As far as modern platformers go, The Last Tinker is far from ground-breaking. Still, it’s fun and creative with oodles of charm, shunning tropes and gimmicks for a more substantive, traditional videogame experience.
City of Colors is the first major release for developer Mimimi Productions and is bound for PlayStation 4 later this year.
As Koru, players are tasked with restoring colour to a world besieged by the Bleak, a horde of grunts led by a malevolent spirit. Along the way you will encounter numerous personalities as you bound from stage to stage, navigating their terrain and conquering a series of puzzles.
The Last Tinker plays out like most platformers, adopting a third person perspective and steadily rolling out a number of overlapping mechanics.
As the title implies, colour has an integral role in the game, with red, green, and blue signifying Koru’s three main powers. These are picked up as the story progresses, adding extra depth to both the combat and puzzle-solving.
The Bleak will continue to crop up from time to time with melee encounters relying on a simple attack and evade system. At first it comes across as bare-boned and one-dimensional, players lashing out with combos before dodging an attack and repeating the process. In truth, this tempo never changes though a list of upgrades and growing pool of enemy types help to keep things fresh.
In between bouts, you’ll often find yourself exploring each stage, smashing crates, scouring for collectibles and attempting to solve puzzles. For the most part these are fairly straightforward and often creative, allowing Koru to use his new-found powers outside of combat.
Players can also enlist the help of Biggs and Bomber for both creative solutions and a healthy dose of humour. The former, a hulking fungal giant, can be used to trigger switches whereas Bomber can spontaneously explode, clearing debris and other obstacles in your path.
Tinkerworld itself is perhaps the game’s highlight. Characters and environments have a colourful arts and crafts vibe to them, with paint splatters and cardboard props. Even when void of colour, it still looks great, mainly thanks to its consistent art direction, supplemented by a warming soundtrack.
For seasoned platformer fans, The Last Tinker offers little in the way of jaw-dropping moments. Though fun, the game’s depth is limited by slight repetition and mechanics that don’t help to diversify the minute-to-minute flow. With that said, Mimimi clearly has a younger audience in mind and for them it will prove a solid, budget-sized romp.