[PlayStation 5] Inkulinati Review

by EdEN, Owner

Inkulinati from Daedalic Entertainment and Yaza Games is a turn-based roguelike strategy game inspired by medieval art where you’ll use the power of the Living Ink. Learn more in our Inkulinati review!


Inkulinati from Daedalic Entertainment and Yaza Games is a turn-based roguelike strategy game inspired by medieval art where you’ll use the power of the Living Ink. You’ll be taking on the role of one of the 12 Inkulinati Masters, who must draw magical beasts on each battlefield as you aim to claim victory. It’s a very fun roguelike adventure that will certainly manage to keep you coming back for more!

Before you start to play, you should jump into the Academy section. Once there, you’ll be able to learn the basics of how to play this game. After that has been taken care of, you can take on the Journey Mode, giving you access to a replayable adventure in which every run will be different. Another option is Duel, in which you can take on either a fellow human opponent or battle against an AI-controlled one. You also have the bestiary, where you can look at all Beasts and their abilities, all hand actions and talents… that is, those that you’ve managed to unlock so far.

During combat, you’ll be performing actions with the Tiny Inkultinati and the Beasts that you draw with the Living Ink. The Tiny Inkulinati is a self-portrait of the Inkulinati you’ve chosen for your journey. If the Tiny Inkulinati is defeated, you will lose the battle! To draw Beast, you’ll need to keep in mind this can only be done near the Tiny Inkulinati. For you to summon a Beast, you’ll have to spend some of the Living Inm. You can check a Beast’s cost above their portrait, which will let you know how many drops of Living Ink are required.

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What Beasts can you put into play? Some examples include the Sword-Wielding Dog. This Beast has a shield that can block high damage and a sword that can only attack adjacent fields. As soon as you draw a Beast, it will take a nap. This means you won’t be able to use them until the next chapter – that would be the next round. A chapter is over after both sides have taken their turn and completed their moves.

A Beast can move around the battlefield, use an attack action, or take a nap. If a Beast moves to a green field, their turn will not end. Any action other than moving a Beast to a green field will end their turn. Move to a yellow field, and that will end that Beast’s turn since it will use all of its energy to sprint there. Each action will have a set range. If you see a green dial, that means a target is available. If you see a purple dial, then that means that no available target is at that spot.


Say you perform an attack action on an opponent. After confirming the attack, you’ll notice an indicator moving next to boxes with numbers or icons on them. The number you stop the indicator at will determine how much damage you deal. Make the indicator stop on a skull, and you’ll defeat the enemy! Do keep an eye on the timer next to the boxes. If you don’t choose before your time is up, the indicator will stop on its own.

Along with being able to draw Beasts on the battlefield, the Tiny Inkulinati also has access to Hand Actions. Each of the Inkulinati Masters you can choose from will be able to do something different with their hands. Some of them will be able to heal. Some can use their hands to deal damage. How about you swat the manuscript and deal a whopping 5 points of damage to one of your opponents? To balance things out, some Hand Actions will have a cooldown for you to consider.

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You can also win battles by making the most of a battlefield’s layout… by pushing your opponents! Pushing a unit will make it move to the next open spot in that direction. What happens if there are no open slots and a unit makes it to the edge? Then your opponent will fall into the abyss and die! Pushing an enemy at the right time can be a great way of turning the tide of battle.

Something else to consider is units like the Bishop Cat. The Bishop Cat is Anointed, and a unit that attacks it will become a Heretic. Anointed units will be able to deal more damage to Heretic units. Then we have Sir Snail. Sir Snail is a very strong unit that can end up devouring an opponent, which, as expected, will instantly defeat said unit, no matter how much HP it has. On top of that, if Sir Snails devours, say, a small pot of beans, it can then burp out fire that reaches two spaces and deals five points of damage.

As you play through the game, you’ll notice that some units gain a Halo when they end their turn, as an effect from an ability, or by interacting with an object. A unit can have up to three Halo at once, and each one will boost that Beast’s damage and accuracy by one point. Gaining a max Halo count could help you one-shot an opponent before it becomes a bigger problem, so be sure to always try to get as many Halos on all of your units as possible. Interact with an Altar to gain a Halo, then use that extra point of damage and accuracy to land the killing blow.


Living Ink is not only good for drawing new Beasts on the battlefield, it can also be used to gain an advantage… as long as you’re patient. If your army manages to collect 12 or more drops of Living Ink, then all deployed Beasts will gain five health, and one of your units will receive three Halo at the end of the chapter. A heal for five health can certainly go a long way in allowing you to turn things around if the fight is not going in your favor. You can also stand below Healing Clouds to heal some of your wounds or below Clouds of Divine Inspiration to receive two Halo. Do know that both bonuses trigger at the end of a chapter.

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Once you get started with Journey Mode, the first step will be to select the difficulty setting from the four available options: Poor, Not bad, Skill is my middle name, and Greater than yours.
Poor is the easy one, and it’s a good option for those without much experience with roguelike strategy games. Your Tiny Inkulati will start with 30 HP and 18 Living Ink, and it will regain 10 HP after each battle. You’ll also have 15 Quills to start, enemy Beasts will deal less damage, and you’ll gain a point of Boredom for each Beast drawn. If you play in Not bad, which is the normal difficulty setting, your Tiny Inkulati will start with 25 HP and 18 Living Ink, and it will regain 5 HP after each battle. You’ll also have 5 Quills to start, and enemy Beasts will deal medium damage. You’ll gain a point of Boredom for each Beast drawn. The enemy’s Tiny Inkulati will also start with more Living Ink and more HP.

Jump into Skill is my middle name, which is the hard difficulty setting, and your Tiny Inkulati will start with 20 HP and 14 Living Ink, and it will regain 3 HP after each battle. You’ll also have 3 Quills to start, and enemy Beasts will deal high damage. You’ll gain two points of Boredom for each Beast drawn. The enemy’s Tiny Inkulati will also start with more Living Ink and more HP. The last one is Greater than yours, a difficulty setting that will test your skills in full! Your Tiny Inkulati will start with only 15 HP and 14 Living Ink, and it will regain 2 HP after each battle. You’ll also have 2 Quills to start, and enemy Beasts will deal a ton of damage with each attack. You’ll gain two points of Boredom for each Beast drawn. The enemy’s Tiny Inkulati will start with even more Living Ink and more HP.

Boredom is an important stat you should keep an eye on. Why? Because Boredom will increase the Living Ink cost of a Beast! The more you use a unit in battle, the higher its Boredom will rise and the more it will cost you to put it into play. This is why you should rotate your Beasts so that they can get some rest. If a Beast does not participate in battle, then its overall Boredom will decrease by two points. Keeping a balance will allow you to always have your Beasts happy so that you can put them into play exactly when you most need them.

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There are some accessibility options for you to consider. You can change the text size, which is a big plus, considering many PC-to-console games make the jump without thinking about how the text will look on a large TV screen. You can also activate fast mode, which will boost the speed of animations during combat. You can also turn on or off visible ink blood splashes during combat or activate or deactivate screenshakes.


And now, it’s trophy time! Inkulinati has a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy available. And since this is a Cross-Buy title, if you own a PlayStation 5 console, you can download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and each one will have its own trophy list for you to work on. Each list has 12 Bronze trophies, 8 Silver trophies, and 6 Gold trophies for you to work on. You’ll have to complete the tutorial, take on and complete every advanced lesson, win the first battle in Journey Mode, collect five different Beast races during one run, win an Elite Battle, one-shot a Beast, and collect a total of 5,000 Prestige points, to name some examples.

Inkulinati is a turn-based roguelike strategy game inspired by medieval art in which you’ll use the power of the Living Ink. By taking on the role of one of 12 Inkulinati Masters, you’ll be able to draw a Tiny Inkulinati to represent you in battle, as well as Beasts to do your bidding. As you gain Prestige during each run and unlock new Beasts and abilities for your army, you’ll manage to progress further and further during each subsequent run. Inkulinati is available as a Cross-Buy title, so your $24.99 purchase will allow you to download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost. There’s also a Supporter Bundle DLC for $9.99, which helps support the game developers. This DLC includes:

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– Additional skin for the Tiny Inkulinati
– Additional color for the character creator
– The Inkulinati Original Soundtrack
– Digital Artbook – a look at medieval references and the visual development of Inkulinati

Disclaimer
This Inkulinati review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Daedalic Entertainment.

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