s a balance: choosing your battles, knowing when to risk it for the rewards, or to call it a day and save your precious ink pot for a better fight.

The Madness of Medieval Doodles

The look of this game? It’s a bit like jumping into an old book. The critters and landscapes are like those odd drawings made by folks who just decided perspective was a suggestion. So it looks old-school but in the best way. And I don’t care what anyone says, watching that giant hand in shiny armor move things around never gets old.

It’s Funny, Like Really Funny

I’ve talked a bunch about the tactics, but let’s cut to the chase: this game makes me laugh. The animals? They’re delightfully goofy, and they bring joy with their every move. There’s something special about a game that can make tactics feel like a comedy show. And the thing is, it’s still being worked on, so who knows how much better it can get. It’s already a riot.

Inkulinati’s Oddball Army

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Let’s talk troops. These aren’t your usual soldiers; they’re leaping off the page. Spear-wielding hedgehogs, bow-toting cats, sword-swinging rabbits – it’s like a Barnum & Bailey show got mixed up with a Renaissance Fair. You’ve got the usual suspects with their range and power perks, but then there are the oddballs. Singing donkeys that make everyone sleepy, snails that can chow down an enemy in one gulp—yeah, it’s that outlandish.

Playing this game means mastering these odd jobs and their strengths. Throw in a chess-like leader called the “Tiny” that needs protecting and casts spells, and you’ve got a party.

Sure, beast battles are the main dish, but the game’s got more to it. There’s a story thread running through, like secret chapters of history where ink lets you bring drawings to life. The game’s like a book you navigate through, stopping for skirmishes, picking up supplies, and face-to-face boss showdowns.

One Quirky Quibble

Here’s a twist I’m on the fence about: boredom. Not mine, the game’s! Keep summoning the same critters, and it’ll cost you more as you go along. It kinda forces you to switch up your game, to try all the flavors of the animal kingdom the game offers, even if you’ve got your favorites.

The game just looks…cool. The art? Spot on, like you’re playing in the pages of those old books. The music? It’s like you’re sitting at a king’s feast with the minstrels playing soft in the background. Everything about this game’s world just meshes together into a brilliantly bizarre experience.

Final Scribbles

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Overall, Inkulinati is a treat. It’s a game that’s just as much about having a chuckle as it is about strategy. While it could have taken itself more seriously, I think it finds its magic in not doing so. Despite the humor dial being turned up high, there’s solid gameplay here – a tactical romp that’s a joy to play and even more to watch unfold. Whether it’s for the laughs or the love of a good strategy, Inkulinati is a game that’s absolutely worth your time.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.