Tools Up! Review: Mundane Muckery Meets Multiplayer Mayhem

9
  • Playstation 4
  • Switch
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • Party
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Tools Up! is a goofy, fun, chaotic multiplayer game that is only hindered by how short it is The Knights of Unity

Tools Up! is one of the very rare games that has earned an exclusive spot in my life. These special games are the ones that my girlfriend has joined in playing with me, and has, without prompting, suggested we play again. That alone makes me love Tools Up!, but the long list of other reasons doesn’t end there.

Tools Up! is a multiplayer game in the vein of the hectic co-op cooking game Overcooked. The twist with Tools Up! is that instead of running a kitchen, players start every level outside a different house and must complete a series of home renovations. These can range from something as simple as putting up a fresh coat of paint to tearing down and building new walls.

To keep things simple, almost all of the renovation actions are performed with a single button press. This means you can completely carpet a room in seconds. If only it were that easy in real life. However, players must race against the clock to not only get all renovations done in time, but also completely clean up the freshly renovated house and remove all equipment.

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Cleaning up after yourself is crucial to earning three stars on every level Photo: The Knights of Unity

The biggest flaw with Tools Up! is probably the best issue any game could have: there’s not enough of it. The main campaign only has 30 levels, which can be completed in around five or six hours. There’s also a challenge mode where players can replay levels and try to beat more difficult time constraints. Unfortunately, the challenge modes are all the same levels as the campaign, so there aren’t any variations to the level objectives.

While getting a full three stars on each level in the challenge mode is tough, the main campaign of Tools Up! can be completed with three stars on each level in only a few hours. It isn’t very difficult, even if you are playing solo. Having additional difficulty levels, or bonus challenges for each level, would go a long way to boost replayability.

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Photo: The Knights of Unity

As simple as the controls are, they can sometimes cause frustration. Characters can sometimes seem like they aren’t following your button presses, especially when trying to simply drop items on the ground. It can also be easy to grab the wrong item (or person) if things are close together. 

Of course, grabbing the wrong item or picking your friend up off the ground and causing chaos is half the fun of Tools Up!. There’s a reason why doors can be taken off their hinges, and it’s to add to the zaniness and hectic atmosphere each level creates. Once you have four players going at the same time, there are almost too many moving parts, making things even more crazy.

Among the highlights of fun gameplay and charming graphics, one of the best aspects of Tools Up! is the music. Like just about any video game, Tools Up featuring a looping soundtrack with players often hearing the same songs over and over again. These songs don’t grow old, and in fact, continue to be excellent even the hundredth time you hear them. Some of the tracks even remind me of tunes you would hear from a Pixar movie.

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Ice makes something as simple as painting a wall way more challenging Photo: The Knights of Unity

Levels have loose themes, with some featuring snow and ice, some with rain that creates pools, and thankfully only one level with a rather annoying dog. While what is included in Tools Up is fun, it feels like there is so much more the development team can do to create new levels with the already present themes and create new themes for even more levels. It’s not often I say this, but I really hope there is some upcoming DLC, or a sequel is coming quickly.

So what do you think? Are you interested in checking out Tools Up for yourself? What other multiplayer games have you been enjoying lately? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

REVIEW SUMMARY
Tools Up!
9
Tools Up Review: Mundane Muckery Meets Multiplayer Mayhem
Tools Up! is a goofy, fun, chaotic multiplayer game that is only hindered by how short it is
  • Chaotic multiplayer fun
  • Easy controls
  • Great music
  • Too short
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