Pinball has been around for decades, and while the tables have become more advanced, the core concept has remained relatively the same. INKS. is a new iOS game from the makers of Lumina City that takes the familiar concept of pinball, and fashions it into a relatively new form. The game still gives you the two flippers to hit a metal ball across the table, but each pinball table constitutes its own level with a single objective, rather than a high score based arcade experience. Your ultimate goal is to hit each colored sector with the pinball, and do so with as few balls as possible.
Each of the 72 included levels offers a specific arrangement of color sections to hit. There are a few puzzle elements involved as you can usually target specific areas of the table to slingshot the ball into a curved color section, and hit them all at once. Each level is scored based on how many balls you lose, so you’re goal is to not let the ball fall between the flippers as you’re aiming for the colored sections. You can ace a level, by completing it with no wasted shots, and the whole set-up creates a whole new way to play pinball. There’s always a new focused objective, and every shot can be important. It’s also great to figure out the target area of the table to pull off the limited number of shots to complete the level.
The best part of INKS is that the colored sections deliver a paint explosion when you hit them, and they spray out further, the harder you hit the colored sections. You can make art as you knock the pinball around the board, as the pinball draws its path as it rolls through the paint. Each completed level comes with a type of art as you get to see the exploded paint combined with the path of the pinball on the table canvas. It’s great to see how each shot you hit can follow similar trajectories as you aim for the specific regions of the table to hit each colored section. The game saves the completed table as you finish levels, allowing you to see your artistic work just by playing the game. The set-up allows for each level to be that much more rewarding, and allows for the game to be more engaging to entice you to keep moving on to the next level.
INKS. ($1.99, Universal) delivers a colorful spin on pinball that is a mesmerizing experience on iOS, and a must have title.