The Last Tinker: City of Colours (I’m spelling it the English way) is just the type of game that cleanses your gaming palette, a refreshing change of pace and for quite simplistic game it has a very important message. It’s bright, colourful and most importantly it rams home the fact that racism is very, very shit.
Sometimes there are games that come along that look so cute and colourful that you just want to play them. You know full well that they might not necessarily be the most challenging of games or the game that’s going to get you mega cool points with your online friends when they see you playing it but every now and again it’s refreshing to play something that isn’t just a brown / grey shooter with a gruff male lead character.
In The Last Tinker you play as Koru a monkey boy with a floating sheep thing for a best friend who is pretty nimble and likes running and jumping about the wondrous place of Colour Town. Now Colur Town used to be this bustling city where everyone lived together but over time the town has broken apart and divided itself into four areas; The Red District where all the angry red lizard people live, The Green district where the scared green tortoise people stay, the Blue area which houses the clinically depressed blue bears and finally the Market District which is the only place where all the different colours come together.
It’s a pretty basic set up with a chain of events happening that means the colour is being wiped from all the different districts of Colour Town by The Bleakness and Koru and his little sheep friend tap have to save the day by ultimately bringing everyone together and stop being so damn racist towards each other.
I’ve already mentioned it a handful of times but the game is so damn bright and colourful. It really is a refreshing change. The world itself looks realy great with the extremely cartoon style. According to the games lore Colourtown (which is in Tinkerworld) is made by people being anything that can be put together, so when I was in the market district I thought to myself “Christ those are some bad textures on the fruit stall” when in fact the it was supposed to look like that; apples, bananas and pears were drawn onto blocks of cardboard. It’s stupidly bloody charming.
So it looks nice but what does it play like? The Last Tinker is a cross between a platform and 3rd person action in most part with the now arbitrary Batman style fighting configuration in full effect during battles. The platforming itself is extremely straight forward, Koru can jump around like the ape that he is and also has the ability to free run ala all the Assassins Creed games. It’s all very simplistic with you just needing to keep hold of the trigger button to leap onto a rope and slide around the town or to jump onto obstacles that allow you to hop over drops into the abyss or drowning in water.
I should really head into the thesaurus now to find another would for simple but it just perfectly describes the combat. I’ve already mentioned it’s akin to Batman with simple button presses doing certain actions and you can easily string together hitting five or six enemies on the trot. You can upgrade your combat abilities as you go up throwing in more powerful punches and air attacks but truth being told you don’t really need them, just single button presses work pretty much against all the enemies.
One thing I found really interesting with the combat is as you progress through the game you gain access to different spirit powers which all give each attack button a different outcome; Red is your normal attack and damages an enemy, a green attack makes the enemy you hit run away which if used right kills them by sending them running into water or a prickly bush and finall blue makes them frozen for a few seconds allowing you to counter from behind which deals more damage. It added an extra layer to the combat but with you only really having the blue ability for a short amount of time before the end it wasn’t used to the best of it’s abilities.
It all sounds pretty positive so far but there are quite a few things that really did bug me about the game. Not enough to make me really dislike the game I mean, it’s a game telling you racism is shitty and it’s colourful, it’s too charming to be hated. But the frame rate is excruciatingly bad in some places and it really ruins the lovely visuals and makes certain rope sliding sections a right pain in the ass when you are supposed to avoid obstacles on the ropes. Also was the inclusion of a forced stealth level and probably one of the most boring twenty minutes of video games I’ve ever played, a drawn out whodunnit that made me actually turn the game off because it was too boring.