Tools Up! is a fun, couch co-op title focused on home renovations against the clock!
Everything you do in Tools Up! is against the clock. Thankfully, though, you don’t have to actually know how to re-wallpaper or lay carpeting. It’s really easy to pick-up-and-play, but that doesn’t mean you’ll breeze through the levels. All in! Games’ title offers a fun challenge where making a mistake is as hilarious as it is costly. With the capability for up to four players, Tools Up! is definitely a party game you’re going to want to check out.
Tools Up! has home-renovators climbing a mysterious apartment block to escape.
Tools Up! has a strange story to it. Like any party game, the story isn’t too important, so I found it best not to get bogged down on the details. As members of the Tools Up! renovation company, players begin the game by taking a job at an apartment block. All is not as it seems, however, as you are inexplicably trapped the moment you step inside. How do you get out, you might ask? By renovating all the homes and reaching the top.
Each door in the apartment block is a level, and the elevator will take you up a floor once you’ve cleared all the doors. It’s simple enough and a nice way of framing the levels. However, I can’t help but get bugged that each level appears to be some sort of detached bungalow, at least early on in the campaign, yet all of the levels are situated in an apartment block? It’s a minor detail, for sure, and took me down a strange thought path… I wondered whether the doors were portals or if the apartment block was some insanely high-tech building from the future in which each apartment itself is a simulated detached bungalow? That’s all a bit Black Mirror if you ask me.
Graphically, Tools Up! is bright and fun, but nothing special.
The best way to describe how Tools Up! looks is to say that it is a simplified Overcooked. It isn’t the cleanest, but this is hardly your first thought when playing. Its bright colors and cartoonish displays are fun and accomplish what they’re supposed to. However, the textures aren’t anything too special, and the backgrounds are sparsely decorated, at best.
One problem I did have was with the paint spills that can occur throughout the game. No matter the color of the paint in the tin, when you spill it, it’s white. This is fine, for the most part, but when you spill it on some white tiling… You can’t see it. Again, it’s only a minor issue that didn’t really impede on gameplay all that much, but it was somewhat annoying when you don’t notice it and you get caught up slipping around unnecessarily.
It has you painting walls and carpeting floors like theirs no tomorrow!
The gameplay of Tools Up! is a delicate balance between simplicity and chaos. Mainly, the game has players tidying up messes, carpeting floors, and repainting walls. It’s a little simpler than games such as Overcooked and doesn’t add much complexity as you pass the levels.
Where Tools Up! thrives as a chaotic party game is in its latter stages. In the final minute of each level, the music gets quicker and the tension rises. This pressure makes you panic, makes you make mistakes. There’s nothing more hilariously frustrating than finding out that you have to take off the old wallpaper before you paint a room. Then you kick over a paint can and start slipping. It truly is a mess in the most amusing way.
After playing, you are left wanting Tools Up! to be more than it is.
Although I did have a lot of fun while playing Tools Up! during the moment, I found myself wanting more from it upon reflection. It is a fun game, but the only challenge comes from timing, essentially. I can see why there would be more chaos with more players, as that would require more co-operation, but… It just felt like it was missing that little something. Where Overcooked’s levels add layer upon layer of complexity, with moving platforms and complicated dishes and impassable barriers that force you into having to perfect your co-ordination, Tools Up! just doesn’t quite do that. I do hope that there will be a sequel in the future, because the concept of the game really is great! I just think they could get crazier with it.
Tools Up! has Monopoly-like potential to be a fun party game and also ruin friendships! It’s as enjoyable as it is chaotic.
Tools Up! is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This review was conducted on an Xbox One while playing with two players. For more of the latest gaming news, features, reviews, and more follow @GamezoGG and check out Gamezo.co.uk!