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Garage Band: Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

Magnificent mechanics

In the week that Project CARS released, I've spent far more time tinkering with the innards of motors than I have driving them. Just as I often prefer the time spent equipping and managing a squad of mercenaries to the bloody business of combat, it turns out I enjoy playing mechanic more than I enjoy the thrill of the race. During a weekend of ill health, I shied away from drama and spectacle, but did manage to fumble the lug nuts of Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 [official site]. It is absolutely delightful.

Kickstarted to the tune of $22,000 CAD, the game recouped its budget during its first eight hours on sale and has now received its first free DLC in the form of a European Youngtimer. It's one of the rare 'Simulator' games that is far more than an exercise in absurdist tedium and improves on last year's excellent release, with a stronger structure to support the lovely bodywork.

This is what you will spend your time doing.

As well as completing random jobs, as people come to you with their ailing vehicles, you can visit auctions to buy run-down cars to renovate and sell on - or build a collection of motors that you (sort of) built with your own two hands.

It's the kind of game that I'm likely to start playing at the end of a day's work (nothing more relaxing than pretending to do somebody else's job for a while), only to find myself proudly finishing off a vintage restoration at 3am. I'd like to pretend I'd be listening to informative podcasts or interpretive car-jazz the whole time, but I enjoy the clicking and cranking sound effects too much to turn them off.

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