Thursday, December 20

Review: InkyPen [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Rating something that isn’t a game, and in particular something that is a subscription service with an ongoing cost, is a bit odd but we’ll go for it. Having been a subscriber to Marvel Unlimited for a time, usually viewing it on my tablet, I at least have a point of comparison though, and I’ve long been a fan of comic books. While you won’t find anything from the two titans of the industry, DC and Marvel, the abundance of smaller publishers like Dark Horse, IDW, Valiant, Archie Comics, most major comic strips and more means there’s quite a lot of diverse content for all tastes, making it compelling for the right audience.

I’d say mechanically everything the app does on Switch makes sense and that performance is surprisingly crisp as you flip through pages, zoom in to see the details more clearly, and search through the available books. You’re able to use either touch or physical controls to control everything, using classic swipes and pinches on the touchscreen (touching the edge of the screen to bring up the menu) and learning how to use the buttons and the joysticks to control navigation and zooming particularly if you’re planning to use the app in docked mode. Especially on the Switch’s small-ish screen zooming is often in order for reading text but it’s not hard to appreciate the art zoomed out and then read the text before moving on.

While some tastes like manga currently don’t have a great deal of representation the stated plan is to continue to work to add more content to the service. How quickly or fully that fleshes things out further will remain to be seen but as long as your taste in comics is a big eclectic there should be plenty to read for a while. I’d say that first and foremost the question is how much you love comics in general, quickly followed by whether your tastes are more in the “Big 2” or you’re open to other publishers. From there the cost of admission to check it out for a month isn’t terribly high and you can see how it works for you. If you’re a fan of comics and are open to consuming them digitally with an all-you-can-eat approach for a reasonable monthly fee (if you’d normally only get a few books for the same price) it’s worth checking out.

Score: 8

  • A pretty impressive opening library of content to cover multiple tastes
  • Controls work reasonably well whether in docked or handheld modes
  • The responsiveness of the interface is generally good and you’ll be able to quicky zoom in and out or cycle through pages

  • If your tastes are limited to what Marvel and DC are offering up you won’t find them here
  • Some tastes, like manga, currently don’t have a great deal of representation though they’re saying their goal is to continue to expand
  • Whether the monthly pricing is fair is dependent on how much you typically read in a month and how much you use the app, which means the value proposition will vary per person