Remember that blurry photo in the tabloids that looked like Tearaway was leaving Assassin’s Creed’s home very early in the morning and there was all that speculation? Well of course not, because that would be absurd, these are video games and not human beings. However The Last Tinker is definitely the illegitimate love child of those two games and is something of a surprise too.
The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a real throwback to the 3D platformers of the PS2 and XBOX era, a game that just wants you to jump in and have a good time. But it still has a very well written story with a few deeper meanings.
You play as Koru, who lives in the Outer District where colours can mix without any issues. But away from the outer district there is major segregation, reds cannot mix with blues, who cannot mix with greens, who cannot mix with reds. It is up to Koru to help the world and bring harmony to the various districts once again.
When the game first starts, it is apparent that there is somewhat of a social commentary going on in the story that mirrors many of the issues in our own world, but and here is the big thing… It isn’t at all pushing any ideals onto you the player and how the story all fits together is actually pretty heartwarming.
It is a very basic story truth be told, but this is a game that is aimed at families and younger audiences and it has that traditional moral element to it that you’d find in many family TV programmes and that is fine. The characters themselves are likable and are all very well designed and that mixed with the story will keep even the younger ones engaged for the seven or so hours the game lasts.
The visuals of The Last Tinker are wonderful too. This is a world where the concept is that it has been fully hand crafted from paper and other materials and even on close inspection you cannot help but be impressed by the over aesthetic. It isn’t quite at Tearaway levels, but it is beautiful and even the odd framerate dip doesn’t dampen the beauty.
One issue that can plague a 3D platformer is in how it is controlled, how you navigate and how the combat works and again The Last Tinker seems to have got these elements well balanced. Koru can’t jump, but instead navigates any climbable elements by holding R2 and free-running. This works just as well as you’d see in Assassin’s Creed and it really satisfying to do.
The same goes with combat, it is like a toned down version of what you’d see in Assassin’s Creed and even the Rocksteady Batman games, where you flow between enemies, dodging and hitting combos as you go and again for a game like this, it feels surprisingly well put together and without any hint of frustration.
Mixed in with the traversing of the world and the combat are some very basic puzzle elements and here is one part where it can get a little tedious at times. Some of the puzzles are basic, which is fine, but they do feel a little drawn out in places in what feels like an attempt to artificially add some extra play time to a fairly short game. Thankfully though these drawn out puzzles only seem to appear every now and again, as for the most part the pacing seems just about right.
The Last Tinker: City of Colors isn’t a game that will immediately grab your attention and is unlikely to change any opinions on the genre, but what you do have is a well put together middle of the road game that can be enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in platformers. Especially welcoming for those introducing children into gaming.