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SUMIONI Demon Arts THD: Fighting enemies with ink and brush

October 16, 2012

When we hear the words “Art Attack” we don’t really think of it literally. Well, you’ll need to hold on to your ink and brushes because SUMIONI Demon Arts THD takes art to a whole other level.

A long time ago in Japan, a game of politics led to the exile of an Inkmaster and the thinning of the wall between this world and that of darkness. The Inkmaster, desperate to save the capital, gives up his life to summon a powerful demon. Unfortunately, the demon named Agura is less than interested, but with the Firebird and the Lion Inkgods by his side, he’ll have no other choice but to carry out the Inkmaster’s wish.

Developed by ACQUIRE corporation, SUMIONI Demon Arts THD is a gorgeous game for Tegra 3 devices. If you’re an artist who uses traditional media, you’ll definitely love seeing the brush textures all over the place. They’re present not only in the cut scenes but also in actual game play. Check out that background, for example.

Take control of Agura with the digital D-Pad on the left side of the screen and attack enemies by tapping anywhere else on the screen. When you strike down enemies, they dissolve into a plume of ink, much like ink dissolving in water. That’s a particularly nice touch which enhances the overall aesthetic of the game, giving it the look of a Japanese painting come to life.

You can go over obstacles and get hard to reach items by drawing platforms. The size and shape of the platforms are limited only to the amount of ink you have and your imagination.

Have a swarm of enemies coming your way? No problem. You can erase their projectiles using the Water Brush or you can create a wall of flames by tracing around your enemies. If you want to tear down towers, don’t waste your time hacking and slashing. Bring the house down, literally, by long pressing on the tower until an ink cloud forms. It’ll soon be shooting out lightning bolts.

When you need extra firepower, summon the Firebird and the Lion Inkgods. You’ll need to follow a bead of light as it traces out a pattern. Successfully trace that pattern and you’ll summon the Inkgod to wreck some serious damage on your opponents.

At first, you might be overwhelmed with how much SUMIONI requires you to interact with the screen but once you’ve nailed down the basic skills, it’ll be a breeze to get through hundreds of enemies and tear down huge towers armed with canons, archers, and razor blades.

The digital D-Pad is a little difficult to use. In one stage, you need to run away from a gargantuan enemy. This involves avoiding spiked wheels all over the ground by drawing a platform over them. Jumping on to the platform was a little difficult as I needed to push Up and then the direction I wanted to go to, rather than holding the D-Pad right between Up and the direction.

Because the D-pad is digital, accidentally stroking the area around the D-Pad may result in a loss of precious ink.

Some feedback on the Google Play Store reported the game lagging every 10 seconds. I tested SUMIONI on an ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T and only experienced minor lagging whenever I destroyed an enemy tower at the very end of each level. Minor lag, but the lag is there.

SUMIONI Demon Arts is a great game to play. It’s visually striking, especially for artists who love working with traditional media. It’s also innovative, inviting user interaction by letting them create platforms themselves in the design they want. Unfortunately the D-Pad is still a little buggy and that might need getting used to.

You can download SUMIONI Demon Arts THD, for your Tegra 3 device, from the Google Play Store.