27th Apr2014

‘The Last Tinker: City of Colors’ [P]review (PC/Mac)

by Phil Wheat

In a world where creativity has given way to conflict, a young street kid living in the slums of Colortown seeks to restore the spark of imagination to his hometown. As Koru, you must harness the power of color to defeat the Bleakness and make Colortown vibrant once again. A charming blend of modern platforming and multicolored style, The Last Tinker: City of Colors harkens back to an era of gaming that has, in recent generations been somewhat abandoned.

Reminiscent of old-school platform games such as Crash Bandicoot and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, The Last Tinker actually looks, feels and sounds a lot like the underrated title Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, which was developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Nintendo GameCube back in 2003. With similar colorful, fun out-of-this-world environments and a cast of strange off-beat characters in a game that manages to not only have a captivating story-line, but also covers present-day issues on culture and racism – no mean feat for what many would consider, on the surface, to be a kids platforming game!

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There is apparently over 8 hours of action-packed puzzle and fighting gameplay within The Last Tinker; and whilst I’ve only touched upon the surface of this game in the time I have had a hands-on with it, what I have played does a great job of introducing Colortown, its cast of characters and the basic techniques that you need to get master to get through the game – which if you’re familiar with other 2D/3D platformers are easily to get to grips with, especially considering The Last Tinker features full Xbox 360 controller support on PC/Linux and DualShock 3 controller support on Mac. Bonus!

The early aspect of the game involves players making their way around the colourful landscape, collecting enough cash to enter “the big race” and learning how to attack enemies, destroy boxes (which feels a LOT like Crash Bandicoot) and generally get around the vast worlds with the game. Interestingly, The Last Tinker has taken a leaf out of the Assassin’s Creed handbook as running and climbing combine into swift movements through the use of simple button presses – which thankfully makes some of the platforming much simpler for both inexperienced and younger players (which is the games true target audience).

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There’s a lot to like about The Last Tinker: City of Colors, for those who grew up on the types of faux-3D platformers that were synonymous with the Playstation One era there’s a great retro feel to the game – harkening back to simpler, and some would say more fun, times; whilst for youngsters, the bright colours, the buckets of charm, the cute characters and kid-friendly gameplay will easily have them hooked. The Last Tinker isn’t the next big thing in platform gaming but it deserves to find an appreciative audience on Steam.

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