Tools Up! is a fantastic time and task management game that can be played alone or with up to three friends in co-op. You play the role of a contractor and your basic job is to come in and remodel spaces like painting walls, laying flooring of various types, move furniture and more. You’ll be racing against a clock to complete the tasks and you goal is to earn 3 stars. Sounds easy? You’ll need a perfect system, especially in the later levels in order to attain those three stars.

The game is presented in a simple graphical design with various characters for you to choose from as your contractor. The different characters are just skins and do not add or detract from a skill set. Some of the animals are a little on the chubby side which makes it difficult to maneuver around your coworkers at times so choose wisely when playing with 2 or more people. You’ll get a 3 quarter view of the property and you can spin the camera to get better angles, but you’ll need to pick up the blueprints in order to do so. Each time you want to change a camera angle you must pick up the blueprints. This can be a little annoying at first, but you’ll definitely get used to it because there are times when you definitely need a better view of the area you are working in.

There are various levels to work on and the levels are presented by one central building with various floors. As you progress tot he higher floors you’ll get new scenarios like snow and rain which can create puddles for your contractors to slip and fall. You’ll also notice that some levels will have running streams that carry the items you need rather than having a delivery man bring them to the front door. I love the variety of levels and let me tell you, it gets really challenging the further you go.

So what exactly can you expect when playing the game. Well, you will be tasked with multiple things to do per level like stripping floors of old flooring, laying down new floor foundations, stripping and painting walls, hanging wallpaper, cleaning up messes and more. At the end of each level you must make sure that you clean up every mess and remove all trash and supplies from the residence you are working on. You can just dump the stuff outside the front door. As you are working inside, some of your supplies will already be available scattered around the workspace while others will be delivered to the front door. You must meet the delivery guy each time he shows up in order to receive the materials. He will not leave them at the door.

At times you will have to move things around like couches and chairs in order to be able to complete the task at hand whether its laying flooring or painting the wall. There was even a level where I had to move a bed and it was just me playing. Let me tell you, that was a task I would rather have had a partner with because it was tough moving that bed by myself. Especially since I couldn’t take it out of the small room I was working in.

There are little quirks here and there like buttons not registering when you try to do a task. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it sorta throws your work system for a loop. I also notice that items would become hidden at the bottom of the screen if you accidentally threw them. So be sure when taking a delivery of new materials to not put anything near the bottom of the screen. You might lose it. That really was the only problem I saw. The only other thing would be the fact that there was no Xbox Live multiplayer support. This game would be great to play with friends. There are plenty of levels and some are quite challenging, so prepare for some brainstorming sessions in order to tackle these jobs i the best way possible.

A great game to compare this to would be Overcooked. If you have played Overcooked and like that game then I can guarantee you like this game as well. I really enjoy the game as a whole. Sure, there were some frustrating little things here and there and a few things I would have liked to seen done differently. I had a blast playing this with my teenage daughter and the laughs that were had were fantastic. We got a pretty good system down working together and were able to traverse through most of the game with little problem once we attained a system, but there were some levels that just got the best of us too.

I highly recommend this game is you like any kind of task management game while running against the clock. I do wish it had Xbox Live support rather than just couch co-op, but none the less its a great party game to fire up when you have friends over. Again, I think the laughter the game will provide you is enough, but you’ll also have great satisfication when completing those hard levels. Check out Tools Up today and give it a go. THis one is a definite recommended purchase from me.

Score: 80 / 100

*** A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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