Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Lifestyle, Utility & Other
Release Date: December 17, 2018 (Worldwide)
Reading on the go!
When InkyPen launched on the Switch, it brought a wide variety of comics to the console in the form of a Netflix-like service and being the long-time fan of comic books I am, of course InkyPen appealed to me greatly. Still, just because it features a fast and snappy UI to accommodate the massive library it has to offer, it still has a few issues in terms of the representation in the app and we’re going to get into all of that, right now!
Upon loading InkyPen, you’ll need to create an account and put in your credit card information – the price is $7.99 USD and is a monthly fee. Once you’ve paid the required amount, there is a filter for which age rating options you prefer, this allows you to set the age rating to lower if you have children using the account, preventing them from reading comics that may have a few more mature themes than their usual taste.
Once you open the main menu of InkyPen, you’ll be greeted by four tabs at the top of your screen and a menu for each. In My Comics, you’ll be able to browse, read, download and delete comics that you’ve saved.
In the Discover tab, you can browse through all the various comics in the app by filtering with name, genres and publishers – or just browse through all the comics if you wish. In Search, you can search for any specific novel you want, provided it is included in the app, and Settings allows you to change any account information or change age rating at will.
The variety for a new service like InkyPen is quite substantial, and depending on your tastes could be appealing or not. The main publishers featured in InkyPen are Dark Horse Comics, IDW, Papercuts, Humanoids, Dynamite Entertainment, Titan, Valiant as well as many other major publishers, indie titles and webcomic series.
If you’re more of a superhero fan like me, then InkyPen only has a few comics of that type worth checking out, as the main publishers such as Marvel and DC don’t have appearances here. During my time with the service, I read through the many Dungeons & Dragons comics as well as a couple Star Trek and Transformers issues.
From spending time with the app, I found myself surprised by the quick and snappy UI, in both handheld and docked mode. With quick flicks and swipes, you can easily zoom in and flip pages with ease. You can also save and download comics you want to read to be able to read them offline without the need of an internet connection at all times, making InkyPen great for long trips or the occasional away-from-home indulgence of your favourite story.
Mechanically, InkyPen works exactly as expected, with minimal issues at all. It feels like a premium service – as it should for something as large as this. While InkyPen doesn’t exactly represent some tastes such as Manga in a great way, the developers and curators of the service have already stated that they plan to continue to work on adding more content to the app.
How quickly or how long this support is planned to last is still yet to be seen, however, as long as you have a fairly wide taste in comics, then I’d say InkyPen is worth checking out. Although, if you only really care about the comics from Marvel and DC, then maybe InkyPen isn’t for you, but for a fairly reasonable monthly fee, I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t want to check it out and give it a go.
Overall, InkyPen is exactly what they say it is. It’s a comic book subscription service that works really well and fits right at home on the Switch. Even though it is a bit hard to say how long or how much the developers intend to support the app for, the beginning library is diverse and interesting enough to keep you well sustained for many months of comic book reading, as long as you’re willing to expand your options further from just the ‘big two’ of comic book publishing.
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by InkyPen
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This post was written by Ruairi O'Brien (Lucariocios)