The Last Tinker: City of Colors

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
The Last Tinker: City of Colors Game Poster Image
Provocative third-person adventure fights bigotry, hatred.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about social and cultural acceptance while practicing their puzzle-solving skills in this colorful action-adventure game. Its story about a city divided into districts by color and may be taken as an allegory for the tension created by cultural and racial differences. Most players will immediately see some basic similarities to situations in the real world. While they're taking in the metaphorical narrative, kids also will have a chance to solve some pretty basic contextual puzzles that involve clearing obstacles or completing simple tasks. The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a lot of fun and has more on its mind than your typical action-adventure game.

Positive Messages

The narrative centers on people who favor varying colors overcoming their differences to become a single cohesive, supportive community. It can be taken as an allegory for embracing racial and cultural differences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Koru works tirelessly to help his friends and fellow citizens. Sometimes this involves completing mundane tasks, such as aiding a farmer, while other times it involves physically defending people from enemies.

Ease of Play

Controls for most actions, including movement, grinding rails, and fighting, are pretty standard for third-person action-adventure games and should prove intuitive for most players. Combat isn't too challenging, and checkpoints are plentiful. 

Violence & Scariness

Koru uses his fists to beat up fantastical enemies in cartoonish combat, causing them to become stunned or disintegrate. He can also throw globs of color at his enemies to inflict damage. Some characters become frozen in place and look terrified when a slime called the "bleakness" sucks the color from their bodies.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a downloadable third-person action-adventure game with some mild cartoonish violence. The game's hero -- a monkey-like creature -- fights fantastical enemies with his fists and throws globs of color at them. The story is set in a city where the citizens are divided based on their color preference and can be viewed as an allegory for racial and cultural differences. It's the player's job to reunite the city by traveling to each segregated district and working with its people to overcome an encroaching color-sucking menace called the "bleakness."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byvalerie j. December 14, 2016

I can't find the game for xbox one as it has been discontinued as of 12/16

I was hoping to get this for a 8 year old girl. Not too many games for girls. Didn't want Barbi. Was disappointed I couldn't find game even doing an A... Continue reading

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What's it about?

THE LAST TINKER: CITY OF COLORS is set in a fantasy town where the inhabitants are obsessed with colors -- just not necessarily the same ones. The city has been broken into districts, and most residents tend to align themselves with a primary color, such as red or blue. Over the years, most of the people in each district have learned to distrust or even dislike people from other districts without any real reason. This opens the door for an evil entity to cover the disconnected city with "bleakness," a colorless white slime that freezes and drains the color from anything it comes in contact with. The only person capable of dealing with this menace is the player's character, Koru, a monkey-like creature who travels from district to district gaining new powers that allow him to defeat the bleakness, restore color to the city and its citizens, and possibly reunite the city by helping the citizens overcome their petty differences.

Is it any good?

Most $20 games feel like $20 games: They may be fun and beautiful, but you can tell they didn't require a team of 100 or more people working for years to create them. But The Last Tinker: City of Colors is a surprisingly lengthy and full-fledged third-person action-adventure game with fun play mechanics, an original look and feel, an unexpectedly affecting story, and a whole lot of places to explore and things to do. It even has those important little extras that make games like these more playable, including navigation hints and a smart checkpoint system. Given its scope and features, it feels like a bargain.

That's not to say it's nearly as polished as, say, a Ratchet & Clank or Mario game. Character animations are a bit stiff, and there's very little voiced dialogue. Plus, the controls can be loose at times, and the camera is occasionally problematic while grinding or moving around in tight quarters. Still, the things this game gets right shine through. Families looking for a smart, fun, safe, and affordable action-adventure game won’t be disappointed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Do you feel a difference watching human characters fight each other in a game versus fantastical creatures with human qualities? 

  • Talk about how to accept and embrace differences such as those found in The Last Tinker. How might we learn from people whose beliefs and experiences differ from our own? Do you ever notice yourself changing how you behave when speaking with someone from another culture? Why do you think people might do this?

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