The Last Tinker: City of Colors Review

A game best played on mute.

A colorful world filled with subpar gameplay and mediocraty.

The Last Tinker: City of Color is a platformer with some light action elements. It features a bright and vibrant world that looks like it was made from cardboard and that’s all there is to say about it that isn’t negative.

The combat is repetitive, and doesn’t do anything to inspire the player to invest in buying new moves for their character. You can simply click the left mouse button until everything is dead. Every once in a while you run up against enemies with shields but all you have to do is hold the left mouse button to break through them. The enemies aren’t memorable or imaginative either, there’s the ones that shoot at you, the guys that melee you and the big guys that take a lot of hits to kill.

The platforming isn’t particularly fun either.

You just hold down spacebar and the game takes care of the rest for you. There are speed rails to grind on that help you traverse the levels and they are littered with traps for you to avoid. Hitting signs causes a small amount of damage and aren’t really a problem, but other obstacles such as bushes will kill you instantly, forcing you to go all the way back to the beginning of the rail to start again. I don’t believe I have sworn so heavily at bushes in my entire life.

Sections of the game require you to use a mushroom friend to clear debris and open gates. You can throw balls of color at him to make him perform different actions, red for example, causes him to give off an explosion if he’s in his tiny form. There was a particular moment where he was hidden behind a wall with a small crack in it, the game clearly wants you to throw a ball at him to destroy the wall and set him free. Ok no problem, except the game’s auto targeting causes you to select a section of the mushroom that can’t be hit no matter where you stand in relation to the crack. I spent the better part of thirty minutes trying to get my ball to hit him to no avail. 

I spent the better part of thirty minutes trying to get my ball to hit him to no avail.

There is a story of some sort in the game but it’s difficult to follow because there’s no voice acting, instead the characters grunt and make noises. This isn’t such a big deal at first, but when you’re playing the game for hours at a time it becomes impossible to overlook. That’s not to say games with no voice acting are terrible, Mario and Zelda are fine examples of how to do this style right, but characters in The Last Tinker make incredibly annoying, high pitched and repetitive grunts constantly.

After 2 or 3 hours of making my ears suffer I finally started playing it on mute.

The Last Tinker: City of Color is a game that should only be played in 15 minute bursts, any more time spent on it than that and it instantly becomes clear that this game is not worth your time or attention.  Save your money for something that deserves to be played.

Our Rating
A game best played on mute.
Published May. 13th 2014
  • Mimimi Productions
    We have implemented the option to lower the volume and/or mute the voices. Looking at the audio settings for a few seconds would have helped your ears a lot. ;)

    Other than that we can only say ... you shouldn't have played the game and passed it to someone else who's more into that kind of stuff and who might have been able to treat it more reasonably (without dramatic effect). ;)
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    1. Combat requires more than just hitting the left button unless you're playing on Easy or Kid's difficulty. I'm not going to call that aspect particularly great but only the very beginning didn't require you to constantly dodge and use power abilities to gain the upper hand.

    2. The platforming is no different than Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia, with a light bit of Ratchet & Clank rail surfing along the way.

    3. The story is not hard to follow. It's about the dangers of taking everything to the extreme (be it anger, sadness, fear, or disunity), and what helps us all realize what is important, along with some light commentary on racial divides + a few moments to pointedly argue against bullying and intolerance. It's a darn good message for kids about moderation and open-mindedness.

    4. How can you not enjoy the game's sound design? It's got the same sort of sound direction as Rayman Legends, and it's in no way more annoying than Mario repeating the same three sound effects or Link sighing repeatedly in different tones to try and symbolize talking.

    5. You apparently forgot the stealth sections of the game, awkward as they may have been they were at least better than Remember Me.

    6. The instance of auto-targeting trouble you're talking about never happened to me. I really suspect that was a glitch.

    7. You keep talking about "hours of suffering" but the game is only about six or so hours long? And dialogue makes up only a sixteenth of that total time at best.

    8. You forgot about the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time style health system.

    9. You also missed the key point of there really only being one good boss fight. That's something actually worth criticizing.

    I don't think it's the greatest title on the planet or anything, just... finding some inconsistencies here with my own playthrough of the game. Hopefully you can clarify?
  • Rocky Linderman
    Featured Contributor
    I've had a few people defend this title to me and every time they do I find myself wondering if we played the same game. I respectfully disagree with all of your counter points good sir.

    1. Combat is super easy on normal and even if you die restart right next to where the action happened thus death has no penalty. That's why I stated you can just click away.

    2. I don't think AC or Prince of Persia's platforming is good either. AC in particular needs a complete overhaul in that department.

    3. The story was simplistic, I just meant it's hard to follow because I found myself so annoyed by the grunts/noises that I skipped through text bubbles as fast as I could.

    4. I don't see the correlation to Tinker and Legends, other than they both have silent protagonists.

    5. I didn't even want to talk about the Stealth scenes because I felt they too were awful.

    6. Even if it is a glitch, that's a game breaking experience. No one's going to sit there and try to get through something like that unless they're being paid to review it.

    7. I did say "hours of suffering" to dramatic effect, I just wanted to emphasize how much I disliked the sound design. The game is only 6hrs long or so like you said, but even just two hours into it and I found myself reaching for that mute button.

    8. I didn't find anything particularly great about that health system that would alter my opinion of the game.

    9. I felt there's so much more to criticize the game over that this wasn't even worth mentioning.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    Yeah... I can see that. You've had an experience with this game like I did with XCOM:EU. In which case, I'm not saying yer wrong... just wondering how the hell you had such a different experience.

    1. That sounds more like just not bothering to use all the mechanics instead of it being the game's fault. In theory, you can do the same thing through most of Batman: Arkham Asylum, simply punching away. However, it's not advisable even though the game's checkpoints are just as fair.

    2. I'm fairly neutral on the issue but providing examples gives context so your readers know what games you do and don't prefer. It's why if something reminds me of getting around inFamous, I say so.

    3. The text bubbles rarely held more than a half a sentence?

    4. They both have whimsical worlds with similar distinctive soundtracks (the desert levels from Back to Origins sections of Legends distinctly came to mind with Tinker's main musical direction), and weird little animal noises for most characters as well. Seriously, go back to Legends, then go to Tinker. It's a similar style of jibber-jabber with text, responses when hit or doing something, etc.

    5. The first one isn't too bad, the second one in Green District is.

    6. That to my knowledge only you have experienced. Report it to the devs, it'll be fixed ASAP.

    7. It's less dramatic than it is just sounding general and unclear. I'll admit looping music got tiring but whenever I went to a new district the tunes changed so I was fine.

    8. I'm not so much saying it's great other than that it should be addressed because it's a distinct style of health rarely used in most games outside of Prince of Persia.

    9. As a reader, I want to know the full extent of things. I know a lot of readers I've spoken to feel the same when they're reading reviews on sites. Some people just glaze over the details but for those seriously wanting a critical reason to avoid something, the more they know, the better. Plus the shipyard turret boss battle is actually a lot of fun. You also leave out what the mushroom men are to full extent, just complaining about them. It makes your argument lack balance and it just sounds more like a rant.

    10. I forgot to mention, also no real reference to the mini-games such as the turret part or the orchestra.

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