What would happen if you took Overcooked, took out all of the cooking elements, and swapped it for home renovation instead? Well, you’d end up with something not nearly as fun.
So, to start off, I’ll say that this game at least has some great ideas. The whole “removing flooring and wallpaper, shuffling around furniture, and disposing of trash around the apartment” idea does sound great at the start, especially for a game of this genre. However, as a friend and I quickly discovered, there isn’t really much else to that equation.
This is very much a party game that repeats the same basic formula over and over across its numerous levels. You occasionally get new mechanics and other stuff to play around with, but it’s nowhere near enough to take away from the base monotony. Compared to Overcooked, for example, Tools Up! just does not feel anywhere near as fleshed out. The levels lack variety (both visually and with regards to their gameplay), the gameplay mechanics that are there get stale quickly, and when new mechanics are introduced, they are often just small additions to previous mechanics. For example, early on in the game you go from placing carpet to laying down cement, which only differs in that you have to prepare the cement in a bucket beforehand. Once you’ve done that, it is the exact same process as laying down carpet.
Outside of the base repetition, the game does have a few other issues, both design and technical. For example, although the controls are very simple, it can be a bit of a pain when trying to highlight objects on top of each other. I would sometimes accidentally highlight the ground underneath a bucket instead of the bucket itself, for example. Aside from that, it’s also worth noting that this is not a good singleplayer game. Although it can be played as such, it is a game meant for local co-op and it shows. There’s no online co-op either, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind unless if you want to use Steam’s remote play feature.
Given all of that, I simply cannot recommend Tools Up!. Visually, it looks fine, but the underlying gameplay just isn’t satisfying, enough so that my friend was already asking to switch to another game after just 40 minutes, a sentiment I shared. If you’re really looking for a game like this, I would honestly just recommend sticking with Overcooked, the variety there is much better than what is offered here.
You can buy Tools Up! on Steam here.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.