If Inked: A Tale Of Love looks familiar, it may be because it had already caught your eye, like mine, when it originally launched on PC back in 2018. The lovely, colourful ballpoint pen artwork is hard to forget. After feeling that they didn't nail their vision at its initial launch, Somnium Games have been working on a re-release of the game with an "upgraded storyline, better controls, and more immersive graphics." The upgraded Inked, with all those new niceties, launches on August 27th.
In its original form, Inked was a puzzler about a samurai searching for his lost lover while using an ink pen to solve puzzles. Sin played it as part of Unknown Pleasures back in 2018. "It helps that the puzzles are, well, fine," she said. "They're not particularly difficult (a plus for me, and anyone else who tends to respond to getting stuck by just playing something else), but they're paced alright, and though it might seem shallow, the understated music and very attractive art are a reward in themselves."
Sin's opinion on it seems to have been in good company. The developers wrote a post earlier this year explaining the history of Inked's development, saying that perhaps they'd overscoped the initial version and that adding neat new features may have been a detriment to the whole.
"People primarily had problems with controls and punishing platforming/timed sections, which were so big for some it took away from any positives the game had-even if they found them really good," say Somnium Games. "Some also found the story too confusing, the pacing too slow, and some puzzles too repetitive."
Somnium apparently never quite gave up on really nailing Inked, according to their retelling of events. The developers announced last summer that they'd signed with a new publisher Pixmain who have assisted them with the re-release along with bringing Inked to new platforms. It launched on mobile platforms earlier this year and will have console versions launching alongside the PC re-release this month.
"All of this meant that we got our second chance at a first game, we just had to stick the landing," they say.
Somnium aren't extremely specific about exactly how the game's controls and puzzles have changed, but those seem to be the main area of focus along with the upgraded visuals. It really is quite pretty. With any luck, the puzzles underneath the artwork will only have improved since 2018.
Inked: A Tale Of Love returns to sale on Steam on August 27 for $10.
By the by, Inked: A Tale Of Love also happens to be in this year's BitSummit lineup at the moment.