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The Last Tinker: City of Colors Review

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On 07/25/2014 at 03:00 PM by Casey Curran

Color me neutral

For people who are okay with depth and originality taking a back seat to variety and style

Once upon a time, your average big budget game was expected to be bright and colorful with more realistic looking games being the exception. Today, however, a realistic look is more prominent and colorful games stand out more than ever. The Last Tinker: City of Colors feels like an attack against the loss of color - personified into a game - where the objective is to literally stop an evil force from removing all of the color in the world using the power of the red, green, and blue gods.

The game’s plot blends wonderfully with its graphical art style, which looks like a mix of Viva Piñata and Dr. Seuss, though not quite as unique as the former nor as charming as the latter. The world - whether it is full of color or contrasting tinted splashes with stark white - is a joy to explore. Character models are more hit than miss, with most resembling the striking designs from Viva Piñata more than anything else. The main character, however, leaves a lot to be desired-with an ape like face from the uncanny valley and an outfit one zipper away from Square-Enix territory.

While the world is a huge success, the gameplay initially feels like a bunch of watered down segments from other games that are able to rise above their individual mediocrity thanks to good pacing between sections. For instance, rather than offer true platforming, The Last Tinker has you hold the right trigger to sprint-towards drop offs and leap across gaps instead of timing presses of a jump button. The mechanic works a lot like the Assassin’s Creed games, but without the free roamin aspect of those games, the simplicity of leaping over obstacles is too obvious, and often feels more like fancy running. The game does compensate for this by offering hazards and disappearing platforms, yet these do not appear enough and do little to differentiate themselves from one another.

Combat invokes Batman: Arkham Asylum’s free flowing fighting style without the large number of seamless, rhythmic attacks that makes Arkham’s combat deep and addicting. If you want to throw a Batarang in Batman, for instance, you would just tap the left trigger. The Last Tinker on the other hand, forces you to manually aim to throw a projectile, which really disrupts the flow of combat.

The lack of options is somewhat mitigated as time goes on, as you meet new gods. For instance, a god who embodies fear allows you to throw paint which makes enemies afraid of you, with a fear so strong they do not notice the deadly obstacles they will soon run into.

The enemy variety leaves a little to be desired as well. I can count the main types of foes on one hand, most of which are basic and predictable. The exception spends all his time teleporting around the environment and as long as he is alive, every other adversary is invulnerable. Taking him out with a giant group of opponents running around proved incredibly annoying. While I initially wished for more diversity and creativity with fiends, seeing what the developers came up with when throwing in a new, unique enemy made me glad they stuck with a handful of basic enemies.


Puzzles thankfully are a step above the other elements, yet they never quite teased my brain the way GLaDOS would. Most puzzles revolve around a character named Bigs (whose design has given me nightmares since I started playing) and having him follow you to switches. Bigs can also be shrunk and given exploding powers, which varies the puzzles a little more. My only real issue with these segments is that occasionally a crucial piece of information needed to solve a puzzle is left out, but these are not common enough to be a real pain.

Yet, as I said before, despite how basic the gameplay is, none of the individual mechanics give you a chance to realize how average they are. The game rotates the different concepts at a quick pace, where only the puzzle segments are given more than a few minutes. As both platforming and combat quickly grow dull, this rapid rotation of mechanics actually works. Initially showing hints of being a Frankenstein monster of better games mashed together, The Last Tinker is a fun game which always gave me a reason to play, even if it did not quite sell me it on it completely.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/26/2014 at 06:30 AM

there was a lot of hype for this one.  Then it kind of died off, I guess once people started playing it.  Oh well, still seems ok. 


07/26/2014 at 02:06 PM

Does the protagonist do any actual Tinkering in the game?

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