REVIEW – “Car Mechanic Simulator Classic!? Oh, man!” I thought. Do I have to review this game? I don’t even know cars! And anyway… I thought they would stop after the Goat Simulator with these weird sims, but they didn’t! And do you know what the joke is? After about 10 hours of play (yes, I know, I’m a weird figure myself) I have to say that I’m happy they didn’t!
So, the raw facts: I live in a town that is closely related to the car industry, from where I worked for a long time as a quality inspector at a nearby car factory. So I knew the basics, and really just a little bit, but I knew and understood the cars. I understood not to close my head with the moving sunroof or break my hand with moving mechanical parts, stuff like that. I knew that just because it has 4 wheels, it’s not sure that it’s a car, and just because its engine starts up, there could still be a factory defect in the vehicle. What I soon realized in this game is that you don’t even need more here, nor high expectations: here you’ll learn how to disassemble the cars you import into small pieces and then put them together with repaired parts – or parts replaced from the Internet. With this I think I’ve told you everything this game is about, I kiss you, goodbye!
… What should I write about?
All right, I’ll continue. So, first and foremost, pick up something that reveals your belly or that has your muscles tense. Both repairman fashions will do. Second: pack the wall of your room with pictures of naked women / guys, as is customary in a good workshop. Third and last important round before we sit down in front of the machine: let’s put in some cool music! It could be anything, just let it blow your mind!
Okay, that would be it. Preparations are done. And now let’s download our game, measured around 1,5 GB, yeah and… Now, let’s be amazed at how wonderfully simple, clean, purposeful, free of all frills and unnecessary nonsense, honest little game is this! They’re not trying to give the appearance of something bigger and bigger here, no: here you’re going to take cars apart and put them together, right.
You’ll have 120 parts for this, and only 8 car models (in principle, I couldn’t figure out if the game includes PC DLCs like the legendary Back to the Future DeLorean in the game) that dear customers can bring into your shop, but that’s it. Really not much, but expanding the XP system and our workshop with new areas or new tools will keep us going all the way – with the right music! Really, I could only tolerate the menu / gameplay background music for approx. 5 minutes, then came the good old Soundgarden, Sex Pistols and others, and I felt there again in 2017 next to my co-workers in our quality control and repair shop set up in a small, dirty warehouse. Good times…
But for now, let’s get to the point: Red Dot Games has originally released this game in April 2015 for PC (titled Car Mechanic Simulator 2015), and now Ultimate Games SA (also part of PlayWay SA) which also makes mainly simulators have ported that game now to console called Car Mechanic Simulator Classic. So this little trick there should not deceive anyone: this game is technically and content-wise earlier than the smooth Car Mechanic Simulator already available on the console, also called Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 on PC.
Beyond the filthy technical details
Well, if we’ve overcome the fact that a better and more modern version of this game is already available, it’s worth accepting CMS Classic for what it is and going further in it because it’s worth it! In its simplicity is its greatness, which is why I had a great time with it. What does the gameplay look like?
Well, first you have a phone and a computer, two lifts and a table to repair parts. You can take orders for car repairs with your phone. You go tot he phone in first person view and pick up the phone: there you will initially see a list of who wants what, but over time the list of damaged parts will disappear and we will have to discover which car is wrong and where ourselves!
So you examine the car under the Examine menu item and you realize that the whole thing is a wreck. Then a little memory game: our hero car mechanic records the damaged parts already discovered in the Repair Order. With this list or 1-2 part names in your head, you will go back to your desk with the phone and computer to order a replacement part. (You might want to choose this more costly method because, at the beginning of the game, all of our tools are such a disaster that we do more damage than the benefits if we try to repair the damaged parts of the cars ourselves.)
Making cars beautiful
So we are there with the exchange parts in our hands, we rush with them back to the car with machine grease all over us. “Don’t worry, it’s a game like that!” Ass my dear rocker friend used to say. So in Assemble mode, we repack what we removed before to access the damaged parts. (Disassemble) The game marks the location of the parts that can be inserted next with faint ghost images, so we don’t have to suck with what’s going to go and, of course, in what order. Everything goes its own way, the game will hold our hands. If we put EVERYTHING, but everything back in the car, we can return it to the owner via the Repair Order menu.
Later, after every 1000 XP, we can get some improvements, and as our XP grows, we will also have access to increasingly cooler car types – and, of course, more damage to repair on them. We will have to take apart cars and put them back together, we can put them to a brake test and all sorts of tests to find out sooner, even without taking the car to pieces, what the fuss of each car is.
I suggest that if someone tries out the game, get the Paint Shop department as soon as possible, or your very own Tablet first and foremost, so that we don’t have to run back to the computer with the longer and longer lists in our heads, but we can just pull it out, and here we go: we have the entire online store in our hands. (Technology is a nice thing.)
Final touches, a happy client
So that’s the game. If I were to say more about it, I would spoil the experience of discovery, it should be enough instead of a tutorial. Yeah, because it doesn’t exist. I mean, there’s some tutorial, but in 90% of cases, I didn’t even understand what the game wanted. Well, unfortunately, I have to note that more localizations would have come in handy from our Polish friends, because in the game there are about 120 car parts, and things like remembering their names or managing to change that DAMNED OIL for the first time gave up the lesson alright. But I learned. And I made progress. It was real magic. I honestly admit I didn’t expect such great fun! Thank you very much!
Oh yeah: and a BIG thank you to the Ultimate Games S.A. team for the digital key!
… So its a bit shabby, a bit old-fashioned, a bit like an „old man’s car” here and there, but they just went on and renovated the little beauty for us: the 2015 engine still rumbles as nicely as it used to! Rust stains only penetrate the paint in some places… I give it a 7.3 because it was a perfect entry for the series for me: Now I want to play the sequel / the one called Car Mechanic Simulator. (2018 on PC.)
Until then, I’m going back to reassemble! Bye!
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+ Amazingly detailed cars, inside and out
+ Great shop / skill development system, well-paced progression
+ Pleasant difficulty: we never feel completely lost, even if we are buried under tasks to complete, it is a pleasant feeling that we always have something to do
– It is often difficult to see how some actions that are relatively easy to implement in reality, such as oil changes, should be solved here, a stronger and better tutorial is missing
– Music… It’s a matter of taste, of course, but instead of modern disco, I would have taken the soundtrack in the direction of trance, known from old NFS, or real garage rock.
– Fewer options than the later version, fewer cars, fewer parts. Nostalgia is perfect though, so it fits the Classic subtitle, but it may not be worth buying for someone who already has the original console version of Car Mechanic Simulator. (2018)
Publisher: Ultimate Games S.A.
Developer: Ultimate Games S.A.
Genre: Simulator, Car Repair
Release date: April 23, 2015 (Car Mechanic Simulator 2015, PC), August 14, 2020 (Car Mechanic Simulator Classic, console, Xbox One)