Tools Up! | PS4 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Tools Up! is a local co-op party game, developed by The Knights of Unity and published by All In! Games. It's another shout at your friends and loved ones kind of game where you are against the clock trying to work together as a team to renovate and decorate a selection of homes and gardens. It is available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purposes of this review, I was playing on the PlayStation version, with both Tina and Laura. Myself and Tina were on the same PlayStation 4, and Laura was on her PlayStation 5.
The first thing to say about Tools Up! is that if you are familiar with games like Overcooked!, then you will have a bit of a headstart with this. Played along the same lines as the previously mentioned game, in Tools Up! you have to play as team of up to 4 players, and work very well together to decorate and renovate various homes and gardens that are presented to you in each of the levels of the game. What we found out quite early on is that with a lack of any tutorial, you are literally thrown into the game with just a quick sketch on screen that acts as the breakdown of how to perform one of your tasks. You are then plunged into the chaos of the game, which can be frantic at times, just like those cooking games, but in between all the shouting and swearing, there is also that sense of achievement once your little team eventually manages to complete a task or finish off the current level that you are playing on.
There is a blueprint on each level that can be used to see what tasks are there for you. It also allows whoever is using it to rotate the screen, which is handy for catching those walls you have inadvertantly forgotten to strip, paint, or paper. There is a recycle bin to dispose of any rubbish you collect along the way, most of the time requiring multiple trips back and forth to empty. Also, while you are all busy running around getting on with your tasks, there will be deliveries at the front door, which requires one of the team to physically accept the delivery item, or else the chap dropping off the goods will just head back with them, and you will then need to wait until he calls back later for another chance to collect the items you need.
There are various scenarios and locations laid out both in the main game and in the DLC with the DLC taking you out of the house itself and into the garden. There are 3 episodes in the current Garden Party DLC, The Tree House, Tunnel Vision, and Home Sweet Home, and each of the contains 15 new levels. Each episode can be purchased seperately or you can grab a them all in the Renovation Bundle, which will save you some money on the content.
The visuals in Tools Up! are quirky and fun, and as mentioned before, you get the option to rotate the screen with the help of the blueprint, so you are not fixed on the one camera. As also mentioned before, there will be a lot of shouting in this game, all aimed at your kids, at your partners, and at your friends, but hey, that is all just part of the fun with this game.
At the end of the day, Tools Up! will either be a game that you love, or a game that you hate. If you enjoy Overcooked! and games similar to that, then you will probably enjoy Tools Up! with it's similar style of game mechanics, but with the different game setting. Both myself and my little team of home renovaters grew increasingly more frustrated as we went on with our playthrough, but to be fair, we are not overly big fans of the cooking games. I would definitely have to lower my rating for Tools Up! though due to the earlier mentioned lack of any tutorial and for the way you are just thrown in to the main game, and are left to just work out what to do among your team. Some might see this as an added learning curve, but it just added more frustration to the already high amounts that we were suffering, while we tripped over buckets and missed deliveries at the front door. It was kind of a fun experience, but unfortunately, the frustration for us did outweigh any of that fun. g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 3 half-papered walls out of 5.
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Many thanks to Plan of Attack for the Review Key.