Mister Inkjet – E3 Preview

June 14, 2011 Written by Paulmichael Contreras

With all the PS Vita news pouring out during E3 as well as the aftermath of impressions and previews galore, some smaller games may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Tucked away in the upstairs media-only area of the Sony E3 booth sat the unassuming Mister Inkjet. The game is being developed by AQ Interactive in Japan, and was shown in a very early stage of development. We got our hands all over Mr. Inkjet, and have a preview for you after the jump.

Mister Inkjet is the game’s tentative title, one which may likely change as the game approaches release. There were only three levels available to demo here, and I was reminded that what I was seeing was extremely early in development. What was here was functional. You play as a blank character – the demo had me taking a picture of my face using the Vita’s front camera for the character’s head, and a picture of whatever I wanted for the body. At the mention of this I was concerned that I would be asked to draw a body on the spot, a truly horrifying proposition considering my drawing abilities. Luckily my fears were quelled when the demoer whipped out a sketch book. We picked a dark suit, and my face was put on that body. This really is nothing new, but it is a good showcase for the quality of the images captured using the Vita’s cameras – they look exponentially crisper and far less grainy than the images PlayStation 3’s Eye camera can capture.

Onto the first demo I went. During each level you use four fingers at once to control the character’s limbs. I found response to leave a bit to be desired at times, but this may be due to the fact that this was the first time I had ever played a touch-controlled game that required individual use of four fingers. The first demo had me avoiding lasers and bombs while falling down a seemingly endless space between buildings. Falling was a general theme throughout the demo levels shown on Mister Inkjet. The other levels were different takes on the same basic concept, with one featuring taking out secret agent-looking characters falling alongside you by bumping into them, all the while avoiding billboards on the side of the buildings you are falling beside.

When I finished the three levels, it really felt like I played just slightly different versions of the same core mechanic. The entire thing really felt like more of a tech demo than any sort of real game. I could see this selling as a cheap launch downloadable title; it would likely prove to be a hard sell as anything but. I was promised by the representative that the game will ship with “a lot more” levels, so who knows where this title could end up. Perhaps it will evolve into something reminiscent of the PSP minigame collection Work Time Fun (otherwise known as WTF). As it stands now, Mister Inkjet simply exists to showcase the rear multitouch pad and cameras of the PS Vita.