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Game Review #407: Garage Mechanic Simulator (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Steven Green

Developer: In Images

Publisher: Ultimate Games

Category: Simulation

Release Date: 07.26.2019

Price (at time of review): $6.99

Buy Garage Mechanic Simulator from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Mechanic Meltdown

There are lots of “simulator” titles on the eShop as of late, and a lot of them have the same sort of feel and flavor that they are going for, with extremely realistic mechanics and an emphasis on going for what the real world is actually like in whatever industry you are simulating. And car repair simulators have a few iterations of their own on the Nintendo Switch as it is as well, but I have to say, this title is rough. There isn’t much positive to take away from it, and I can’t imagine the realism here actually extends to what fixing cars is actually like. Let’s get into this.

You are an owner and operator of a car trading and repair company. You are playing to emulate what it is really like to run a business out of a car dealership, or similar industries to that. You will have customers bring cars in for repair or that they want to trade in, and you will need to diagnose the issue, fix it, and then get the car back to the customer or onto the market for sale.

Control Chaos

I guess the first thing we should mention here is that the game is going to be so frustrating for you to just control that it will take the first spot here in this review, as you will notice it right off the bat. The game has a reduced frame rate throughout, and beyond that issue when trying to utilize controls you also have a super finicky UI and control scheme. In order to pinpoint the specific areas on the vehicle that need to be checked or fixed you have to rotate the vehicle itself into a certain position to get the place highlighted so that you can run through the gamut of possible repair options. Now you have to be extremely precise when it comes to getting the correct thing to pop up, so that paired with the frames allows for just a mess that can barely be traversed.

From there the lack of a true tutorial that actually helps you learn anything makes for not only frustration in actually using the controls, but frustration in knowing where to go or what to do next. Things are obviously laid out, and the design here is quite poor throughout. To the point the game is barely playable in its current state. Also, if you don’t know cars and the lingo associated with it then good luck trying to get to what they want and knowing where that thing even is on the vehicle.

Gameplay Gaffe

Now that we have gotten past just being able to operate the game, we move onto what you are actually doing. You must pinpoint and discover the locations of damage or wear with certain tools and replace those damaged areas. Once that is completed you can move on to the sale/billing portion of the game where you get to your next order. There isn’t really anything wrong with this system, and the loop could be something you like as pumping through vehicles and completing tickets can be satisfying, but I found myself really wishing there was more to the actual repair side of this. In a simulator game that is going for realism you would think you would need to be a little more hands-on with doing things, a la Surgeon Simulator with a hand you move and everything. Or something like that at the very least, whereas in reality the game really just wants you to complete the diagnosis, analyze the different colors used to find the issue, then click, click, done. You just kind of repair the thing and move on. There is quite a lack of depth in this title.

Visuals That (Don’t) Shine

The graphics used in this title are pretty low poly and are not going for sharp or crisp visuals. I am betting this title is meant for PC where the game might look incredible, however, on the Switch it is just plain rough around the edges. It doesn’t even offer the nostalgia factor for someone looking for a game from the days of yesteryear as I don’t recall seeing games that looked like this and enjoying it in the PS2 era all the way up to today, if I am being honest.

In closing…

At the end of the day this title isn’t for me, and I would go ahead and say it won’t be for most people. This game lacks an overall polish on all major points that really can’t be overlooked. People who are major car gurus and want something they can mess around with while not working in their own garage may be interested in this title as it definitely lends itself to a player who already knows a lot about cars, but for anyone outside of that camp you are really going to want to check in other corners of the eShop for a title to play through.

Score: 4/10

Buy Garage Mechanic Simulator from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Ultimate Games

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