The Last Tinker: City of Colors, the newly released platformer from Mimimi Productions, is a video game that stands out from countless modern titles in a number of ways, creating a video game experience that stays with the player long after their colorful adventure has come to a close. Visually stunning and utterly enjoyable throughout, The Last Tinker, stands tall as not only a reminder that 3D platformers are alive and well as a genre, but also as a testament to creativity in terms of game design. Mimimi Productions has done a wonderful job in creating The Last Tinker, proving once more that those who have become disenfranchised with the modern video game industry need to look no further than the indie game scene for titles that can restore one’s faith in gaming.
At its core, The Last Tinker is a video game that exudes personality from its opening moments. Players take on the role of Koru, a monkey-boy who lives in the slums of Colortown, and are thrown into a quest to save the once-great city from a horrible threat known as the Bleakness – a wash of grey liquid that has spread throughout Colortown’s diverse districts, threatening the lives of every inhabitant. Long before the action even begins in The Last Tinker, players are treated to a vibrant and spunky world that immediately feels alive; doing wonders in terms of drawing the player in and genuinely making them care about Koru’s quest.
Through the game’s opening sequence, in which players are introduced to Koru and the outskirts of Colortown, it immediately becomes clear that The Last Tinker is a game painstakingly created by Mimimi Productions to stand out. Color takes precedence in The Last Tinker and every single location, character and set piece is downright astounding to look out. Colortown, as its name would suggest, is a city of richly colored inhabitants – divided by the three primary colors. Each respective color has their own district in Colortown; where they live divided and hostile towards denizens of other colors. This premise – a colorful city that has become a center of tension due to personality differences between three different factions – is simple, but wonderfully executed throughout the duration of The Last Tinker.
As player’s progress through the game’s opening act, they are taught the basics of Koru’s abilities and movement skills, which becomes the crux of the rest of the experience in The Last Tinker. Koru’s impressive fighting skills and mastery of manipulating the area’s mushroom-like species are taught in small tutorial sections that feel well done without being a bore. Set to the premise of Koru attempting to help out locals in order to raise funds to enter a race, these gameplay mechanics are taught in such a way that they feel natural and serve as a great way to move the narrative’s opening scenes.
Shortly after the race, the plot of The Last Tinker is put on full display and the game’s imaginative and immaculately designed world take center stage. After a shocking twist, Koru and the divided residents of Colortown find themselves trapped against the aforementioned Bleakness. Thanks to the rocky relationship between the three color districts, the Bleakness is able to take over large sections of Colortown, dooming everyone unless someone takes immediate action.
Koru, of course, steps up to save Colortown. By traversing the through each district of Colortown, Koru attempts to not only save residents from the Bleakness, but also awakening the powerful Color Spirits who reside in each area. These Spirits – the angry Red, timid Green and the downright depressed Blue – can give Koru access to their respective abilities, turning him into a hero three distinct powers.
Progression through The Last Tinker is immediately relatable to the classic 3D platformers that once dominated the video game world, if not with a modernized twist. Koru’s leaping and climbing is largely automated by holding a ‘run’ button, as seem in titles like Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. While the ability to control your own jumps does leave some of the game’s platforming moments leave something to be desired, players will generally find themselves too absorbed by the game’s brilliant world to be turned off by this feature.
The Last Tinker: City of Colors boasts numerous locations that Koru must navigate through, each with their own set of challenges that stand in the way. From combating Bleak-filled enemies, to guiding explosive mushrooms across stages, players will continually find that gameplay in The Last Tinker does its best to stay fresh at all times. By combining these different gameplay moments with the game’s rich world and enjoyable story, The Last Tinker is a wonderfully enjoyable experience throughout.
Visually, it cannot be said enough just how great The Last Tinker: City of Colors looks. The game’s vibrant colors and unique character designs are near-bursting at the seams with charisma and personality, creating for a video game that actually draws the player in. Few video games in recent times have managed to truly capture the imagination of a player like The Last Tinker can.
Outside of the game’s impressive visuals, The Last Tinker also features a soundtrack that perfectly fits the game. Equal parts whimsy at times and haunting at others, the sound design of The Last Tinker is such that the music continually feels just as important as the game’s platforming and visuals.
The Last Tinker: City of Colors will feel completely fresh to those who play it, while still keeping in tradition with the classic 3D platformers that made the genre so popular. With some of the most inspired visuals seen in recent years and a downright enjoyable story and world, The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a treat that every video game fan should enjoy.
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Reviewer’s Statement: The author was given access to The Last Tinker: City of Colors by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing the title.