The Last Tinker: City of Colors

Dec 14, 2014 // 3 minutes

This is a very deceiving game if you judge it by its cover. Even though due to the colourful art style it might look like a game for kids, it’s actually a fairly enjoyable platformer with a vibrant environment to traverse through, set to an enjoyable soundtrack. It’s one of those games where it has a bit of a silly premise but it doesn ’t try to be realistic, but rather, a game that is fun to play.

Tinkerworld is home to Colortown which is made up of three districts. Each houses citizens who are red, green and blue, each aided by a spirit that embodies the emotions associated with their respective colour.

You play as Koru, a teenage monkey, who is tricked by the mischievous purple spirit into unleashing the bleakness , a gray goop that starts to spread across the land, sucking up all colour it touches and instilling negativity in those who manage to escape its advance and seek refuge in the central district.

It’s very much a story about saving the day while also aiding the citizens of each district by turning those frowns upside down. While the story isn ’t meant to be deep, I was quite surprised to see there’s actually some undertones of racism that pop up as you see the red citizens claim they are the best, the blue citizens mope about their noir styled district and the entire green district lock themselves away inside the homes out of fear.

Along your journey, you help those afflicted in seeing the error of their ways and, with the advancing bleakness as motivation, encourage them all to work towards rebuilding the world as it once was, a place where everyone is treated equally. Aww, how nice.

As for the gameplay, I’d call it a semi-platformer. It’s very much in the style of a platformer however it tends more towards the Assassin’s Creed style of platforming where just hold down run and press forward to leap across platforms or swing between gaps. While it’s all very automated, I still enjoyed it regardless.

Surprisingly, the combat system feels very Arkham-ish. It has that nice flow where you jump between enemies dodging and punching but it’s not hugely in depth beyond that. For the most part, you’ll just be doing the same combos over and over mixed in with spirit-related abilities you unlock.

It wouldn ’t be a platformer without collectibles of course. You’ve got crates and other objects to break which drop orbs that can be spent on combos and extra health but there aren’t a huge number on offer. You’ll also find hidden paintbrushes scattered about each level that you can trade in to a certain bushy haired painter to unlock concept art and early PS1-era features like Big Head Mode.

The game isn’t too long, clocking in at around 6 hours and it does a pretty good job of keeping things varied and fresh. Each district is enticing with unique audio, the game has a very nice soundtrack by the way, and distinctive citizens who speak via silly cardboard speech bubbles. If you’re looking for something a little more laid back to wash out that ‘modern’ colour palette that upcoming titles like The Order: 1886 continue to offer, you’ll likely enjoy this charming indie title.