Review by Dragon

"The most fun you will have being a mechanic!"

This game was one of the two games that comes with the CD I got, and I don't think I have played the other game. This game may not have much of a point to it, but you do not need a point to have fun!

Story: 6

Well, there is not much of a story but, you do not need one here. In this game, you are a virtual mechanic, fixing up cars for money, ranging from simple to body work to complete rebuilding, ranging from 6.50 in spending money to over 12 thousand dollars. Seems dumb but it is addicting. But I will mention more in the gameplay area.

Graphics: 7

The cars that you have to fix up seem a little plain, since it is always only one color, and there are only a few different types of cars, not to mention that most of the cars are Fords (Found On Road Dead) like the Astro, Mustang, F-150, etc etc. The parts are also simple looking, nothing special and nothing very detailed, but it is enough to know which part you are unscrewing.

Sound / Audio: 7

There are not too many sounds here, but there are enough to make you feel like you are really in a mechanical shop! Like the air wrench (this is the tool you will be using throughout nearly the whole time, to screw in, and unscrew the screws) sounds like a real air wrench, but it can get irritating and repetitive after a while, so you could turn down the volume. There is also the spray can that you can use to spray new paint, or words, art, stuff like that. The spray can noise also adds to the realism factor.

Gameplay: 10

Now this is where the game really shines. Like I mentioned, you are a virtual mechanic which it is your job to fix other people's cars. An easy mission here is only needing to click and drag a few parts. Easy here. Not much money buy you didn't work too much either! Then there is Medium mode. Usually, you will have to scrap parts and buy new ones from either the Junkyard or the Catalogue. Next is Hard mode, this is where the bucks start to roll in. In this mode, some parts won't be on the car, and you may also have to repair the whole engine, which can really rack up the costs. Then there is the hardest one, which is Expert mode. Nearly all of these will require having to rebuild the whole car, which will easily cost you thousands of dollars! But the rewards are great.

There are three parts of each car, the Engine, the Body and the Running Gear. The engine (you guessed it) is the engine inside the hood of the car. This is what makes the car run. The body is the outside shell of the car. Things you usually repair here are front fenders, hoods, windshields, and roofs. The running gear is the stuff below the car, like the tires, transmission, shocks, etc etc.

To repair parts you have to take off the part (you may have to undo screws here, click the screws to screw/unscrew them) then you drag the part onto the repair tab. It will prompt you about the cost of the repair, but this will never be a concern to you. Just click OK and the part will be repaired. Drag it back onto the car, but you may need to place other parts onto there before you can put it back on, such as you have to put on the cab roof before you can put in the windshields. The parts will be four colors. Green means you will not need to repair the item. Yellow means there is minor repairs, but it will not costs much. Red means there are major repairs needed, but it is still repairable. White / Black means the part is damaged beyond repair. You need to scrap it, and if you see a White at a junkyard, don't bother you can not use it. To make it easier, click the ''Show Condition'' button at the top right of the screen to show the condition of everything.

Also you can go to the auction and build up your own car, you can equip it with monster truck wheels (truck only), or you can put a hat on it (van only), or you could even make a taxi (classic car only). If you make $120,000, you will unlock santa clause and reindeers (yes you can build this up.), and an indy car, which are quite fun to build up. But my indy car in my garage cost me $24,000 dollars!

Another option is the Snapshot. This is where that if you like your car, you can take a picture of it by clicking it when you got the right angle. There is also an option to put a model in front of your car too! (But she has clothes! Don't worry!)

Challenge: 6

There is not much challenge to this game, but some jobs can take minutes to complete, especially if you have to rebuild an engine, or the whole running gear and things like that. Also there is challenge if you want to get the $120,000 dollars, which is very tough, but it gets very easy if you went to the website and downloaded the patch which gives you infinite jobs. If you don't download the patch, the only way to gain money is to buy cars at the auction, and fix them as cheap as possible, than sell them again. But I just can't make money like this I keep losing it when it sells. Then again, maybe it is just me, and my spending spree ways.

Replayability: 9

This game really has no point, but nevertheless, you will still be addicted to it for a while. But after a week or two, the novelty will wear off after a while. But in the meantime, this is a game you will play for a long time.

Buy or Rent?

BUY it as soon as you can find it. Seriously, if you want to be a mechanic, in real life or in virtual life, GearHead Garage is a must buy for anyone. It is also educational. I learned a lot about cars, but they might not be quite real, but they helped me learn more about cars.

Overall: 8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/19/03, Updated 07/19/03


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