The Last Tinker™: City of Colors
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

If you remember the golden era of 3D adventure titles such as Zelda, Jak and Daxter and Banjo Kazooie then The Last Tinker is a must. It doesn’t copy these games directly, as is evident by the lack of a jump button, but it does a great job capturing the feel and atmosphere of the titles that inspired it. The colorful and vibrant gameworld is a joy to explore and the puzzles involving colors as well as strange Mushroom people are loads of fun.

Gameplay: Perfectly captures the look and feel of the 3D adventures of the Playstation and PS2 era.

Graphics: Colorful visuals with some great character designs.

Sound: An exotic soundtrack with plenty of memorable tunes

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The Last Tinker™: City of Colors

Developer: Mimimi Productions | Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Colortown was once a happy and prosperous place where the different colored inhabitants worked and lived together in harmony. Things changed however, and the districts became distrustful of each other, closing their gates to outsiders. Koru, the simian protagonist of the game, lives in the Outer District, which is the only place where citizens of all colors still mix freely. While Koru receives a lot of flak for his appearance, he is a rather laid back character, and it is not until a mysterious bleakness starts to take over Tinkerworld that he is forced to take action and reunite the citizens of Colortown.

The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a 3D action adventure that will be a blast from the past for players that fondly remember title such as Banjo Kazooie and Jack and Daxter on consoles. These types of games were very popular during the Playstation and Playstation 2 era, but apart from Psychonauts not many made the leap to PC. As Koru it is your task to explore the various districts of Colortown and unite the different colored inhabitants as they flee from the bleakness that has been unleashed upon their world. Joining him on his quest is Tap, a little piñata type creature, that is not only his best friend, but also guide for the game.

One thing is for sure, Mimimi Productions have definitely crafted one of the most vibrant and colorful gameworlds that I have seen in recent years. Every scene is just bursting with color and the paper mache style characters and objects give the game even more charm. As the “last tinker” Koru is the only simian type character in the game with other non player characters ranging from lizards and blue bears to cute turtle/bunny hybrids. The different colored critters have all taken on the characteristics of their colors so the reds are a fiery tempered bunch while the blues are sad and the greens very cautious.

Also inhabiting the world is mushroom people who Koru must use to solve some of the puzzles, but more on them later. As far as the visuals are concerned The Last Tinker is a breath of fresh air amongst all the brown and gray games that have dominated the market in recent years. Some areas are intentionally devoid of color due to the “bleakness” that has taken over, but this makes everything look even more spectacular when you restore the colors. As color plays such an important role in the game, it is also great to see that the developers have implemented a colorblind mode to ensure that everyone can enjoy the adventure.

The Last Tinker might look like a typical platform title, but this isn’t actually the case. In fact, the game doesn’t even have a dedicated jump button and instead you hold down the “run” button to traverse platforms in similar fashion to the Assassin’s Creed games. This Parkour style traversing does mean that there is very little difficulty involved with the platforming sections although, at times, good timing or use of special powers is required for tricky spots. Combat plays a large role in the game and Koru is quite adept with his fists. Initially, most enemies can be stomped with some button mashing, but later foes require a bit more skill and finesse to beat. Some of the bigger foes and larger groups of enemies are much easier to defeat with proper use of your powers than by simply wading in with fists and feet flailing.

As you explore the vibrant environments you’ll encounter plenty of crates and barrels that require smashing to reveal their crystalline contents. Crystals are the currency of this game and is used to purchase new moves from the vending machines that you’ll find in town. With some diligent searching, you will also find hidden paint brushes which unlock concept art and extras such as “big head mode” which is something that I haven’t seen in games for quite some time now. You can brace yourself for some puzzle solving as well, but The Last Tinker has a very unique approach to these sections. While Koru have to solve some of the puzzles on his own most of the time you will have to make use of the Mushroom people to help you out. These friendly critters come in two varieties, Biggs which is the larger of the two and then the much smaller Bomber. Koru can whistle to maneuver Biggs or Bomber around and then interact with them using his color powers. For example, the red power is used to make Biggs stomp on certain buttons while it causes Bomber to explode and destroy cracked walls or rock piles in the process. The way you interact with the two Mushroom people to solve puzzles is very charming and clinging to back of Biggs scared by the green power as he smashes through obstacles or picking up and stuffing Bomber down pipes  to maneuver him to new platforms is quite funny.

While you are free to explore new areas your path through The Last Tinker is fairly linear and there is never any danger of getting lost. Tap can be activated with the press of a button to show you where to go for your next objective and there are plenty of checkpoints in each area. Even on the “Normal” difficulty setting the game is very easy which is great for younger gamers, but those with a bit more experience should definitely opt for the harder modes. There are about 30 levels in total and it took me just over ten hours to complete the story, although I still had plenty of achievements to earn and hidden brushes to find so completionists will be kept busy for much longer.

The audio is every bit as charming and memorable as the visuals with a soundtrack that features some of the most exotic instruments I’ve ever heard in a game. I love how each district incorporated the emotions of the inhabitants not only in the visuals, but the music as well. For the extra couple of dollars the soundtrack edition of the game is well worth it. Character speech on the other hand is gibberish and large, floating text bubbles is used to convey what they are really saying. Koru is a silent protagonist so his little partner Tap usually handles all the conversations. Some people might find the squeaks and squeals from the characters adorable while others may find it annoying, so it comes down to personal preferences whether you will like this approach or not.

Despite the low challenge factor I had a lot of fun with The Last Tinker and the developers definitely succeeded in recreating the 3D adventure feel of the games that they drew their inspiration from. In fact, someone asked me if I was playing an HD remake of a PS2 game when they saw The Last Tinker in action! The game is very polished and I encountered no bugs or glitches during my entire playthrough. There was only one occasion where Koru slid down a platform and got stuck, but the reset character option in the pause menu quickly took care of that. The length of the game felt just right and some interesting elements such as solving a mystery and conducting an orchestra later in the game helped to keep things fresh.

If you yearn for a colorful 3D adventure title, then make sure that you do not miss out on The Last Tinker. Mimimi Productions have created an interesting and unique gameworld, and hopefully we will see more of it in the future. The game is packed with humor and charm that will appeal to both young and old. Those expecting a challenging platform title may be disappointed, but everyone else will have fun with this delightful and lighthearted adventure.

*Review originally published May 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3 32-bit
  • Processor: Intel Dual-Core 2.6 GHz / AMD Dual-Core Athlon 3.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM 3.0 with 512MB VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT / AMD Radeon HD 4650 or greater
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse with mouse-wheel.
  • OS: Windows 7 or higher
  • Processor: Quad-Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM 3.0 with 1GB VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 / AMD Radeon HD 4830 or greater
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • Additional Notes: Xbox 360 controller.
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
  • Processor: Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 640M / ATI Radeon HD 5750 with at least 512MB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse with mouse-wheel.
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.10 LTS
  • Processor: Intel Dual-Core 2.9 GHz / AMD Dual-Core 3.5 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM 3.0 with 512MB VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti / AMD Radeon HD 6670 or greater
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Keyboard and mouse with mouse-wheel. To run the game on a 64-bit system you have to install the 32-bit libraries. (sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-0:i386 libpangox-1.0-0:i386 libpangoxft-1.0-0:i386 libidn11:i386 libglu1-mesa:i386, sudo apt-get install ia32-libs)
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, other unsupported distros may work
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0Ghz or equivalent
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better (Open Source Drivers NOT SUPPORTED)
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • Sound Card: lib32-alsa-plugins or libasound2-plugins:i386 and libasound2-plugins-extra:i386 may be required.
  • Additional Notes: NOT SUPPORTED: ATI Radeon X1600, Intel GMA950, NVIDIA Geforce 7050
  • OS: Ubuntu 13.10
  • Processor: Quad-Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM 3.0 with 1GB VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 / AMD Radeon HD 7970 or greater
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Xbox 360 controller. Proprietary GPU drivers installed. To run the game on a 64-bit system you have to install the 32-bit libraries. (sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-0:i386 libpangox-1.0-0:i386 libpangoxft-1.0-0:i386 libidn11:i386 libglu1-mesa:i386, sudo apt-get install ia32-libs)

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