I’m sure we’ve all run into a game that we thought was a fully released game, only to find out that it was an early access game, that had a lot of development ahead of it. Honestly, it seems to be the new norm for a game to be in early access now.
Of course, early access games are subject to change and evolve over time.
What is TinkerTown?
I wanna kinda explain what TinkerTown is all about and what it offers in its current state.
TinkerTown is an open-world sandbox game and I describe it as being a combination of having the mechanics and movement of Forager, the bosses from Terraria, and the overall look and feel of the older Zelda games.
Another similarity that the game has with Terraria is that you can have multiple characters that can cross over to other worlds, including your friend’s worlds.
The worlds are procedurally generated, with multiple biomes, which, right now, includes
In the forest biome, you have your goblins, bats, and slimes.
In the Winter biome, you have snowmen, specters, and ice slimes.
The Desert biome has a lot of enemies, like mummies, turtles, vultures, and a lot more.
Not only are there biomes, but there is also a dungeon system in the game. You access it through the various tunnels on the map.
The dungeons also have their own types of enemies, you see the same bats, but you also come across the harder types of enemies, the skeleton guards.
I think it breaks away from a lot of these other games, in that the building and 3-dimensional feel of the map is really what makes it so unique.
Anyone who sees the footage seems to be instantly interested just by how the game looks itself.
I mentioned the building, the game allows you to build with the usual tools you’d imagine. Walls, floors, pillars, its all really basic essential items as of now.
Just like in Terraria, you have all your mining tools and materials here, well, not as many materials. You have your copper, iron, silver, and gold. These can all be smelted in your furnace to make bars which can then be used for other things.
With those materials, you can craft different tiers of armor, swords, axes, shields, and pretty much all of the usual stuff you’d expect from a game like this.
You also have all your crafting stations, like your crafting bench, tailor, and alchemy station.
Obviously, I’m kinda just giving a general overview of everything but that’s pretty much what TinkerTown is and what it offers now.
Is it Good for What it Offers Now?
So, now that you have an idea about what the game is about, It’s important for me to talk about my opinion on the game and whether or not I think what it offers now is enough to recommend a purchase.
Again, I am critiquing the game in its current state, so obviously, well, hopefully, the game will improve, but whether or not it’s worth purchasing now.
The very first thing I feel I need to mention is the bugs. Now, bugs usually aren’t a huge issue for me, especially in early access titles, but in some cases, when it makes the game unplayable, that’s where it gets to the point where it matters.
I did run into some bugs in TinkerTown, most were smaller things, like items I threw down would disappear or get stuck under a floor, but there is a recurring bug that is basically game-breaking.
The very first world that I made has a bug that creeps up almost every single time I play on it. Basically, the bug stops all enemies from moving, at all.
They still attack me, but they won’t move at all. This actually really broke the immersion for me and made the game feel stale. I did eventually start a new world and the problem, luckily, didn’t transfer over.
Other than that bug, along with some minor little bugs, the game feels and runs great.
- Content of the Game
Personally, I love the art style, actually, without knowing anything about the game, that’s kind of the main reason I got it.
Now, as for the content of the game right now, I don’t know. It has the very basics of what a game like this offers.
The enemy types vary, but nowhere near anything like Terraria. Right now, it just seems you see a lot of the same enemies and they all feel the same. You do get a lot of variety in the other biomes and that really makes up for the lack of variety.
- Base Game
As for the very essential mechanics and tasks of the game, it feels great honestly. The mining and wood gathering is fun and enjoyable, and the building is actually pretty great.
You gotta remember you really only have one floor to work with since the game is built this way, but you can do a decent amount with what they give you.
I do wanna say that the game doesn’t really seem to have a lot of assets, meaning, you see the same items all over the map. The items you can get from the dungeons are the same exact ones you can craft and make yourself.
It’s a little disappointing and it didn’t really push me to want to decorate my house because all the items are the same throughout the map.
There isn’t any good loot in the dungeons, actually, most of the time you don’t see any loot. If you do happen to get some loot, it’ll be the same items you see every else.
As for the dungeons, they all seem to be the same basic layout. I’ve explored the dungeons on two separate worlds of my own, with different seeds, as well as a friend’s world, and the dungeons all felt like the same layout.
I can confirm this as of now, one of the developers stated that they aren’t sure if they will develop another dungeon layout. For now, it is the same layout.
I do really like a lot of the contrasting areas you find when exploring the dungeons though.
Speaking of dungeons, you are able to find the first and, as of right now, the only boss in the game. He doesn’t have a name, just, boss.
The first time I found him in the dungeons, he was bugged, from that glitch I was mentioning earlier, but, being myself and feeling unsatisfied with the kill, I started up another world and went back.
Anyway, the boss was extremely easy to beat. It seemed he had very little health, and well, it’s really not comparable to something like a Terraria boss.
I know it sounds like I’m really ragging on the game but it does cost $16.99 and that’s a lot for a game like this.
- Bottom Line
I really like the art and feel of the game. It’s a lot of fun with friends and again, the building and gathering aspects of the game are really solid.
Honestly, it feels, I know you saw this coming but, unfinished. Obviously, being early access you’ll find that to be true, but, it is $16.99, it just feels like too much money for a game that offers so little at the moment.
When you go out exploring, it’ll take you about a couple of hours to find everything that’s in the game, and the alchemy and crafting are pretty limited right now. The only couple of potions I can think of off the top of my head are healing and teleportation potions.
In my opinion, it just seems very lackluster at the moment, but I won’t lie to you, I do have a lot of fun when playing it and I see a great future for the game.
Future of the Game
Now, I’ll briefly show you some of the exciting things that are coming to the game.
So, here is what the Headup game’s official road map looks like. So right off the bat, they are updating the dungeons, which, like I was saying before, needs improvement.
We are getting a new lava biome which should be really interesting. The NPC update is going to really flesh out the game and make it feel more lively.
We also are getting some mini-bosses, which will actually help the amount of content that the game has because one boss alone just doesn’t cut it for the price.
I see class updates also, which sounds really interesting to me. The website mentions being able to break off into your own combat style. Whether it be a wizard or something like a swordsman.
All of what I see here looks really promising, and it actually pretty much focuses on all the cons I was brought up before.
Worth the Early Access?
So, now comes the real question that needs to be answered. Is TinkerTown worth the early access?
Well at this point, I’d actually have to say no. As much as I do enjoy the aesthetics and charm of the game, I just can’t recommend it for the $16.99 price tag that it has.
I mean, I’m talking, in a few hours you will see everything that the game has to offer, and maybe if it were $5 to maybe $10, I’d be okay with recommending it, but for what it has now, it just feels way to bare bones.
Now, don’t let that turn you away from the game. I see this game, in a year or so, being a huge success. This type of video isn’t so much one that aims to turn you for, or away from any title, but rather to help you decide on whether a game is worth waiting for or buying into the early access.
So, TinkerTown doesn’t offer enough now to warrant the price tag that it has, but from the road map, and the general feedback from the game now, this game is definitely going places.