|Platform(s)||Windows XP SP2, SP3|
|Release||September 23, 2008|
Tinker, also known as Microsoft Tinker, is a puzzle video game developed by Fuel Industries in which the player controls a robot through various mazes and obstacle courses. It was originally released on September 23, 2008 as part of Windows Ultimate Extras, and contained 60 levels including a 20-level tutorial. A free map editor (level builder) was also released, however it is not compatible with the Games for Windows – Live version of Tinker. It is only compatible with the Windows Ultimate Extras version.
On December 15, 2009, an expanded Live-enabled version of the game was released on the Games for Windows – Live client. The game is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, including users who do not have access to Windows Vista Ultimate Extras in other Windows Vista editions, and contains 160 levels including the tutorial. This version also has 15 Achievements worth 200G, similar to many Xbox Live Arcade games. Like every Games for Windows - Live game, it requires the user to sign in using a Gamertag assigned to a Windows Live ID; however, the Windows Vista Ultimate Extras version did not have this requirement.
Tinker is a spatial/environmental puzzle game. Players must guide a robot to an end point by moving objects, activating switches, and traversing obstacles. The playing field is a square board divided into a checkerboard pattern. The robot is given a limited number of moves it can make before it runs out of energy, so the player must guide it to the goal marker without expiring all their motions. Essentially any action the robot makes counts as a move, including taking a step, activating a switch, and turning around. Players must carefully plan their actions through a stage so as not to waste moves.
Players can replenish the robot's energy by collecting batteries and thus extend the possible number of moves they are allowed to make. Players can earn an achievement star for a level by completing the course on or under par for time, energy, and cog collection, should any cogs exist on that level.
Obstacles and objects present in levels include:
Movable objects can only be pushed, not pulled, and two or more objects in a row cannot be pushed, even if they are all movable. Objects stacked on top of each other can be pushed if the bottom object is movable (e.g., a tower consisting of two dice blocks and a metal block can be moved only if one of the dice blocks is on the bottom). Attempting to push an immovable object or row of objects will result in a wasted move, though attempting to walk into an obstacle will not waste a move.
The robot can be destroyed or rendered inoperable by being hit by a laser beam, falling from a height greater than two blocks, or running out of energy. If any of the hazards destroy the robot in the process of reaching the exit (e.g., the robot walks into a laser beam which crosses through the exit square), the hazard trumps the exit and the robot is destroyed; however, the level will be completed if the exit is reached with zero energy.
In the Live-enabled version of Tinker, it was not previously possible to earn an achievement star on Set 07 Level 19 due to the energy par value being -1. Because of this, the player could not unlock the "Perfection Achieved" achievement, thus only being able to obtain 175 achievement points out of 200. Fuel Industries game developer Nick Iannitti mentioned in Tinker blog that a fix had been sent to GFWL on March 7, 2010. The fix was up for a few hours but was removed due to a bug in auto-update code that required an unnecessary reboot. The update was then officially released on April 10, 2010, making the "Perfection Achieved" achievement obtainable.