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The Last Tinker: City of Colors (PC) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC (PS4 due soon)
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
8.0
8/ 10


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We liked?


  • Looks great with so much character and colour
  • Fantastic soundtrack really lifts the entire game
  • Harks back to a simpler gaming time and highlights a genre that's in need of revival

Not so much?


  • Main character lacks well.. .character really
  • Repetitive at times
  • Later levels feels rushed and tired
  • Hour long tutorial part is really dull


Final Fiendish Findings?

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a breath of fresh air, especially to an old platform gamer such as myself. It was only as I sat playing this, instead of Watch_Dogs on my PS4 that I realised just how much I needed this game. How games like these, possibly serviced by “B-Tier” publishers like Midway, THQ, Atari etc, had been missing from my gaming life.

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Posted June 2, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is an odd-ball title completely out of left-field.  Here, at the dawn of the new generation of video game entertainment, we are handed a title that harks back to the glory days of 3D platform adventures of the late 90’s and 00’s.

The Last Tinker harks back to the days when Banjo-Kazooie, Jak & Daxter, Fur Fighters, Gex, Mario 64, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot ruled the roost.  When everyone was clambering to capture the essence of a simple platformer in a 3D world.

The studio behind The Last Tinker: City of Colors have been slowly but surely building a reputation for themselves.  Through early plaudits for their student works up to recent nods for their mobile title, Mimimi Productions have been building towards this point somehow below the radar of the “common” gamer.

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So it was with absolute shock when I started The Last Tinker and found myself faced with something that could have easily sat alongside games of that time.  Hell this could have been produced by any one of those studios today – which is no mean feat for such a small indie team.

In The Last Tinker you play as Koru, ably aided by your colourful sidekick Tap.  Think of Tap as your Daxter or Clank… or indeed Kazooie!  The world around you used to a harmonious place, all the different coloured inhabitants living together in harmony.  Through the ages this turns sour though and mostly the world is divided in to regions where only people of the same colour live.  A small area though as maintained this harmony where all colours live together as one.  This is where our Hero resides and all is going well until he is tricked in to helping the supposedly evil Purple spirit unleash The Bleakness.

The Bleakness is slowly spreading through Colortown, removing all colours in its wake and freezing the inhabitants where they stand.  Koru discovers he is The Last Tinker and sets out on a journey to rid the place of The Bleakness.

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Using the powers you slowly gain from the three other colour Spirits (Re, Blue and Green) you can combine their unique abilities to take on the every challenging cronies of The Bleakness.  This aids in breaking up the combat and making it a little more than just thumping on the punch button – which would get old very quickly.  There are also puzzle elements to the game when using the Bomber and Biggs characters.  These can be used to bash/stomp things or positioned and exploded to overcome obstacles.   Simple mechanics and puzzles but another welcome distraction.

Platforming was a jarring issue to start with though.  I was expecting to be hopping and jumping around the place but instead the game uses a unique and simple parkour system.  Holding down the controller trigger will make Koru leap and skip over gaps, obstacles etc with a simple flourish.  Think mantling and climbing in Assassin’s Creed or getting around the world like Mirror’s Edge.  This is restrictive but does give the game a unique and not entirely unwelcome control.

The Last Tinker certainly looks the part with what amounts to the test tube love child of Jak & Daxter, Banjo-Kazooie, Tearaway and a truck full of paint.  Huge bright worlds rendered well with Unity fill the screen and the action moved at a solid 60fps (or though you could have turned that down to 30fps if you’d wanted).  With all the bells and whistles turned on The Last Tinker is a pleasant and bright game with some wonderfully realised art design.  Chock full of small touches to illustrate the game’s “paper craft” style.  Characters are memorable and balmy in the same way they were in those previously mentioned glory days.  In fact the only character that is lacking is main guy Koru – whose character is a little flat and barely suffices as the player cypher.

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Audio wise the game is a cracker.  Throwing together a huge repertoire of different musical styles in instruments to make an eclectic soundtrack gel in to a game-lifting score.    The folksy guitar riffs, for instance, really give the whole game a unique and uplifting vibe.

The Last Tinker manages to do just enough over the course of the 8 or so hours of play to keep you engaged.  In fact if the team’s inexperience shows anywhere it’s in the ability to keep the game diverse enough to sustain its length.  Don’t get me wrong they do a great job of pacing the abilities and adding some breaks to the constant platform/puzzle combination – but things still get tired towards the end.  This is evident in the last few levels which repeat many things from earlier levels and feel a little rushed/barren of ideas.

The game does also lack that certain level of polish that might come from a “big studio” release but that’s to be expected and easily overlooked for a product that manages so well to bring things together.  The game may also, with its low difficulty levels and bright colours, appeal more too the younger gamer but I implore older gamers to give the game’s charms a chance too.

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Final Thoughts

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a breath of fresh air, especially to an old platform gamer such as myself.  It was only as I sat playing this, instead of Watch_Dogs on my PS4 that I realised just how much I needed this game.  How games like these, possibly serviced by “B-Tier” publishers like Midway, THQ, Atari etc, had been missing from my gaming life.

The Last Tinker has a handful of issues that will only slightly mar your overall experience but to say those a niggles might be an understatement.  The game looks great, sounds incredible and plays in a unique and FUN way.  And that’s exactly what I needed.  Something bright and fun to waste a few hours on.

The Last Tinker is a gem of a game that platform fans old and young should embrace as they once did Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie and all those other classics.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.