Tools Up! Review

Greetings everyone! JPep here with my first review in a while. After taking some personal time for some much needed rest I’m back and ready to go. Let’s see how Tools Up! fares.

All in! Games along with development team The Knights of Unity have taken a page out of the book of Overcooked with their home renovation party game Tools Up! . Thankfully simple controls and simple gameplay are still a thing in the increasingly complex landscape of video gaming. 
Now you can play solo or with up to four players locally. Like with other games in the genre playing together as a team is really the focus here. So if you are able to invite your friends and neighbors over for a little couch co-op that’s how you’ll get the most out Tools Up! as there is no online multiplayer unfortunately.

The premise of Tools Up! is to renovate apartments in a building. You will be tasked with painting walls, laying down a variety of floor coverings, mixing cement, removing wallpaper, pulling up old floors, and cleaning up messes as you go. Make sure you follow the blue prints though, as mistakes will cost you valuable time. Oh, and pay attention to the delivery man who comes to drop off supplies. If you miss him he’ll leave and you’ll have to wait for him to come back later.

Now, if you are playing with a crew you’ll have to remember that communication is a key element to a successful 3 star completion of a level. And while the controls are simple they can still be a little wonky at times, especially picking things up and putting them down. It just needs a bit more polish on the execution.

Visually Tools Up! is cute and pleasing to the eye. The top down view brings to mind similar teamwork games like the Overcooked series, among others. A bright color palette and cute character models will certainly grab your child’s attention. Be warned that the camera can be moved only when you are holding the blue print. Sound wise the game is comfortably fitted with a jazzy synth pop soundtrack that is both enjoyable but forgettable.

Parents with younger kids can certainly have a good time together. Some frustrations may occur with picking up and putting down items but I don’t consider that to be game breaking in anyway. Achieving 3 stars can be quite a challenge at floor three or four. Even more so if you are playing solo. 

Conclusion

Tools Up! is off to a decent start here with simple, fun gameplay. Lack of online multiplayer really puts a limit on how much fun can be had however. But grab some mates and a you’re in for a fun – though rowdy – evening of construction together.

This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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Good
  • Pleasing visuals
  • Simple to pick up and play
  • Couch co-op is fun
Bad
  • Lack of online support is not however
  • Controls can be fiddly at times
6.6
Okay
Gameplay - 6
Graphics - 7
Audio - 7
Longevity - 6.5
Written by
Born in New Jersey across the Hudson from Manhattan, I've been playing games for over 30 years. I can confidently say that I've played at least one game on every console ever made. An accomplished Forza artist, I enjoy racing games, platformer/puzzlers, adventure/RPG's, sports titles, and arcade shooters, although I have been known to play some FPS's on occasion. JPep715 on Xbox and jpepek715 on Twitch, feel free to add or give me a follow.

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