Well, FixFox is just damn adorable.
It’s hard to pigeonhole FixFox into a genre. There’s a bit of space exploration, a dash of adventure, a sprinkling of RPG and a generous helping of puzzles. But whatever label you want to stick on it, know this: FixFox is wholesome, wonderful, and one to watch when it releases later this month.
You take on the role of Vix, the titular ‘FixFox’. Set in a future world where humans and animals have spliced together, you take on the role of a ‘SPACR’. That’s essentially an engineer who heads out to space to fix things. Except… Vix isn’t so great at fixing stuff. She’s developed a bit of a reputation amongst the other SPACRs for being rubbish at her job. But… she’s not going to let that hold her back. Her boss has a special job for her: to go to the far reach of the galaxy, where nobody has been for a long time. She accepts it without hesitation – but the journey there doesn’t quite go to plan.
Before getting to her destination, Vix ends up on a mysterious planet – a place where tools and the act of repairing things are forbidden. But, as it turns out, many of its locals are in need of Vix’s skills, with items they desperately want fixing. Vix is happy to help – she’s just got to be careful that she doesn’t attract the attention of the authorities. Fix too many items, and she’ll end up getting her tools taken off her.
Fixing stuff isn’t the whole of FixFox, but it’s a big part – and an incredibly fun one. Crash-landing on the mysterious planet, Vix loses her ‘real’ tools, and so has to improvise with items found in pirate stashes. A coin becomes a makeshift flat-head screwdriver, a band-aid stands in for electrical tape. Each piece of equipment that Vix fixes has its own problem, and she’ll need to make sure she has the right tools at hand to fix it. To make sure she’s got what she needs, she might need to explore to find a pirate’s stash, or engage in a bit of trading with a townsperson. Or maybe she’ll need to exchange some scrap metal at a vending machine.
If you’ve played Assemble With Care, FixFox‘s repair sections feel somewhat familiar. You’ll be opening hatches, twisting screws to access new compartments, and taping up electrical wire. It’s also less realistic than Assemble With Care. A toaster might have a circuit labelled “fruit logic”, for example; with three switches, only the two labelled with names of fruit need to be turned on. There’s nothing too challenging – at least in the bit of FixFox we’ve played – but we imagine the difficulty may ramp up as the game progresses, with Vix needing to use a wider array of tools on each repair job she takes on.
When she’s not fixing stuff, Vix is exploring FixFox‘s wonderful and mysterious world. She can pick up missions from message boards, informing her of nearby (and sometimes far-off) places that have repair jobs for her to complete. Each job she completes will give her useful items as a reward, and so it pays to spend some time completing side quests.
In the 90 minutes we’ve spent with FixFox, we’ve explored a small chunk of the mysterious planet Vix finds herself on, along with taking her spacecraft back up into orbit to explore an abandoned cargo ship. There are puzzles to be solved everywhere, and so you’ll need to have an analytical mind to quickly figure out what needs to be done. Or not – Vix’s talking bag is quite good at explaining the situation at hand and telling you what your course of action should be. Perhaps a little too good.
Needless to say, we’re enamoured with what we’ve seen of FixFox so far. If you enjoy adventures with a difference – the twist here being the focus on repairing faulty items – then this is a game to watch. We can’t wait to play more and see what other adventures and repair jobs are in store for Vix when FixFox releases on Steam on 31st March.