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Touch Mechanic

Touch Mechanic is a DS game that might make up for all those summers nobody’s spent fixing up their grandparent’s beat-up muscle car since the ‘70s. It takes the cut-it, stitch-it and carefully-apply-the-band-aid precision controls of games like Trauma Center and replaces the stylus-surgery with the exciting world of automotive maintenance. You’ll manipulate the stylus to cut metal, spray paint, change oil, replace engines and just about everything else you can do to a car, through 75 car-fixing scenarios.

You play the part of a young mechanic, whose best friend is killed in a tragic “accident.” Yeah, it sounds fishy to us too. Somehow, you manage to pick yourself up off the oil-stained floor and get hired at a local garage, where you get your first on-the-job training from the friendly mechanic Captain Bob. After that, you’ll work your way from grungy to glamorous (or maybe just less grungy), learning increasingly complex repairs, more uses for a belt sander and probably solving the murder of your friend along the way.

To advance you’ll need to prove you know the difference between a blowtorch and a screwdriver without having your boss there feeding instructions to you. The faster you work, the more you’ll get paid, which enables you to purchase parts and paint to customize your own car by earning money at your job. Then, when you’re satisfied with your car’s look, take it to a custom show. If you place well enough, you’ll be invited to work at a new garage.

There will be a huge variety of repairs throughout the game, including bodywork, engine work and under the car, but they’re unquestionably less greasy than their real-life counterparts. The game isn’t quite realistic enough to teach you how to do any real repairs (much like Trauma Center won’t make you a doctor). Still, it’s close enough that motorheads should have a great time when Touch Mechanic is up and running running in March ‘09.

Dec 19, 2008

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