The real world is so boring, eh? Your job is mundane and unfulfilling and it doesn’t pay enough. You think to yourself that you should look for a new career, but that takes effort. So, instead, you turn to simulator games! The guaranteed way to escape the tedium of your existence while completing weird and wonderful jobs. My latest endeavour demands I live in a workshop and tinker with expensive robots. Sounds interesting, right? Well, welcome to the precise and futuristic world of Rover Mechanic Simulator.
Developed by Pyramid Games and published by Ultimate Games, this is a finely detailed simulation title. With demanding budgets, quick timescales, and an eye for detail all essential, this isn’t for the faint of heart. With a heavy data dump at the start, you have a meaty learning curve to get through before you get to the good stuff.
Rover Mechanic Simulator is slow and addictive.
Full disclosure. I didn’t like this to start with. The slow-paced nature of every element grated on me and I felt my patience ebbing away. However, I’m glad I stuck with it, as I discovered an addictive title once I battled through the first hour or so.
Rover Mechanic Simulator opens with a farfetched tale about the first Martian colony. You are employed to fix and maintain an array of rovers and robots for the companies that are exploring the planet surface. The rough terrain causes many problems and the machines are sent to you to be fixed. With many tools and machines at your disposal, you’ll fly through each task and help to keep the colonies on track.
Mars doesn’t have a throwaway culture.
When you are on an alien planet and resources are sparse, you adopt a more frugal attitude. Life on Mars enforces you forget about wasting goods and repair, reuse, and recycle become your mantras. Luckily, your workshop is stocked with machines to help. 3D printers, crushers, PCB desks, and workbenches all enable you to examine parts. You will strip down rovers to examine every minor element available. You’ll take apart wheels, cameras, motors, and more as you disassemble these upmarket machines.
If parts can’t be mended, then your limited resources must be used to print new parts. This sounds more interesting than it is, however! Sadly, each task is simply complete with a press of a button and it feels more like Rover Button Pressing Simulator than Rover Mechanic Simulator.
This was disappointing, but it was also a blessing and a curse. The level of detail that the game goes into is pretty deep, so any further information would have potentially been overkill. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if they dumbed it down too much.
Plenty of tasks and games.
Rover Mechanic Simulator packs in the tasks in its relatively restrictive framework. You pick from the available mission, select the difficulty, and get to work. Every task begins with you moving a crate with a crane. This is great, to begin with, but quickly became mind-numbing. Once the rover is unpacked, you are tasked with soldering parts, inspecting for damage, cleaning components, and so forth. This portion is interesting, as you must hunt for the root of the issue.
This can be challenging when you must strip down a larger rover just to remove three probes hidden deep inside. I loved this complex game of hide and seek, even if the aforementioned one button does it all, reduces some of the technical nuances. If you tire of taking part each machine, you can take a break and play some old-school games. These pointless distractions serve to break up the monotony and I admit I spent some time playing Snake.
As the quests became more challenging and the timers shorter, speed was of the essence. This is where character progression was paramount! For every successful task you complete, you’ll earn XP that levels you up. This in turn earns skill points that are spent on three possible paths, Economist, Analyst, or Technician.
Materials become more cost-effective and the reuse or recycle mindset can be relaxed a little. Printing a new part isn’t so worrisome, and this potentially makes the game much easier.
You may be told the root of the problem before you begin a task. Also, scanning items is quicker and more effective.
This is the go-to root for quick assembly and removal of parts. This counteracts the short-timers and gives you room to breathe.
Rover Mechanic Simulator has some nice touches, but it’s also rough around the edges.
Rover Mechanic Simulator is played in a first-person perspective and this helps when you examine the machines. The clear line of sight allows you to focus on the actions and this was a good decision from the developers. The simple use of a colour system to highlight the condition of each part made identifying each issue much easier, and I appreciated this as well. The attention to detail on the small parts was interesting and will appeal to geeks and technically minded individuals.
It does sadly let itself down with its poor textures, dated graphics, and annoying camera angles. Moving around each rover was troublesome, and I was forced to run around each robot repeatedly instead of simply rotating the object in front of me. This was tiresome and should have been better implemented.
If you love the sound of unusual music of electronic screwdrivers, then you’ll love the never-ending audio. Luckily, the horrendous music can be turned off. However, the constant noise of screws moving and plugs being undone haunts every action. I expected nothing less from a mechanic game, but it was still annoying nonetheless.
Challenging mechanics but easy to play.
Though there are lots of elements to understand and you have a massive data dump to start with, this is remarkably easy to play. With limited buttons to use and a well-labelled UI to remind you of the mapping, you suffer from few issues.
Taking apart a robot to clean, study, and repair was super addictive. I couldn’t get enough of racing against the clock while completing each task. If you add in the character progression and old-school games to play, there is a lot to keep you gaming.
Rover Mechanic Simulator is good, but it needs more variety.
Variety is the spice of life and Rover Mechanic Simulator needs more variety. Its one-button fixes all attitude and simple tasks soon become tiresome and mundane. I would have liked different tasks and more complex controls to challenge me further. However, I still enjoyed it and recommend you to buy it here! Mars needs a mechanical hero, step up to the mark, brush off your tools, and keep those robots going.