REVIEW: THE LAST TINKER – CITY OF COLORS / DEVELOPER: MIMIMI PRODUCTIONS / PUBLISHER: UNITY GAMES PLATFORMS: PC/MAC/LINUX (STEAM), PLAYSTATION 4 (PSN), XBOX ONE (XBOX LIVE ARCADE) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Video games are the youngest type of medium in the world and one that is still developing its potential. Ancient arts such as theatre get to play with their rich history, drawing upon techniques that have been finely honed over the centuries. Video games, on the other hand, are still struggling with basic storytelling and the constant pressure of innovation. Often this means that certain subgenres are abandoned before they truly get a chance to shine. The Last Tinker – City of Colors is a game that owes a lot to an older generation of games and wilfully snubs its nose at the current batch of grey and gritty sandbox games, simply by being a brightly coloured 3D platformer.
As you might expect, it’s filled with cutesy characters and a strange yet child-like world. The plot focuses on a chap called Koru, an ape-like creature who is conveniently nimble and strong. He lives in a world where everything is made from paper, paint and glue. The creatures that inhabit this world were once made of a diversity of colours, but something awful has happened and colour is being leached from the world. Even worse, the emotions of the inhabitants are becoming more extreme the more monochromatic they become, with the red creatures getting angrier and so on. Koru discovers that he’s the only one able to put things right again, and mostly this requires the player to run round solving various 3D puzzles.
The controls are smooth and straight forward; there’s no pixel-perfect jumping needed here so it’s just difficult enough to keep the player engaged. (Old hands may need to play the whole thing on hard mode, however.) Combat is straightforward and pretty streamlined, essentially boiling down to button tapping and timing. This combined with almost no penalties for falling off things or getting beaten up means that the player is rarely discouraged; the game design is deliberately skewed towards being just challenging enough, meaning that even the most ham-fisted of gamers won’t throw the controller down in frustration. The soundtrack is also very sweet, though a little samey after a while.
Graphically it is very, very pretty. They are plenty of things to interact with and plenty of beasties to talk to. This, combined with the ease of play ,makes the game a bright shiny toy; perfect for adults to relax with or for children looking for the next distraction. The Last Tinker – City of Colors is a fun game suitable for gamers of all ages. The storytelling is strong enough to keep most players happy and the gameplay is simple. Those who are addicted to the likes of Banjo Kazooie or yearn to return to an age when games like Pyschonauts were around will get a buzz from this.