Michael Leparc On September 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

The Last Tinker City of Colors windmill_00The Playstation 4 is a not a platform currently awash in kids friendly titles. Other than launch title Knack (which is actually quite difficult), it’s hard to point to a game that appeals to the youngsters both on visual terms and in storytelling. The Last Tinker: City of Colors, appears aimed to fill that niche, coming off its relative success on PC, which you can read about in our earlier review.

While I try to avoid categorizing games as only for certain audiences, it’s clear from the plot that there pretty simple moral to the story being imparted here. It revolves around a character named Koru who lives on the outskirts of Colortown. As the name implies, everything and everyone in Colortown has their own bright, primary colors to it. We learn that these colors used to mix and get along in the past, but now they’re segregated into their own districts of the town as discrimination between the reds, blues, and greens breaks out. In comes a new threat, the Bleakness, which threatens to wipe out all the color in town and begin anew. Your job as the diversely colored Koru is to rescue everyone and get them working together again. Surely this isn’t an allegory for the problems we face in the real world or anything like that. Naaaah.

Playing the game is fairly straightforward as well. While it is a 3D platformer in a sense, you won’t be doing much actual jumping save for the freestyle running you can perform by holding down the right trigger (like a certain Ubisoft game), or hopping over obstacles while grinding rails (a la Sonic Adventure 2, only a bit more annoying due to motion blur making things hard to see). Koru also borrows his fighting approach from games like the Arkham series, chaining strikes together while countering or dodging when an indicator that someone is about to attack floats over your head. Later on those ever present colors will factor into your attacks, giving them different effects like fear and stun or allowing you to shoot from far away instead of entering the fracas. There’s some puzzles tossed in for good measure, but the designers seem keenly aware of their intended audience and thus they aren’t too difficult.

Where The Last Tinker really stands out is in its graphics and art design. The town is built out of brightly colored paper, reminiscent of Tearaway on the Playstation Vita, only with the advantage of being played out on the big screen (though the remote play feature works brilliantly as well, as that’s how I spent most of my time with the game actually). My only qualms with it are the inconsistent framerate. It’s clear that the game was not optimized for some of the outdoor portions, as you can really see it struggle with draw distance. I think Loot Entertainment should have done more testing of this when porting the game, as this was a known issue on the PC version, where unlike PS4 you can actually tweak the draw distance yourself. Thoughtfully, the game actually includes a colorblind mode! As a colorblind gamer myself I must commend the original developer, Mimimi Productions, for doing this. The palette the game uses actually differentiates red and green enough for me (see Bust-A-Move for an example of a game that gets it irritatingly wrong), but for those with more severe colorblindness I’m sure it’s a godsend. The only downside is it shifts everything into the purple end of the spectrum, making things look really weird. Lastly, the soundtrack does its job without being too memorable, and there is no voice acting to speak of unfortunately, though I understand that may have been a budget issue. Besides, kids need to learn to read, right?

While this game isn’t terribly deep or long or all that original, it’s hard to knock The Last Tinker for what it is, a joyful 3D platformer for all ages, just particularly for the younger set in my opinion. This is a decent download title to pick up for the family if you’re looking for something like that on your Playstation 4.


Pretty simple, but serviceable enough. Rail grinding is a pain though.


The best executed part of the game actually, just some framerate issues in this port knocking it down another point.


You won’t mind hearing this game in the background as your kid plays it.


A game that doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, just has a certain audience in mind.

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