There is a time and a place for easy going time sink games. Games that do not take too much investment, are not too taxing on your brain and don’t require constant concentration. These games are what you mostly see on mobile platforms such as your mobile phone and tablet. You know the sort of game, you build, make cash, build more, make more cash and constantly expand. Car Mechanic Manager fits this mould perfectly, its an easy going game that demands nothing of the player and is very uncomplicated.
If you have played any mobile game recently you will find your feet straight away with this title. You are a mechanic that is sick of working for a useless boss and you decide to strike out on your own. Your job is to start from scratch and make your way as a mechanic, managing all aspects of the business from advertising to buying new buildings and real estate space. It’s all very straight forward and easy to get to grips with.
You start with the basic buildings, an office and a repair shop. You take small jobs and slowly increase your cash flow. It’s then up to you to invest this cash wisely in other buildings, building upgrades or other revenue streams. The cycle then continues and that’s basically the gameplay loop on offer. It’s not a bad gameplay loop it just gets old quite fast, its better played in short bursts in my opinion and therefore well suited to the Nintendo Switch. It definitely reminds me of the games I would play on my phone for free, minus the microtransactions, which is one good thing I suppose about this title it does not constantly ask you to spend more money.
You do have a few things to mix up the gameplay a touch. You have VIP customers who give you more cash, so it’s better to prioritise their jobs first. Trends are another thing you should keep your eyes on, you can repair cars and depending on current trends, your profits will differ from job to job. It’s good to keep an eye on the current trends and adjust your workload accordingly. Also, running in the background are bonus tasks to make you more money. Ranging from things like buying new buildings to washing a certain amount of cars. You don’t have to constantly watch them but they do help out with the cash flow a little and just complete by themselves passively.
Graphically Car Mechanic Manager is fine, it’s not going to win any awards for visual innovation but it’s adequate. The graphics are bright and colourful enough and everything is crisp and clear. The sound design on offer is average at best. The soundtrack is very basic and the sound effects, while being clear and realistic are unremarkable. While I have no issues with the sound and graphics of the title a bit more could have been done with both to make the title stand out.
Performance wise I had no issues with the game, it performed very well. No bugs or hiccups whatsoever to report. I did, however, have a small issue with the controls though. Sometimes I found it hard to select the items I wanted to select. It would take a few presses of the analog stick in the required direction to function, it’s only a small thing but it did annoy me a few times. I would have also liked to be able to use the touchscreen, it would have vastly improved the controls of the game and made me less frustrated.
Car Mechanic Manager is not a bad game, it just reminds me too much of a game I would play on my phone. If I grab my Nintendo Switch I expect a bit more of a game to play than this. Don’t get me wrong I would imagine there are some people who will really enjoy it, I just find it hard to recommend it to most players. If you are looking for an easy going, management type game that does not expect too much of your time then this may be the game for you. Unfortunately, it’s not the game I want to play on my beloved console/portable hybrid. I may, however, play it in short bursts on my phone, if it was available on that device.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*