Tools Up is a couch co-op party game that builds up the laughs. Work Together to renovate someone’s dream home, or throw your friends around for fun.

Tools Up is a four-player co-op that’ll immediately remind you of Overcooked. But instead of cooking, you renovate apartments or at least try to hilarious results.

Construct Your Team

The residents of an old tenement building have left the renovation blueprints in your wobbly hands. It’s out to you and your team of three equally as wobbly workers to decipher them.

You need to figure out what you need to change in each room and come up with a solid plan to make sure it all happens before time runs out.

To succeed, you’re going to need friends. Gather a crew of up to four friends to play as bouncy, bumbling construction workers, and unlock even more bizarre-looking ones as you progress through the campaign. Even though all characters have the exact same abilities, their cosmetics and design sure add to the humoristic spirit of the game.

Tools Up review

Without any further ado, let’s get to what we all came for – renovate.

For the Renovation!

Just like any professional renovator, the first thing you do is to grab the blueprint and make a plan for your team to follow. Just don’t overthink it too much – your project will only last mere seconds.

You run around, paint walls, remove floor tiles, and generally try and control the chaos of having four people all trying to do the exact same thing at the same time, and hammers are involved. The main thing you do is grab and throw. You throw tools and supplies to your teammates, or you just throw your teammates over the walls to save time (and because you can).

So you get a hold of what wallpapers or tiles you need to tear off and it’s your time to shine. And by that, I mean – finding the multi-purpose bucket.

Tools Up review

As you can imagine, tearing off stuff creates a mess, and that’s where the bucket saves you the time and trouble of running all the way to the trashcan outside. Things get more complicated when you find out that the only bucket you got is also used to contain other materials such as the glue for the new wallpaper, or the mortar that holds the new tiles in place.

Naturally, this can lead to only one outcome – let the bucket war begin! You’ll have a lot of fun fighting over that little bucket, and discovering that everything you put into it can also spill out if you’re not careful. And you know who’s gonna have to clean it up, don’t you?

Tidy up Your Mess

Tearing down walls and putting in hardwood floors is only half the fun. Cleaning up all the mess you and your friends are making is the other half.

Tools Up review

Paint is spilled all over the floor, there’s debris blocking the hall, and you’re steps away from knocking over a bucket full of garbage. And that’s even before someone starts taking all the wrong walls down. I’m not saying that I was that guy, but I’m also not saying I wasn’t.

Throwing half-empty paint cans over walls and beyond the front door is a fun game mechanic, but you need to make sure your friends can catch them before they reach the ground. If they don’t, you’re going to have a lot more work to deal with. It’s another example of how co-op shines through the mess, or how a well-executed plan can go sidewise in a split-second.

Not Everything Goes According to Plan

Prioritizing tasks in tight spaces is difficult, and Tools Up doesn’t make it easier. When you’re working, there are always plenty of tools and items around you need to interact with, and fast. Annoyingly, there’s no easy way to highlight the one you’re trying to pick up.

Tools Up review

For instance, when covering the floor with new tiles, it’s likely there’s a bucket of wet mortar, a pile of new tiles, and an extra bag of mortar in the room with you. While rushing to place all the tiles before the mortar dries out, I kept accidentally interacting with the bucket or the bag instead of setting the flooring in a nearby empty space. That’s in spite of the fact you can’t pick up the bucket or bag if you’re holding a floor tile.

Some levels did not have enough tasks for four players, so two of us had to wait until the delivery guy NPC brought over the required materials. The same happens towards the end of a level, as players just stand around waiting for the last person to finish their final tasks.

We also encountered a few stages that repeated a previous renovation plan, so we could actually complete them without using the blueprint at all. In others, there was no room for improv, and we had to follow a strict plan that took the fun out of the game.

Tools Up review

But even so, Tools Up is a must-play if you’re a couch co-op fan and looking for 5-8 hours of pure laughter. The goofy animations add a cartoony, lovable vibe to the type of mayhem that can build up or tear down friendships.

Developer: The Kings of Unity

Publisher: All in! Games

Release Date: Dec. 03, 2019

Genre: Party Games

Available On: PC, PS4, XBOX, NS

Reviewed On: PC

Our Tools Up review copy was provided by the publisher.

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