Welcome to “At a Glance” where first impressions mean everything! Ladies, gentlemen and other colourful monkey children, I present to you; The Last Tinker: City of Colors.
These days in a market filled with gritty military first person shooters and million dollar open world titles, it’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago the market was very different. These days I hear a lot of nostalgic gamers crying out for the games of their childhood, things like “what ever happened to Crash Bandicoot” or “I miss Ratchet and Clank“.
Today I am here to look at a series that reminds me of fond memories, of days of PlayStation 2 buddy duo platformy, shootery action adventures. Today I am looking at a title that does away with the brown or grey color pallet of a lot of FPS’s these days, and instead opts for one thing and one thing only. A hell of a lot of color.
The Last Tinker: City of Color stars a monkey tailed little adventurer called Koru and his knowledgeable little side kick Tap who live in Color town. In this world, everything is made up of three key elements, color, paper and glue. Over time the inhabitants of this world have started arguing with each other, and soon enough the city was split into different segments based on colour. Koru lives in the outer district, a place where all Colors are welcomed. He goes about his day helping his friends and participating in races until one day when Tap is injured. With the help of a mysterious purple spirit, Tap is healed but Koru inadvertently awakens an ancient evil known as the Bleak, which spreads across the land, sucking the color out of everything. It is now up to our heroes to travel across Tinker, through the different colored sections, restoring peace between the Colors and to save the world from evil.
The story is well executed but isn’t the most original, while the standard accidental hero fights great evil has been used many times before, City of Color features pretty mature themes like racism and individuality, all with broad strokes of course. All the characters are likeable from the adorable Tap to the fiery headed red spirit; the entire cast are memorable, from their character designs to their motives. The world of Tinker is gorgeous and a very interesting setting full of potential for possible sequels in the future.
The gameplay of The Last Tinker is an odd mixture of a 3D collect-a-ton platformer like Banjo Kazooie and Assassins Creed. The game has no jump button, but instead has a parkour system very similar to Assassins Creed; when you hold down the dash button and run onto a object you automatically leap onto it and continue moving across segments of rocks or what have you. The parkour system is well implemented and adds a really nice sense of movement that sets the game apart from most 3D platformers. Along with this parkour system, the games combat is also quite similar to Assassins Creed or the Batman Arkham titles. Basically all you do is mash the B button, dodging out of attacks every now and again and moving between different enemies. As you progress through the game the combat is mixed up a bit by the inclusion of the different color spirits powers, like forcing enemies to flee from you and run into spikes. While these additions are nice, its still not really enough to fully flesh out the combat, which is fine seeing as its not meant to exactly be Street Fighter or anything.
Visually, The Last Tinker is a much needed breath of fresh air and one of the most impressive looking indie titles I have seen to date. Everything just pops with life and detail and the contrasting color pallet adds to the world design. The character designs are all extremely charming, Koru especially. The soundtrack is also very nicely done, with a lot of chilled out guitar tracks, I don’t know why but I get a serious Spyro: A Dragon’s Tail vibe from it. The soundtrack fits the game perfectly, offering a relaxed tone while exploring the world.
If you’re one of those people how have been hankering for a good action platformer as of late, then I highly urge you to pick up The Last Tinker: City of Colour, especially as these titles aren’t being made as much as they used to. It’s obvious that a hell of a lot of time and love was put into this game, as the sheer amount of detail to the world is amazing, especially from such a small team. Not only does the world look great, but the game just feels great, with a real sense of fluidity to movement and a charming if not simple story. If you’re bored by the amount of grey AAA shooters coming out recently, or you just want to go back to a more simple time of 3D platformers like Ratchet and Clank or Jak and Daxter, then you will love The Last Tinker: A City of Colors, and I am hopeful that this isn’t the last we will see of Koru and his pal Tap.
You can purchase The Last Tinker: City of Colors on Steam for PC with a PS4 release coming soon.