Inked, the upcoming title from Somnium Games, appears to bridge the gap between Japanese papercraft and artistic struggle, all told through the lens of puzzle-orientated game design.
The title tells the tale of two protagonists: the wandering Nameless Hero samurai on a quest for his love, and Adam, the man who drew the Nameless Hero. Interestingly, the dual protagonist set-up appears to blur the line between creator and created, allowing the project to offer considerable thematic potential.
The game’s Steam page is rather cryptic, simply stating that Inked tells a tale where Adam and the Nameless Hero “embark on a journey that will forever change them both.”
In terms of art style the title is simply stunning, with the developer managing to blend together the delicately shaded sketch-inspired design and more organic touches, such as the animations of ripples in the water and the wind in trees. Features such as ink blots are other neat additions, too.
Inked‘s papercraft visuals are not just for show, as the game’s story seems to revolve around the nature of this particular artstyle, as the levels draw themselves as the story moves on.
Artsy indie puzzle games are a dime a dozen, but Inked paradoxically stands out with its pastoral, minimalist design. The levels look like actual paper, and not many titles allow players to stand-in as both a master of the sword and a pen.