A million bullets, almost as large as a person, flying at you from all directions. The source of these dangerous flying projectiles: turrets.
We have arrived at a point in gaming where bleak, ‘realistic’ graphics are a regular occurrence, especially in AAA titles. This is strange when you realize that some of the enjoyment of older games, such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, came from the bright, colourful visuals that filled our screens.
The Last Tinker: City of Colors has been in development at Mimimi Productions for the past couple of years in an attempt to bring vibrancy back to our bleak lives. During this time, it has won several awards, from Best Project at Game Connection 2011, to Best Graphics at Indie Vault 2013. Time has now come to check out the completed product, and identify whether this is a worthwhile title to add to your Steam library.
There is no denying how much fun I had exploring the world of Colortown, despite a few isolated times when I was either frustrated, or bored by the individual mission I had been assigned. Others seemed basic, like going from A to B, but the space between them was always full of excitement.
Later on in the game, you spend several minutes walking around, and talking to a few characters in order to uncover something. I found this fairly lacking compared to the other missions that I had completed beforehand. Yes, there was a small conflict with the enemy, but by this time it is fairly easy, and less exciting, to take on the monsters face to face.
Knowing the game had some puzzles, I expected to face frustration at times. There were a couple of difficult areas that I figured out after a few minutes. However, one mission took me a lot longer because part of the thing I needed was on the opposite side of the area. I only found it because I was trying to earn enough currency to buy a skill I thought I needed.
Controls and Game-play
At the beginning, you only have two controls: move, and look around. Over the course of the introduction, you are introduced to the basic controls that you need to traverse the landscape, and defend yourselves. These are built on as your progress throughout the game, but they are spaced out so you are not overloaded.
Fighting is fairly basic in the beginning. You have your classic ‘left-click’ to hit. You can dodge, and combo a hit to the end of it. Later on, you will unlock powers that can come in handy when dealing with stronger enemies, and that will help in traversing the environment ahead. New enemies are added on a regular basis to provide a new challenge. Each time, it is up to you to work out how to defeat them.
For those who want to push on and ignore the story, only important cutscenes actually relinquish control from the character. Other times, you can stop and read what the characters are saying, or continue on your merry way. This is something I wished other games did, but I can see a problem with it’s use in The Last Tinker. Part of the story that you can run past actually ties up why the chain of events started happening in the first place.
Graphics and Sound
Mimimi Productions did well in bringing a colourful experience to current technology. I highly recommend playing on the highest settings possible for your machine, or even firing them all the way up just to admire the beauty for a bit. I especially like how the colour of the character becomes bleaker as you come closer to death.
The Last Tinker has a great soundtrack, which is actually available if you preorder the game before it’s May 12th release. They use these compositions to the advantage with the addition of an area focused on music. This is where my favourite song is played, just as you are leaving the area.
Having not played all story-based games, I cannot say that the plot is definitely ‘unique’. It is, however, something I have not seen before. The way they used the natures associated with certain colors pushed this further, and it is always nice to see a game drive home a morale message.
My favourite character was easily Biggs. He reminds me of Hodor from Game of Thrones with his big stature and apparent idiocy. When you whistle him, he follows you round with a goofy smile that brightens up your day. Partnered with his adorable sounds, you can not help but fall in love with Biggs, a mushroom creature that, luckily, plays an integral part throughout the entire game.
If you are a sucker for collectibles, you could always try to find all the golden paintbrushes. Most of these can be found as you go through the story, while others will require you to double-back once you have unlocked a new skill/power.
Apart from that, the only other option is to try higher difficulties, unless you went straight to the top when you launched the game.
I loved my adventure, and I do not think it would have been the same without the bright colours, beautiful music, and Biggs. Apart from the odd frustrating, or boring, mission, there was a huge variety of challenges that kept the excitement flowing. Do not dismiss it as a kids game because of it’s style, it is definitely something I would recommend to anyone.