Tools Up! Garden Party – Episode 1: The Tree House – Review
Follow Genre: Party
Developer: The Knights of Unity
Publisher: All In! Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch
Tested on: PS5

Tools Up! Garden Party – Episode 1: The Tree House – Review

Site Score
7.8
Good: Fun new theme, Short but sweet
Bad: Wonky controls, Raccoon is incredibly annoying and feels badly programmed
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Back in 2019, we had the opportunity to try out Tools Up!, which tried to ride on the same wave of success started by the Overcooked! series. The latter basically put party games back on the map, spawning many similar titles, albeit with different themes. Tools Up! was one of such games, and while it didn’t truly captivate us for weeks on end, it was a fairly decent party experience. Nonetheless, we found ourselves returning to other similar titles more. Now, however, the game is showing new signs of life as it is releasing a set of DLCs to further flesh out the experience. We were able to try out the first episode, The Tree House. This content can be accessed immediately, even if you have not finished the base game. Even though the base experience was very much the same, Tools Up! is finally stepping up to the plate.

The base game was all about interior work on houses, and now we move to the backyard. In this first DLC, it’s all about landscaping, making sure the lawn is nice and clean, replacing the old outdoor furniture, and so on. We can already say that the mechanics for replacing heavy items feel a bit wonky, but other than that, we totally loved the new theme and the new options. Clumsily controlling a water hose or being dragged around the garden with a lawnmower add a layer of fun to the otherwise very safe experience that was Tools Up!

Working in the garden seems to work a lot better for the game’s controls and mechanics, as well as its overall theme. It all feels a lot more relaxing and therapeutic than the base game. While sometimes the controls may not cooperate, the overall experience feels more polished than two years ago. The game also tries to introduce a lot more ‘fun’ items per level, without actually making things overly complex. Often there’s not that much to work on inside the house of your contractor, it’s a lot of landscaping, etc. We do have to mention that the raccoon in the game is horribly programmed and often just feels annoying, rather than add a challenge. You’ll also still notice some delays when it comes to controller input, or things somewhat ‘bugging out’.

Conclusion

Tools Up! Garden Party – Episode 1: The Tree House is a fun addition to the Tools Up! base experience that actually transcends its foundation. Even though some of the original remarks we made still remain, this DLC is actually a lot more fun than the original game. While this first episode may be short, it is also very pleasant to play through during one cozy gaming night with friends. We do regret that this game still does not have any online capabilities, however.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Tools Up! Garden Party – Episode 1: The Tree House - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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