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Inkulinati Review

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In recent times, many games have been punished by reviewers and gamers for releasing too early, going to market with a million things wrong with them. Gamers seem to be endlessly waiting for patches, all in hope of eventually seeing a pure game, further down the line. Hell, some games are so broken that they get deleted just a few days after release, as the company behind them folds. 

On the other side, we have the Early Access and Games Preview market. It’s a place where developers can put their game out, testing it with their audience for a while before releasing the game fully. Yaza Games and Daedalic Entertainment did just that with Inkulinati. And now we get a chance to play the final product. 

Inkulinati review 1
Get drawing with Inkulinati

Inkulinati comes from the real world of medieval artists who worked on ancient tapestries. In some of these pieces of work, if you look hard enough, you will see animals like rabbits and dogs, holding swords and killing people. Now I don’t think this was a true representation of what was going on in the times of old, but it’s a nice mystery to have, and a lot of fun. The makers of Inkulinati have used this as a guidepost for the strategy, turn-based adventure that unfolds. There is even a tie-in with Obsidian’s Pentiment too, with the lead character popping up as a choice. 

The three options found in Inkulinati to start with are Journey, Academy, and Multiplayer. Academy is where I recommend you to start, as it gives all the details on the world, character, and how to play the game. The Journey is the campaign and tells the story of Tiny, the scribe of the manuscripts, on a mission to bring back his master from Death itself. The story and the world-building are excellent with a lot of silliness which reminds of Monty Python or Horrible Histories at times. It’s really fun and very atmospheric. 

You progress through Journey mode with some little RPG sections, making choices as you go, but the overall piece of gameplay is in the turn-based battlefield. Here you are presented with a 2D arena, like on a manuscript with several levels and base camps for each combatant. You play the scribe who draws these characters as they go into combat with each other, utilising the main currency which is, of course, Ink. The more Ink you have, the more warriors you can produce. 

Inkulinati review 2
Moving through the levels

You can Ink (buy) all manner of creatures like rabbits, dogs, cats, and donkeys, complete with weapons as they fight for you. Warriors with swords, spearmen, and archers shoot from afar. But it’s the special attacks that make Inkulinati stand out from the crowd. You can use a donkey to fart at enemies, making them so upset they miss a turn. Or a rabbit will moon, causing foes to sleep. Inkulinati is not just a one-trick pony, or farting donkey, because the tactical gameplay is clever, with some great use of environmental attacks and use of the scribe, coming in like a god with a special move. 

Local multiplayer is included in Inkulinati as well, where you can have a duel with another person using all the tactics you learned from the campaign, selecting your parameters. 

Inkulinati looks amazing with its hand-drawn medieval visuals. The way these creatures are animated is superb, but when you see a filmed giant hand come onto the battlefield and interact, it never grows old. There is some FMV stuff with the scribes as well; superbly shot and working fantastically well. Yes, Inkulinati is a delight for the eyes, but also for the ears – the soundtrack is lively, fitting perfectly with the gameplay.

Inkulinati review 3
Inkulinati looks brilliant

Inkulinati is great fun to play; a very good, hugely accessible tactical turn-based RPG. It’s not too tricky to learn and master, but it really excels in the visuals and presentation – a piece of art in its own right. I wish that the multiplayer was a bit more pumped to allow for more than just local play, but hopefully more modes will come further down the line. 

But to summarise, what other game has a special attack featuring a donkey farting? Yeah, I rest my case.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Amazing artwork
  • Journey mode
  • Great turn-based fun
Cons:
  • More multiplayer options are needed
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Daedalic Entertainment
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 22 February 2024 | £21.74
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Amazing artwork</li> <li>Journey mode</li> <li>Great turn-based fun</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>More multiplayer options are needed</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Daedalic Entertainment</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 22 February 2024 | £21.74</li> </ul>Inkulinati Review
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