NEW YORK (CNS) — Real-life home improvement can be hard work. But even the most amateur handyman can make a masterpiece out of a mess in “Tools Up!” (All In! Games).
Playing solo or on a team with friends, gamers take on the role of a whimsical repairman tackling renovation like a pro. This fun title is suitable for all ages.
Fans of the cooperative cuisine-themed game “Overcooked” (Team17) will recognize similarities with “Tools Up!”
The charming, bumbling characters speak in gibberish as they maneuver around the home. Gamers must work their way up through a building, door to door, hammering out repairs as quickly as possible before the clock runs out. There are 30 levels to complete in all.
There is no detailed tutorial mode, but the commands are easy to pick up on after a little trial and error. Each room presents its own unique, timed tests and a blueprint displaying the objective, whether it’s simply applying fresh coats of paint or tearing down wallpaper, mixing up glue, laying down new carpet and moving furniture.
The premise is straightforward enough: Strip out the old, install the new, and don’t forget to clean up the messes! However, in addition to the timer, the other obstacles introduced at the higher levels do make this simple-sounding objective a challenge.
Some rooms require players to wait for a delivery of supplies, so time management is an important consideration. Other levels introduce an adorable puppy wreaking havoc around the workspace. Once the repairs are complete, spills must be cleaned up to achieve the highest scores.
The artwork is cartoonish and cute, with really smooth graphic displays. Overall gameplay is quick as all the levels can be cleared in under 10 hours. Add to these assets its challenging level design and enjoyable background music, and “Tools Up!” registers as an engaging title for the whole family.
Playable on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows.
The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rating is E — everyone.
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Smith reviews video games for Catholic News Service.