The Last Tinker: City of Colors (PC) Review
Posted by Doug Yates on 05.24.2014
Is this indie foray into the platforming genre worth your time? Find out inside with 411's Doug Yates.
Title: The Last Tinker: City of Colors Developer: Mimimi Productions Publisher: Unity Games Players: 1
Platformers will always hold a special place in my heart, and The Last Tinker: City of Colors reminds me why. On the surface, Tinker is a slightly oversimplified take on the modern 3-D platformers like Ratchet and Clank, but deep down it’s a well thought out commentary on unity and friendship and one of the few games in recent memory that I would want my child to play.
The world of Tinker is made entirely out of paper, glue, and paint. The papier-mâché motif is visible in every aspect of the world, from the environment to the characters themselves, small folds and texturing make everything look amazingly accurate.
Each district of Colortown has its own distinct feel. Vibrant colors and music go a long way to giving each area its own personality: the green district is full of trees and grass, while the blue district is bridges and rivers and a far more urban feel.
Koru the monkeyesque protagonist and his sheep friend, Tap, live in the outer district where all the colors can come together, while the other districts are closed off to anyone not of that color. Koru finds himself the catalyst in bringing the Bleakness into Tinkerworld. The Bleakness sucks the color out of the world and traps its denizens. In order to set things right, Koru must enlist the help of all of the districts, as well as their respective color spirits.
Gaining the assistance of the color spirits unlocks new abilities for Koru to use in order to more easily traverse the world. Red is the first spirit you will obtain and his power allows you to go into rage mode and greatly increases your strength. You can further enhance these abilities by purchasing upgrades at the vending machines scattered throughout the world.
This modern era has made me a slave of the minimap, so a complete lack of one in Tinker worried me at first. Thankfully with a quick up on the d-pad, Tap will zoom off and leave a confetti trail for you to follow to your next objective.
The game has full plug-and-play Xbox controller support. I would suggest using this method as the mouse and keyboard controls will be a bit unwieldy for the younger gamers clamoring for their chance to play, and they will be trying.
The message of unity and friendship that is the backbone of this tale is a perfect starting point for the newest gamer in the household. That having been said, I did notice a couple minor moments of language that might be seen as mildly inappropriate for the significantly younger. I myself am not too fazed by it, and my six-year-old had a blast.
The game has multiple difficulty settings, and the one that caught me off guard was the kids’ setting: a game mode designed for the younger crowd that allows them to play the game without having to worry about losing quite as often.
The control scheme is easy to pick up as there is no actual jump button. Simply holding the right trigger will make Koru sprint, while sprinting koru will leap across designated platforms—you cannot just run at the edge of a platform and expect him to jump—all of these are fairly obvious, so you will always know where you can go. The difficulty is almost completely removed from these segments with the exception of the occasional need for timing for sinking platforms or other moving obstacles.
The fighting mechanic has a bit more meat on the bone thankfully, and although it is simple, it is quite entertaining. Starting out, you can only use the B button to punch, but as you progress each of the four face buttons will be used for a color-specific attack (I bet you can figure out which buttons have which color). Each attack will give you more options in battle, although the green and blue powers can be spammed to allow quick and simple eradication of enemies in most fights.
The music score for the game could not be more spot-on. Each district has its own music and all of them fit like a glove. At one point while exploring the blue district the music changed and it was raining; I thought it had a very noir feeling to it and upon reaching my next destination the mission at hand was a criminal investigation. It was moments like this that made it obvious just how much love was put into the creation of this game.
The voice work is very much in the vein of newer Zelda games as all of the characters speak in gibberish. Somehow it works well as it fits the aesthetic of the world—and any excuse to get kids reading is great in my book. Also, the novelty factor of all of the speech bubbles being cardboard cutouts with crayon writing just adds to the ambiance.
• Great message for both children and adults alike.
• Simple gameplay is easy to pick up for the kiddos.
• Great musical score adds to the atmosphere.
• May be too easy for the older crowd to really get into.
This game is the perfect example of what a kid’s game should be. With a great message and a control scheme that they can pick up and play, the kids will have a great time with this one, and some of the adults that don’t mind its simple nature as well. Anyone looking to bring their kiddos into the gaming fold needs to look no further for the game to start them off.
Beautiful paper motif and vibrant colors make this game a treat to watch.
A bit light on both complexity and difficulty but for the right age range that isn't a bad thing.
Perfect musical score adds to the world.
short of collecting all of the hidden brushes there is not a lot of incentive for returning.
I had a lot of fun with this title despite its simplicity.