Tools Up! Might be thought of as some kind of clone of Overcooked, and I can’t really argue that. They definitely have similarities, but they are also extremely different. After playing both, I can’t really tell which is my “favorite” as I enjoy both of them for their chaotic, task-oriented co-op gameplay. Instead of preparing and cooking ingredients, Tools Up! Features home renovation – painting, tiling, etc. You can read my original review here and I remember enjoying it a lot. The recently released Garden Party DLC takes the Tools Up! Formula out of the house and into the yard as there are a whole host of new renovation tasks to be done.
Tools Up! Garden Party is more co-op maintenance in the style of the base game, but with a few added twists that make it my favorite iteration of Tools Up! Do. For the uninitiated, Tools Up! A little difficult to master, especially with multiple people. Each project is limited, and it is possible to disrupt another player’s project in catastrophic ways, including (but not limited to) spills of trash, paint, or general disruption. Garden Party has it all but with a raccoon NPC designed to make it as difficult as possible for you and your friends. Luckily, not every level has a raccoon, but when you see one, be careful or it will cackle insanely when it throws your tools in the water or prevents you from leaving a room.
Although I love the variety of tasks in Tools Up! Totally enjoyed, I feel that the Garden Party jobs were the perfect mix of fun and frustration. As you might guess, all new chores are lawn related and include activities like mowing the lawn, planting new grass seeds, moving patio furniture, trimming hedges, etc. And of course, it’s never as easy as it sounds. To plant new grass, you must first remove the old grass, then prepare the plot, and finally plant the new grass seed. Even when the seed is planted, you have to water it – which is sometimes a logistical problem in and of itself.
My biggest complaint about Garden Party is the lack of integration into the base content. Garden Party rarely contains the gameplay from the base game and the DLC. I think there is only one time that your goal is to complete an internal lawn task and that is during the final boss level. Hopefully the future Garden Party levels will mess it up a bit.
Garden Party consists not only of a series of levels, but of levels of a planned season with three episodes. Each “episode” of Garden Party contains 15 levels, the first 15 of which are now available. I played this DLC on Steam and according to the store page you have the option to purchase each of these 15 level packs separately, but you will need the previous pack to play the latest – so they are not necessarily available a la carte.
I really enjoyed Tools Up! During my first playthrough, I’m thrilled to have a chance for more. I feel like Garden Party is Tools Up! at its best, and I’m thrilled to see what the next two episodes of content have in store, even if that means facing that damn raccoon again.
Tools Up! Garden Party Episode 1 is out now – you can purchase the first fifteen levels or buy the Season Pass now.
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