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Manic Mechanics Review – Co-op Grease Monkeys

Manic Mechanics review

The “co-op work mayhem” genre is definitely a thing. We’ve run around like headless chickens in a kitchen, we’ve moved people out of their houses, and we’ve even parked their cars. And now, zany co-op employment has arrived in the car repair garage. Manic Mechanics, available now on Nintendo Switch, has you and up to three friends working together to fix up a range of vehicles.

Yes, it’s been done to death with the likes of Overcooked and Moving Out, but perhaps there’s room in our hearts for a couple more – particularly if you’re a fan of local co-operative play. It’s a shame Manic Mechanics doesn’t reinvent the wheel – despite having you throw so many of them around – but even if it’s not entirely original, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.

You can tackle Manic Mechanics’ levels by yourself if you wish, and in single player, it’s fine. You’ll simply go through the motions, fixing up as many cars as you can. Typically, a car will need three repairs to it, and to begin with these will be its engine, a wheel and a door. You’ll need to pick up the relevant part from the conveyor belt, take it over to its specialised work area, and complete a short action to fix it up. For spray-painting a door, for instance, you’ll need to move your left stick left or right, stopping a meter when it’s in the green section. And for pumping up a wheel, you’ll need to repeatedly tap X until the right amount of air is in.

Manic Mechanics review

And so, when solo, Manic Mechanics can quickly become repetitive. There’s a degree of challenge still as the levels progress, and you’ll undoubtedly get a level of satisfaction by setting high scores. But you’re missing out on the true nature of the game: this has been designed with co-op play in mind. Get a friend involved, and Manic Mechanics becomes a whole lot more fun.

Related: The Best Party Games on Nintendo Switch

Just like Overcooked et al, playing Manic Mechanics means being co-ordinated with your team mates. You’ll shout out various car parts at each other, letting everyone know what you’re currently working on. Undoubtedly someone won’t pay attention at some point, and you’ll collide, both trying to shove the same items onto a car that only needs one. You’ll chuckle, one of you will throw your item down on the ground, and you’ll try again.

Manic Mechanics review

It’s as you progress through Manic Mechanics and play through its later levels that things truly get chaotic. Repairs become more complex, with superfluous items going around your conveyor belt, and various obstacles will make your life in the garage more complicated. Maybe your work desks will move around, keeping you on your toes. Or maybe huge magnets will come from the ceiling, taking away your cars if you don’t act quick enough. You’ll also move on from just fixing up cars, too, with later levels introducing a range of different vehicles – think trucks, submarines and UFOs.

We particularly like how versatile Manic Mechanics is. Local co-op is hands-down the best way to play, sure, and while single-player is a little underwhelming, we’re grateful it’s an option. So too is online play. We’ve had no luck getting any matches with random players, unfortunately, but if you manage to talk a friend into buying the game, it’s just as fun to play over the ‘net. You might want to hook up some voice chat, though, so you can co-ordinate somewhat.

It may not be original, and with only 25 levels you’ll likely be done with it in a few hours, but that doesn’t stop Manic Mechanics being jolly good fun to play. Tackle it by yourself if you want, but this zany repair ’em up shines when you’re playing with a friend or three. It’s colourful, it’s humorous, and it’s easy to pick up and play – basically, it ticks all the boxes of a solid co-operative party game.

Manic Mechanics Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Manic Mechanics has been facilitated by a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on Nintendo Switch.
Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.