More fun than a barrel of monkeys – The Last Tinker: City Of Colours
We remember the good old days, the magical era of the ps2 (and Xbox for those weird glue eating kids.) Games had colour, new and wonderful ideas were welcome and 3D platformers ruled the market. Then for some reason someone, somewhere decided that colour was lame and humping chest high walls was all the fun we needed. Now in this bleak time, those of us who still enjoy fun usually have had to turn to the indie scene for our platformers. While indie platformers are in abundance, they never have the same feel as the good old games. Could The Last Tinker: City Of Colours change this?
In The Last Tinker: City Of Colours you take on the role of Koru, a monkey-like orphan from Colourtown. After being tricked into unleashing a destructive force known as the bleakness upon Colourtown Koru has to harness the power of the colour spirits to restore colour, life and hopefully unity to the broken city. To do this, Koru must run, jump, grind, swing and fight his way through the different districts of Colourtown in an Assassins creed-esque style of platforming. As you find and break open balls of colour, the vitality will return to the area much in the same way as in Okami or Prince of Persia. In fact The Last Tinker: City Of Colours has a few things in common with Prince of Persia from the linear yet open world level structure to the deadly goop that reaches out for you as you pass near. Admittedly though, The Last Tinker does it better.
The platforming flows well and makes even the slightest of jumps look impressive but it lacks the challenge of conventional platforming. This is a gripe we’ve always had with this style but with it’s growing popularity resistance is starting to seem futile. The challenge therefore lies in timing puzzles and grind rail sections. The combat is also way too easy to be considered challenging. It does work and is fair, it’s just that you feel unstoppable and this was with us playing on the hardest mode.
The Last Tinker: City Of Colours is a game clearly aimed at children. This is obvious from its bright coloured graphics style to its simplicity to its heavy handed message about segregation and unity. The residents of Colour Town have all separated into different colours, the red district, the blue district and green district. With only one mixed colour part of town left it is becoming increasingly socially unacceptable to mix colours of fraternise with those of different colours. Sound familiar? As the Members of the different districts spend more time apart they start developing more unhealthy behaviour. Aggression for the reds, cowardice for the greens and sadness in the blues. In this, the game makes the point that the isolation of a society can have more psychologically damaging effects that what is seen on the surface. This adversity starts to be overcome as all the citizens of Colourtown have to work together to repair the damage wrought by the bleakness. The fact that it takes a calamity to bring the colours together is, sadly, a lot more realistic than would be in most children’s stories and for the game to show that and not sugarcoat it is respectable. While the obvious racism reference is slapping the players in the face like a giant steak, we feel that there are some deeper and more subtler points to look out for too.
The game’s locales shine in their presentation. With its completely unique style (possibly somewhere between Viva Pinata and Little Big Planet) and bright vibrant colours the game positively jumps to life. The three districts are all themed after their respective colours and the contrast between these areas and those affected by the pure white of the bleakness has a sad beauty to it. The game manages to invoke all the right feelings at all the right times with its visuals. It handles its soundtrack just as well. The music is the kind that sounds great while also not grabbing your attention allowing you to concentrate on the game itself. The one exception to this is a particularly moving orchestral piece which we can’t say much about without spoiling one of the coolest parts of the game. If you do play this game that is something to look forward to though.
The Last Tinker: City Of Colours is a great game that addresses some extremely important issues. It has great and original graphics and a soundtrack to match. it’s only problems are its over simplicity and that it doesn’t really have anything to do with being a tinker. It’s the kind of game you play more for the ride than the challenge but if you’re in the mood for a colourful and exceptionally well executed platformer then give it a go.
The Last Tinker: City Of Colours is now available on Steam.