Sony

The Last Tinker (PS4)

The Last Tinker_20160319200156

You’re “normal” if you like all colors. Last Tinker isn’t covering a racism allegory lightly. Using softened, sure dialog, Last Tinker speaks to kids about a world divided by hues. Animation and color use is spirited. Character design sprouts a world lush in creativity. Everyone is a different shape. They have different designs, different homes – be and do what you want as an individual, no matter your color. It can be a beautiful world when all is right.

Clever as it is, Last Tinker is stuck, following the joyful aesthetic set up by Little Big Planet, the perfect Tearaway, and the lost gem de Blob. Those three attractively coalesce here, in part. Last Tinker shows a world being ripped of its diverse color while a spunky, silent type with the power of creativity patches things up.

While this has some spirit, the shtick is railroaded by the insistence on violent outbursts. Characters of different color blocking your way? Punch them until they relent, those stupid Reds. Last Tinker mixes messages in a grotesque way, even if the world’s vibrancy embraces an appealing social commentary.

The eventual goal may be to defeat evil all-white demon creatures with cones for heads – again, Last Tinker isn’t subtle – but creating internal conflict between races, solved by fists rather than smarts, reeks of stupidity.

2/5

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