After first being launched on Steam in 2017, Flexible and the Ink Machine has lastly obtained a launch on Xbox One. Initially launched as an episodic recreation, Joey Drew Studios’ first-person horror puzzler will get a full launch on console, with a further chapter added to make a complete of 5. With a singular artwork fashion and sufficient horror parts to offer various creepy moments, Flexible and the Ink Machine provides a very distinctive expertise as you progress via the brief however enjoyable story. Nevertheless, on the price ticket of £21.19, is that this 5-6 hour expertise sufficient to make you are feeling prefer it’s well worth the buy? Regardless of some flaws, the reply for me was an uneasy sure.
Flexible and the Ink Machine is about within the now defunct Joey Drew Studios, which, in its heyday, produced profitable and fashionable animated tales. You play as Henry, a former worker who labored at Joey Drew Studios within the 1930s, now returning to the studio years later to find out the destiny of the individuals he labored with there. So as to do that, you’ll have to unravel numerous forms of puzzles as you descend deeper into the studio’s facility, and in addition deeper into the insanity that created the monsters you’ll need to face earlier than fixing the thriller.
Puzzles in Flexible and the Ink Machine are diversified and, in some instances, actually creative. Early within the recreation, the puzzles are supposed to additionally assist train you the mechanics of the sport and find out how to discover the world, so that you’ll discover extra easy fetch quest varieties of puzzles in Chapter 1. As you progress by means of the chapters nevertheless, issues turn out to be harder and undoubtedly extra horror pushed. Some even require listening to audio logs that may be present in every chapter to be able to get a clue that proves to be very important so you’ll be able to advance. In a single case, the place Henry has to play devices in a sure order to open a door, the devices that need to be performed and the order you play them in will change each time you run by way of the sport.
As you advance, you’ll encounter quite a few enemies that you simply’ll should both defeat, or keep away from, to remain alive. The first antagonist within the recreation is Flexible himself, who’s an extremely evil wanting creature that solely barely resembles the Flexible drawings you come throughout in Chapter 1. When Flexible seems, you must run away and attempt to cover. There’s no strategy to battle him – if he touches Henry, it’s instant demise. You’ll know if Flexible is shut as a result of the partitions and flooring will grow to be coated in what resembles an ink-like shadow. Different enemies may be fought with different ranges of success (you’ll be able to’t kill The Projectionist both, however he doesn’t kill you with one hit). You’ll encounter enemies starting from the Misplaced Ones to the usual Ink Demons, however until you’ve a weapon useful, you’re defenseless towards any enemy.
Talking of weapons, they vary from a syringe or two totally different sorts of pipe, as much as extra conventional weapons like an axe or perhaps a tommy gun in a single state of affairs, and these weapons could be obtained in a number of alternative ways. Typically you will see that them on the planet and decide them up, whereas there are additionally moments the place you may be given a selected weapon by a personality you’re doing a mission for. Lastly, probably the most fascinating strategy to purchase a weapon is when you must gather gobs of ink and take them to what’s primarily a crafting station, the place you’ll be able to flip them right into a weapon or numerous different gadgets you want for a selected puzzle.
To make use of the weapons, you’ll have to grasp the quite simple, but typically clunky and irritating management scheme Flexible and the Ink Machine provides. Urgent the X button will work together with gadgets – choosing up a collectible or puzzle merchandise, choosing a weapon to hold, or enjoying an audio log. The proper set off will trigger Henry to assault enemies if he has a weapon, or throw empty cans to distract and sneak round them in sure conditions. Hitting the A button will make Henry bounce, however there aren’t a number of situations in Flexible and the Ink Machine the place leaping is important. Lastly, the left bumper will make Henry dash, albeit not very quick. That’s it.
Additional to that, the fight mechanics might be notably clunky – to the purpose the place it turns into irritating. When battling the ink demons that rise from spilled ink on the flooring, there have been many occasions the place I’ve had the cursor proper over the enemy, and despite the fact that Henry swings the weapon, it’s as if the enemy isn’t even there. Fortunately, it requires a good quantity of hits from them for Henry to die, so it by no means comes with too excessive a worth – nevertheless it stays irritating nonetheless.
Whereas fixing puzzles, preventing enemies, and descending by means of the degrees of the Joey Drew Studios constructing, you’ll get to expertise the true star of Flexible and the Ink Machine – the world itself. The artwork design provides the world the sensation of being inside a 1930s cartoon, reflective of the time that the studio within the recreation was at its peak. Chapter 1 finds Henry on the primary flooring of the studio, and the surroundings is far brighter in tone than you’ll expertise as the sport progresses. With every chapter, the aesthetics turn into a lot darker and extra sinister, additionally reflective of how a studio can begin out pure after which over time permit parts like greed to create a monster. The graphics are nothing too particular in Flexible and the Ink Machine, however this isn’t a recreation that depends on state-of-the-art visuals to drive story or gameplay. The artwork design alone makes Flexible and the Ink Machine value experiencing, because it does wonders in setting tone and being a serious element in telling the story.
Music and sound results in Flexible and the Ink Machine aren’t overdone as they’re in so many horror video games and films, they usually each add fairly a bit to the expertise Henry has as he progresses by means of the totally different ranges of the studio. Easy sound results like ink dripping or a door opening contribute to the strain in a big means, and the music that hits if you find yourself noticed by an enemy and have to cover successfully offers a real horror really feel in these moments. The sound in Flexible and the Ink Machine is used precisely appropriately – to amplify worry in tense moments and to mix with the artwork design to permit the world itself to inform plenty of the story.
Flexible and the Ink Machine is nevertheless not an ideal recreation, and it has its share of negatives. First, as talked about earlier, the fight mechanics could be downright irritating at occasions and utterly take you out of the immersion the surroundings can create for you. Second, whereas most of the puzzles and missions are enjoyable and even creative in some situations, others give the sport a really feel of being repetitive and a number of the missions really feel lengthy for the sake of being lengthy. I all the time personally really feel that fetch quests are completely effective early on in a recreation when the participant is studying the mechanics and the way issues features general. Later in a recreation, the missions ought to be extra impactful and significant, and Flexible and the Ink Machine typically misses with this. When it was an episodic launch on PC, these quests in all probability didn’t really feel as repetitive as gamers had time between enjoying every chapter. When enjoying the entire recreation by means of in a single go although, it’s far more problematic. The mixture of missions which might be repetitive or too lengthy with the clunky fight mechanics could be downright maddening at occasions.
Although it isn’t an ideal recreation by any means and might be extremely irritating at occasions, Flexible and the Ink Machine is a enjoyable recreation that mixes horror parts with a cartoon surroundings that provides gamers some gratifying but scary moments alongside the best way. Is it well worth the price ticket? That’s actually going to rely upon whether or not or not you take pleasure in video games of this style, and whether or not issues just like the surroundings matter extra to you than management mechanics and repetition. Nevertheless, for those who do select to play Flexible and the Ink Machine, you’ll expertise an surroundings that’s crafted properly, characters which might be fascinating, and a narrative that speaks properly about how artwork that begins with the most effective of intentions can simply flip right into a monster over time.
After first being launched on Steam in 2017, Flexible and the Ink Machine has lastly acquired a launch on Xbox One. Initially launched as an episodic recreation, Joey Drew Studios’ first-person horror puzzler will get a full launch on console, with a further chapter added to make a complete of 5. With a singular artwork fashion and sufficient horror parts to offer various creepy moments, Flexible and the Ink Machine provides a very distinctive expertise as you progress via the brief however enjoyable story. Nevertheless, on the price ticket of £21.19, is that this 5-6 hour expertise sufficient to…
Flexible and the Ink Machine Assessment
Flexible and the Ink Machine Assessment
- Nice surroundings that places gamers in a 1930s cartoon world
- Most of the puzzles are enjoyable and rewarding
- A few of the missions are repetitive or too lengthy
- Clunky controls, particularly in fight
- Pretty brief
- Large because of – Most Video games
- Codecs – Xbox One (Assessment), PC, PS4, Nintendo Change
- Launch date – November 2018
- Worth – £21.19