Garage Mechanic Sim
Switch version tested
Review code provided
The Nintendo eShop is a vast and crowded place but at least there should be something for everyone. There are no less than three offerings from the good ol’ team over at Ultimate Games that will have us playing out our wildest fantasies in the motor trade. Classic titles include Car Mechanic Manager, Car Trader, Bus Fix 2019 and now Garage Mechanic Simulator. You could, if you were that way inclined, even find Car Mechanic Simulator by ECC Games. With similar themes running throughout is this a case of quantity over quality? Let’s run the diagnostics.
You are a garage owner, or maybe just an employee, who knows but who cares. The premise is to churn out a constant flow of vehicles that are less broken than when they first arrived, simple. Evaluate, repair, replace and repeat. That’s pretty much all the game has to offer so you’ll find playtime is made up of retracing these steps over and over again until you give up.
There’s a basic tutorial to run through before getting your greasy mitts on a set of spanners. The initial handholding do this, screw that and check this will give you a grounding in the mechanics (no pun intended) but trial and error will be employed to figure the intricacies out. Each project can be carefully awarded from a long list that sits within the menu, some tactic can be exercised here. Too much hard work, just pick another until you are levelled up and return if you so wish. After you access what work is required it’s time to get to work. Strip down the impacted areas to component level or replace, these are highlighted in red with a percentage to show how bad things actually are. As with any business model you need to make a judgement call on whether or not it is viable to fix every last thing 100%.
As jobs are completed you earn money, this allows you to purchase more expensive cars, better equipment and upgrade the garage. These factors should help improve margins and return. Additionally, there’s an in-game coin currency that can be used to speed things up. There are a number of unlocks that can be had by completing set tasks but again most rely on repetition, finish twenty jobs to progress to the next level.
Visually GMS would feel perfectly at home on a mobile, not bad by any means just there to do a job. The garage forms the entire world that you see with slight variations on the vehicle models. Sounds are minimal with a backing track that loops, nothing is added to the experience so muted volume was preferred. Control is suited to the touchscreen, buttons become fiddley and too often can be lost in the menu system. It can be immensely frustrating when you think you are doing one thing but the input will send you off on a tangent.
In its current form, which is most likely it’s final, Garage Mechanic Simulator is a hard sell. Enthusiasts will be initially thrilled but ultimately the game is shallow and content light. The excitement had in the first 30 minutes of repairing a car will soon dull as the rest of the game is just a process of repeating the same actions. This feels too much like an oversimplified yet frustrating mobile title.
TBG Score: 3/10
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 26/07/2019
No. of Players: 1
Developer: Red Dot Games
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Download link: eShop