Realm of Ink updates its demo, adjusting the aim and introducing several new features. Now we’ll tell you about it.

The Ink-Style Action developed by Leap Studio and Maple Leaf Studio has already shown itself to us with a promising demo. In the role of Red, we will have to discover what fate has in store for her. The only way will be to recover the ink gems that will reveal the truth about the Spirit of the Book.

Realm of Ink has already presented itself very well. The updates made for the Steam Next Fest put a lot of irons in the fire.

Now we will talk about the game improvements, thanks also to the access to the alpha granted to us by the developers.

Central Hub

As mentioned in the previous article Realm of Ink takes strong inspiration from titles like Hades. Even the central hub where our adventure begins is no exception. The area has been improved both stylistically and in the areas to access. We can interact with some areas of the room: The Talent Stele and a strange scroll.

The first is made up of 3 steles, each divided into 4 parts and each part includes 3 boxes with different abilities. Each stele is dedicated to a particular characteristic. One towards increasing our and Momo’s offensive capabilities, one towards defense and recovery of cooldowns and life points and the other towards the quality and drop rate of rewards.

Once we unlock the 3 boxes that make up one of the 4 parts, we unlock a permanent passive. The currency to unlock these abilities is Fox Blood, unusable until now.

With the Scroll we can unlock a new difficulty level with better rewards.

New Ink Gems, Combat System, Modes and Design

Let’s talk about the Realm of Ink combat system. The developers cleaned up both in terms of the use of weapons and the difficulty of the rooms. Especially the last ones before the final boss are full of enemies and you have to be very careful. The team cleaned the skills and abilities visual effects. Now the skills Dots applied to enemies are more readable and allow you to better use synergies with Perks. The combat area is less confusing and despite the many numbers and effects on the screen you can read the battle better.

The attention to graphic details really surprised me. Both the central hub, the levels and the enemies with their respective abilities are much more detailed and refined. Even the General of the ape men Yuwen Yuan has some lines of dialogue during the battle that tell a bit of lore. Furthermore, some movesets have been revised and new attacks have also been added.

Ink Gems have better powers and Legendary Gems have been added. We will find them after the battle with the final boss of the demo. These are special because in addition to being very powerful they have a bar that fills after a number of uses. Once the bar is filled, it unleashes a devastating attack that varies depending on the type chosen. Furthermore, Momo becomes really threatening and strong and gets an attack with the B button on our controller.

Now the Realm of Ink demo does not end with the defeat of the boss but we access a new biome. After the first decidedly challenging room, we arrive at an endless mode where we have to resist as much as possible until we are defeated. During the fight by killing enemies and accumulating experience we can level up and claim new Perks and objects.

My Two Cents

Realm of Ink is still in alpha and it’s admirable to see the improvements the developers made. The graphic design of the NPCs, environments and various models has really improved. The details of the effects also help a lot with the management of the battle. Even the phrases said by the boss during the phase change mean attention to details. Areas are richer in detail and appear alive rather than stark. And even models like opponents, Momo and NPCs are nicer to look at.

For those who love difficulty there is also the possibility of increasing the level before entering the game. Even if you don’t, the game is more challenging than before. Furthermore, the Talent Stele allows you to improve the protagonist with interesting options.

What can I say, now I’m even more impatient to try the definitive version.

I'm a musician (pianist), a nerd and a longtime manga lover. My gamer life started with a copy of Pitfall (1982) for Atari 2600, and so I grew up hand to hand with this medium until now. Later I started to look for what's behind the final product, its design and what happens behind the scenes of the video game world.