Are you interested in the wild and wooly world of car repair, but you are a little bit afraid of breaking the things you are trying to fix? Well a new video game has been released for the PC , and it looks to help. Titled Car Mechanic Simulator 2014, this game is designed to help people learn their way around general car mechanic work.
When I first heard about this game I was interested to see how they would tackle the issue of every car being built slightly different. Would this game be impossibly detailed and difficult, or would it be a generic game that would teach nothing to a novice?
I was lucky enough to grab a copy of the game and try it out. Did it teach me to be a better mechanic, or did I just get bored and delete the whole thing? Well you are going to have to keep reading to find out all my thoughts.
Read the full review of Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 after the break.
Let’s get the obvious stuff out the way. I work on my own cars, and I have done a few large projects like an engine rebuild on my old Subaru, but I do not consider myself an expert in the mechanical arts. I always need help, I have to ask lots of friends what is broken to begin with, and I never know what tools to deal with. So that is our baseline. I have done some mechanical work, but I am not an expert. Now to find out if this game could teach me some things, or if it would punish me for my lack of knowledge.
The farther along in the game I got, the more interesting the problems and fixes became.
Well right from the beginning things look like they are going to be very easy. Every car is built the exact same way, and the act of removing parts is as simple as clicking on them. All my repair orders were simple requests like “change my oil filter” or “I think my spark plugs are bad.” I was 15 minutes into this game and I was ready to put it down. It was far from exciting.
There were some redeeming factors. It was fun to make the body panels of the car disappear to see parts, and I liked to drive around the test rack causing mayhem to “diagnose a problem,” but overall the game felt a little shallow. As I kept digging it got better though. The farther along in the game I got, the more interesting the problems and fixes became.
No longer am I being asked to change someone’s oil. Instead I felt like a real mechanic when my instructions consist of “it makes this weird thump noise when it starts. Can you fix it please?” This began to test the limits of my knowledge. Some of the problems are easy enough to sort out, you simply run the car through the diagnostic machines and then you can see what is broken, but a few of these things you really need to start tearing the car apart to find out what is happening.
They got so complicated that at points I actually turned to Google just to save myself the time of completely dismantling a car chasing an issue.
After you move farther into the game you also get more car types. Instead of the standard four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive cars, you move to six-cylinder engines with rear-wheel drive. The deeper you get into the game the more detailed and complicated the problems get. They got so complicated that at points I actually turned to Google just to save myself the time of completely dismantling a car chasing an issue.
This growing difficulty may be the game’s biggest strength and its greatest weakness. If you are completely devoid of any mechanical knowledge, the game makes it very easy to get started, but you will soon feel lost and in over your head at the higher levels. If you spend your days working as a master mechanic you likely won’t get far enough in the game to ever enjoy it. There just won’t be enough early game content to keep you satisfied.
Developer PlayWay is doing what it can to make things better for all players. Just a few weeks ago it added a new set of cars to the game via a new 4x4 Expansion Pack add-on. This brings the whole world of off-road vehicles into the mix. The developer even added a rugged driving course to test drive the cars on. Not a bad way to get more value out of the game.
if you are a complete novice to car repair, it will help you learn the basic look and name of some of the major components of cars.
Overall, I have enjoyed my time with Car Mechanic Simulator 2014. I am not sure the game deserves the “simulator” title, as it is far from realistic. That said, if you are a complete novice to car repair, it will help you learn the basic look and name of some of the major components of cars. You will learn what a starter motor is, and where it is usually located on a certain type of car. You could also properly verbalize to a mechanic that you think your tensioner pulley is bad. What you won’t be able to do is rebuild the 454 big block in your dad’s old Chevy.
If you approach this game looking for a tool to help you learn and understand the general outlay of a car and how it works, Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 can be a fun and different way to gain those skills. If you are a professional mechanic looking for a game to play around with, you might want to look elsewhere. This will be too easy and boring for you.
I think to get the most out of this game, you need to be sitting in my shoes. Have some wrenching experience, but you want to know more. A very rough knowledge about how a car is put together will get you far, but make sure to have that Google window open too. Just in case.