Kate is an ambitious young entrepreneur not afraid to get down and dirty. Now she is once more taking on the world of grease, horsepower and salted invoices. I wasn’t keen on the first game in this new series, and I gave that one a meagre 1.5 star rating. Will the game fare better taken on a global scale? Read on to find out.
Fix-It-Up: World Tour is a time management game where you have to make sure to keep as many clean, and upgraded cars in the lot as possible to get rent. The basics is to double tap a car to clean it. Drag cars to be fixed, upgraded or waxed. Wait until done, and then place them in the lot again. Nothing is done by means of queuing actions, and quite frankly there is very little time management going on. The only strategic aspects of the game are when to buy or sell cars, and when to just let them sit and collect rent. Other than that the game runs itself with you dragging cars to the proper place.
Level goals vary, but once beaten they can return if your shop is no longer attaining the goal. For example you might be obliged to have a set number of minis in the lot at one time, and also a goal to have $100.000 in funds. Once I have beaten the goal stating that I need a set number of minis it was fulfilled, and disappeared. Then I start to sell off the minis to quickly gain the $100.000 just to have the goal with minis reappearing. This is really annoying, especially when you have beaten two or more goals that reappear.
Between levels you can upgrade the mansion for Kate, but it has no impact on the game whatsoever. It also feels out of place to build on one house in one location while Kate works in other parts of the world. It feels plastered on, and even the purely cosmetic mid-level upgrades of the first game felt more important.
The graphics, and presentation in general have been improved significantly. This comes at a huge cost on the part of the player in the shape of loading times. On my iPhone 4S loading a saved game takes 25 seconds, and that is after booting the game and allowing Game Center to load. Horrendous, and on the iPhone 4 the loading time is almost 45 seconds. My wife gave up after a couple of levels due to this, and the fact that the gameplay isn’t all that fun.
The music is your standard muzak interspersed with some really annoying sound effects. If your lot is full, and you are out of spare parts while also having bought a broken car in the street there will be a queue of cars honking it for a minute or more. Lack of quality assurance work makes it hard to endure the game for long. I have also had numerous weird crashes on my 4S, and when reloading saves my facilites are gone but the game still interprets them as they were before the crash. Restarting the level in question resets them, and I have had to start all over on that particular level.
Just like the first game in the series the thing that Fix-It-Up: World Tour has going for it is the vast game life. There are a lot of levels all over the world, and of course the loading times to really draw some extra time out of it. I am not a fan of this series at all, and find the fundamentals of the time management mechanics to be flawed. The basic ideas could be used differently though, and with a change of pace and style it could be transformed into a simulation in the style of Kairosoft games instead. As it is now you are better off with the Manias, Dashes and Spas of the time management genre.
Fix-It-Up: World Tour