Review: Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

Table of Contents

Quick Info

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Additional Notes

Summary of major issues
There's nothing to be concerned about, unless you frequently lose track of how long you've been playing. In which case, plan to quit at a given time and stick to it.

Screenshots


A busy garage


Around and around go the bolts


Cars on auction are often rust buckets

General Information

Genre:SimulationAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Gamer's Gate, Humble Store, Steam
Save System:This game doesn't save your progress automatically. Instead, you need to save manually from the game's menu. You can either save the game and continue playing, or save when you quit.

Of course, you can also quit without saving your game if you really want to undo everything since the last time you saved.

Game Overview

Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 was an extremely fun game for what it was. I didn't expect a game about taking things apart and putting them back together again to be much fun at all, but it turned out to be pretty addictive and a great game. That said, there were some things that could have been done better. Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 not only fixes the majority of these details, but it also adds some new concepts that make things even more fun. Also, while the base game lacks some of the features that made the 2014 version interesting, these are being added as optional DLC, enabling you to decide for yourself if you want these features.

The biggest change is that you're not progressing through garage after garage in a career anymore. Here you've clearly reached the big leagues, owning a nice, spacious garage all to yourself. As you progress, you can expand the garage with new areas, and even customize the place to feel more like a home away from home.

One of the more welcome changes from the predecessor is that you don't need to do test drives or run suspension tests unless you actually want to do so. Personally, I didn't care for either in the original, so this is a good change in my opinion.

Another difference is that you can purchase junked cars from the local auction house, then fix them up and resell them for a major profit. Alternatively, you can just collect them. In my opinion, this is by far the funnest part of the game.

Put simply, this game is great way to spend a relaxing evening. Just tinkering with the innards of different cars is a great way to unwind, making this game clearly worth the price. The DLCs add new car types for you to fix, including some cars made by real life car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, DeLorian, Masarati, and Bently.

Pros

More about repairs than diagnostics
You don't need to worry about test drives or repetitive suspension tests anymore. Just follow the details on the work sheet and you can solve anything the game throws at you. Perhaps one of the best new features is that your work sheets provide a list of parts that need replacing and the minimum part status required for a replacement to be accepted. If you haven't found a part, it's listed as "missing part" rather than its actual name. This way, you know how many parts you'll need to replace, even if you don't yet know which parts they are.


Upgrade tools and the garage with experience
As you work on cars and complete jobs, you'll earn experience. Every 1,000 experience points, you can upgrade your tools or customize the garage a little more. Unlike the earlier game, there's only one upgrade to remove bolts faster, and I'd recommend getting that upgrade first. Other upgrades improve your ability to repair parts or give you new diagnostic tools.


You can now choose which jobs to do
To get new jobs, you check the phone on your desk. The phone can hold up to four new jobs at any time, and if you don't want to do a specific job, you can decline it freely. Additionally, you can be working on as many jobs as you want, provided you have room in your garage. You have three places (two lifts and the garage floor) where you can hold and work on cars, but you can also juggle them in the test path room and the paint room if your garage has these features.

There is also an underground parking lot, but that is strictly for storing cars you own.


More detailed than CMS2014
There are a lot more parts to deal with, which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. It's more realistic for there to be more parts, but you're going to need to remember to replace even the tiniest clips before the car can be turned back over to its owner. Additionally, since there are more car models this time around, there are more possible part configurations to work with. There's also the ability to do bodywork and repaint the car; two options that were not available in the earlier game.


Greatly improved user interface
There have been a lot of changes to the way the game is controlled, and all of these are for the better. Now you use the keyboard to switch between assembly/disassembly/examine modes, and you can move around the car by selecting different parts. This means you're not limited to working on a hub-based model anymore; you just start working on one spot and can maneuver around the car by clicking on different parts. Lastly, the mouse no longer fishtails like a it's controlled by someone who's been drinking too much, making it far easier to move around.


Expert mode
For those of you that want to make things a little more interesting, there's an "expert mode" available that changes the gameplay in ways that makes everything harder. A few examples would be the fact that bolts don't light up, rust is calculated differently, and there's no tutorial. Expert mode isn't my cup of tea, but people clearly like the challenge it's bringing.


Cons

No career or alternate modes
Unfortunately, there's always a little bad with the good. The only mode available is what equates to the Endless mode from the first game. There are no comments from your customers, so there's no story behind the cars you're working on. It's simply an exercise in grinding your way through car repairs until you don't want to continue.


Endless loading bug
In the past, there was a serious bug that was being reported fairly often. When switching between areas (such as going from the Auction House to your garage), the game could freeze on the loading screen. This seemed to happen randomly, though the developers seem to have fixed it by now. If you're concerned about losing progress to this bug today, just bring up the game's menu by hitting ESC and save quickly before you travel away from your garage.


Concerns and Issues

Clean and wholesome fun
There's nothing offensive about this game, unless you count the possibility of losing track of time while you zone out making virtual repairs. Of course, attempting to use any of the skills learned playing this game on a real car is also bad idea. Fixing virtual cars does not a mechanic make!