Review: The Last Tinker: City of Colors
The Last Tinker might appear to be a colorful 3D platformer, something we don’t get very much of these days, but it’s a game that tackles some rather serious subject matter. The Red, Green, and Blue districts have grown apart as hate, fear, and sadness have taken over. Now the districts have shut themselves away from one another and absolutely refuse to work together. It’s only in the outer district, where the main character Koru lives, that all colors are accepted. Shortly after the game’s opening, Koru is visited by a purple spirit who promises to help Koru bring order back to the world and ultimately end the separation of colors. Unfortunately Koru is tricked into spreading the Bleakness throughout the world ridding everything of its color. The only way to stop it is to bring together each of the color spirits and remind them of their strengths.
The topic of racism within The Last Tinker is covered in a way that someone younger would understand the themes at play. It doesn’t feel forced and in general I think the story and the message are done pretty well. Unfortunately the game never really delves deeply into what the “Tinkers” are. Koru is a Tinker, but with the exception of a few lines of dialog I feel like the game never really revealed much about what a Tinker actually is. Even the actions I preformed throughout the game didn’t necessarily feel like abilities that could be exclusive to Tinkers.
Although The Last Tinker is best classified as a 3D platformer, it should be noted that you can’t actually freely jump in the game. Instead Koru controls similarly to games like Assassin’s Creed and inFamous. By holding the R2 trigger down Koru will enter a free run mode to jump across poles, gaps, and climb up vines. Combat revolves around a simple 4-5 hit punch combo that can be altered with special abilities that’ll be earned throughout the game. Each of the color spirits will give Koru a new ablity that will need to be used against specific types of enemies. The red spirit allows Koru to hit harder, the green spirit causes a punch to scare an enemy away, and the blue spirit will make enemies depressed (an opening for a sneak attack) with a single punch.
The game isn’t very difficult so having special attack modifiers helps to prevent the gameplay from becoming boring as different enemies will require different types of attacks. It also helps that the journey through each of the three main districts leads to some very colorful and great views. The blue district especially looks great. There’s not a lot of side content (aside from collectibles) but the actual missions within the game are fun and change things up pretty often. There are missions in which I got to do some detective work and even conduct an orchestra. It’s in these moments that I’m reminded of games like Jak and Daxter. For as simple as The Last Tinker is, I still feel like I’m in an actual world. If there’s one thing that this game does not lack, it is personality.
Everything leads to the final act, just before the last boss, in which the game hits some of its best moments. During the last stage the game shows how crisis can bring people together and it ends up working really well as a way to turn things on the game’s villain. The Last Tinker, which up to that point was just an OK game, impressed me at that last moment.
It feels nice to play a game like this again considering how rare 3D platformers can be these days. It doesn’t have the most exciting gameplay ever, but The Last Tinker has a whole lot of heart. The characters and the districts they inhabit are colorful and they all have a personality of their own. If you keep in mind the audience and don’t go in expecting a complex combat system then I think you’ll get some enjoyment out of the game. The Last Tinker should prove to be entertaining for kids though and it’ll even leave them with a good message to think about.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Lots of personality in the characters and world
- The last area
- The detective and orchestra missions
What I Dislike:
- Combat can be pretty repetitive
- A couple frame rate issues
- The story never really goes into detail about the "Tinkers"