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The Last Tinker: City Of Colors - Review by Andy Urquhart (PS4)

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Harkening back to the PS2 and Nintendo64 golden era of 3D platformers along the lines of Donkey Kong 64, Jak & Daxter, Mario 64, Sly Cooper et all was never going to be easy but that is what The Last Tinker: City Of Colors sets out to achieve.

The first thing you'll notice on booting up the game for the first time is just how ridiculously colourful it is (oh by the way color is spelt colour in Europe not sure why the game wasn't localised to reflect this). The game absolutely pops off the screen and assaults your eyeballs with as many colours as you could possibly imagine. This makes a huge and memorable impact that most games struggle to achieve.

The storyline here is simple fare, bad thing happens, people are enslaved, good guy must free them and aquire new powers along the way to defeating the big bad. Howeverthere are some very dark underlying themes of segregation and racism that make it pack just that little bit more of a punch than you;re run of the mill platformer.

Gameplay is a mix of puzzle platforming and beating on enemies. Both of which become increasingly complicated as you delve further into the game. Some puzzles require the use of your giant/small mushroom friend to progress, his abilities expand alongside yours as the game progresses. You also have your companion ??? a floating ??? to keep you pointed in the right direction (by pressing down on the d-pad). You can travese levels using various climable ropes, ramps and vines, however it should be noted that unlike most platformers The Last Tinker opts to forgoe the use of a traditional jump button (usually X) and instead has a forward roll (you can jump by pressing R1 however it has absolutely zero effect on anything and you cannot move in any direction while jumping). This is somewhat jarring at first but you do get used to it. Instead they use an Assassins Creed style free running system (hold R2 and push forward) for progressing through platforming areas. Whilst this takes away some if not all of the challenge that would be present in performing theses sections with a traditional jump, it does make the experience more fluid. However you must hit exit the intitial jump at the exact right area or you will fall, many times when you are seemingly in the correct position.

Early in the game towards the tail end of the prologue section you will be faced with a stealth mission which is very hard and almost makes you want to quit playing as there's no instruction whatsoever on what to do. If you are seen you fail, if you step on the carpet you fail, if you make too much noise you fail. It seems impossible to progress, it isn't there is just one route, which is not obvious at all, all other routes you fail. (Check out this video if you are stuck here)
Persevere with it as this is the only stealth section in the game. Aside from the terrible stealth section and the no jumping (which can be mostly forgiven) the gameplay is generally solid.

Overall The Last Tinker: City Of Colors is an enjoyable experience and is positioned in a very uncrowded market on the PS4 it’s easily better than Knack and sits just below the Lego games. The campaign took me approximately 13 hours to beat on normal, which is an excellent return at the PSN store price of 11.59 (8.69 with playstation Plus).

Andy Urquhart
42 Level One

 

Overall Score - 7/10