Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
LOOT Entertainment
Mimimi Productions
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
August 19, 2014

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is one of those games that begs to be loved. In turn, you desperately want to love it. You’re attracted to its many charms; its rambunctious color, just this side of gaudy, keeps you interested in what amounts to an interactive kaleidoscope. Everything is cute. Even the bad guys are cute. You enjoy the combination of streamlined platforming movement and fluid combat, trying to forget the fact that “platformers” are supposed to have a jump function, and the fighting is little more than a repetitive button-mashing bout.

In the end, though, you come to the conclusion that this game, despite having the best intentions, is simply underwhelming. It’s aptly named, of course, as the vibrant color palette permeates every corner of this vivid presentation. I actually found the environment to be a tad too busy; it was like I was wandering through a world where gypsies and circus people procreated for about a century. It’s also worth noting that the graphics aren’t as crisp or refined as I would’ve liked, as the environment and detailing can appear decidedly fuzzy or out-of-focus. Still, you can’t help but be attracted to such a charming style.

Same goes for the sound: It’s cute and charming and as such, it’s difficult to find fault because it fits the game’s theme. Each creature speaks with a pretty little squeak or coo or grunt; in other words, you read all the dialogue. The soundtrack doesn’t quite do its job, though, as I would’ve appreciated a wider array of more involving tracks. The music seems content to take a backseat to the eye-popping visual display, and I think that was a mistake. On the plus side, everything fits. The technical elements are mostly stable and while not necessarily sublime, they combine to create an enticing, if not enrapturing, experience.

You play as Koru, a boy who looks mysteriously like a young monkey. You live in Tinkerworld, which was once rife with color and general good feeling. Everything is comprised of paper and glue (hello, Tearaway ) but several problems threaten the cheerful, happy-go-lucky existences of Tinkerworld’s inhabitants. First, while they were once unified, they have now split off into separate districts, each housing a particularly colored civilian. In other words, the Type-A Reds live there, while the always dreary Blues live over there. It’s a thinly veiled and unnecessary social commentary but whatever, I get it.

The other problem is that The Bleakness has invaded. It’s basically a paint-remover of sorts, as it destroys the color in Tinkerworld. If he wishes to be the savior, Koru must find the color spirits and battle The Bleakness. The adventure is mostly linear, with a few small opportunities to explore and find a few goodies, and you’ll travel through a variety of relatively well-designed lands. Each district has a distinct style due to the inherent nature of the colors that live there, so you don’t have to worry about repetitive levels and set pieces. Basic control is simple, the pseudo-platforming is accessible and responsive, and the combat won’t give you any problems.