Casual

Fix-it-up: Kates Adventure review

Fixing up cars is a greasy oily hard business, but for Kate it is the start of a new exciting adventure. With a knack for repairing the most broken vehicles she starts off in the middle of nowhere. Helping out her uncle she soon befriends a cool surfer, and together they continue the adventure. The city beckons with shiny lights, and expensive cars to fix-up. Kate is a girl with a lot of ambition, and perhaps a bit of a skanky hoes dress code.

img_4512Fix-it-up is supposed to be a time management game, but I am not sure it really is. When a car enters the lot you tap it to see the current status. If broken you drag it to the repair station, and otherwise you upgrade it. Making sure the cars in the lot are clean is important to gather rent. Cleaning a car is just a matter of double tapping it to get servicemen on the task. As the game progresses you will also be able to wax the cars to avoid getting them dirty in the first place.

The controls are not that great due to being slightly unresponsive, and if you drag a car to a station it has already been to you get annoying text messages that stop the action. The double tap to clean often fail to register. To get repairs and upgrades done you need to have free servicemen, and spare parts. The menu buttons to buy, and hire are small and the side scrolling menu for amount is easy to select the wrong option at. I am not a fan of this layout at all.

Each level have specific goals, and those are seen in the top left corner. One thing that annoyed me is the fact that you have to keep the goals once you have accomplished them. For example you might have to own five tuned up sedans, and have a total sum of $200.000. When I had five sedans, and the goal was attained I sold them to quickly gain the money needed. Look, and behold the goal for five sedans showed up again. This happens all the time, and to me it limits my tactics quite a bit.

img_4521There is no queue system, and you constantly have to tap on everything to keep track of status of the vehicles. To me this is not really a time management game, but rather a sorting game. You have to make sure that every car is in good shape, and upgrade them to gain more revenue. Selling, and buying is also a part of the game, but there is no haggling to be done. You get to either take the deal, or deny it. There are hints to help you decide. Another annoying this is that you can’t back out of a deal even if it is good. At times I had too little money to buy a car at a great deal, but I was not able to back out to wait or sell a car. Nope, once a deal is denied the car drives away.

Fix-it-up is quite easy, and the most challenging aspect is the patience needed to complete later levels. When levels take fifteen minutes or more to finish it feels like a chore, and I really don’t want that in my spare time playing games. The times I miss the perfects scores are when new goals are introduced in the middle of a level, and I am far from the business model needed to complete the task. For example I try to have as many high revenue cars in the lot at the same time, but the game all of a sudden wants me to have a lesser vehicle in the lot. Selling my cars, and upgrading the new ones takes too much time at those occasions.

The final aspect of the gameplay that is lacking is the fact that upgrades between levels are only cosmetically. Usually time management games bring a level of addictiveness in the fact that you can create a better parlor or diner. In Fix-it-up you just get a couple of plants, a fence or some extra house that don’t affect the gameplay at all.

img_4536The presentation is barely ok in my opinion. There are too much interface in the way all the time, and the good parts of the presentation are hidden behind. I think both the cars, and environments look polished. The framework is not that good though, and the standard cartoon still images feel stale and old introducing each level.  The music is your standard fare time management muzak, but at least it isn’t too bothersome.

The only redeeming factor to Fix-it-up is the fact that you get quite a lot of gamelife out of it. That is if you care to stick around with a game that barely scratches on the surface of the time management genre. Sad, as I really like the setting.

Final Rating

not-good

Fix-it-up: Kates Adventure Free with $2.99 IAP to upgrade to full version.
Fix-it-up: Kates Adventure HD Free with $4.99 IAP to upgrade to full version. iPad only.
Version: 1.0
Seller: G5 Entertainment AB

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