If there's one phrase that gets me excited for a new MMO, it's "cross-platform." I know that's not very slick-sounding, but when I hear those words, I envision playing the same game across multiple devices. I can sit at my PC, move over to my bar, take a seat on my patio, sit down in the bath (with the tablet carefully held over the side) and finish off a dungeon while I'm lying in bed.The Missing Ink
is not only attempting to be a unique title by offering the type of access that we normally see only from Spacetime Studios
or HTML5 browser MMOs
but presenting a very unique-looking game, one of paper cutout figures and Burton-esque curly trees dotting a wavy landscape. There's also a building mode promised, although I haven't experienced it yet. But will this multi-platform approach work? Well, I took a look at the alpha and have enjoyed what I've seen so far, but I must warn you: This is not a review. It's hardly even a preview. It's just a peek into a strange, new game. The following opinions and gameplay bits are subject to massive, sweeping changes.
As it is right now, I was unable to play The Missing Ink
on any of my Android devices. The only options available currently come through the browser using Unity or by download. Eventually, the developers promise to have the game available on any device in your house; they've even put out videos showing off what that might look like. The advantage of being so accessible is that players can literally jump in from anywhere, even if just to check up on guildies or run a quick dungeon. The formula has worked well for the previously mentioned Spacetime Studios and its pack of Legends
The fact that The Missing Ink
might be appealing to younger players makes going cross-platform more attractive. I've personally heard many stories from players who wanted something to play alongside their tween children and so jumped into a game like Pocket Legends
, with the child on an iPad and the adult on the PC. It's that drop-in design that makes a game even harder to resist. If the game is actually good
, then the player finds a reason to drop in again and again.
I'm hesitant to give any first impressions about a game that is currently in a testing phase. Not only will the game be changing much over the next few months, but playing in a largely empty world is nothing like playing with the public. Still, it's not hard to imagine how the game will feel once released. It's quite polished right now, as far as graphics and essential gameplay are concerned. The really unique feature about the title is that player avatars are represented by flat, paper cut-out figurines instead of muscle-bound, three-dimensional warriors. It sounds really strange, and it is
really strange, but it works. Of course things could change, and the avatars might become something much different later on, but it looks to me like the game is designed to keep up with the two-dimensional feel.