How to make Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 the best sim ever


According to its press release, Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 "Offers The Most Advanced Simulation Gameplay Experience. Ever." It's a bold claim, but as our planet's greatest living writer, I'm a fan of bold claims. It still requires verification, however, so I spent some time with Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 this week. The bad news: it doesn't offer the most advanced simulation gameplay experience ever. It could, though, by incorporating the following helpful suggestions.

1) Add a waiting room creation tool

There are a number of unlockable rooms in CMS2015. When you complete jobs and earn money and XP, you can purchase a parking area (for your own personal junkers, which you can bid on in an auction house and then fix up) and a paint room for spray jobs. Something is missing, though: a waiting room for customers.

Car Mechanic

The two worst waiting rooms in the universe are at car mechanic and the doctor's office, but at least with the latter you can enjoyably pass the time by staring at the other patients and trying to guess what they're dying of.

CMS2015 needs a waiting room creation tool. That way you could build a waiting room with all the requisite parts. A small, wall-mounted television with a terrible picture that blasts daytime talk shows at an uncomfortable volume (while still displaying subtitles). A sticky countertop holding up a coffee machine with a 1/8th of an inch of sludge at the bottom. A selection of car magazines for your customers to flip through to remind them that they know nothing about cars, which is why they're at the mechanic in the first place. Maybe you could even add specific customers, like the guy wearing pajama bottoms and nose-whistling even louder than the TV or the small unattended child with something hanging out of his nose who insists on talking to everyone while touching their legs.

2) Let me explain to customers that I need to fix A Bunch Of Other Things in addition to the Main Thing

Anyone who's brought their car to a mechanic knows that the Main Thing that needs fixing is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a whole Bunch Of Other Things that need to be replaced as well. In this sim, while you may discover extra parts that need replacing while investigating a problem, you just replace them without having to talk to the car's owner first.

As a mechanic, I should be able to call the customer into the shop, which would initially seem to indicate that all the work has been completed after only six short hours of waiting. I could lead the customer over to their car, where they'd quickly realize that the real work hasn't even begun. First, you'd have to show them all the pieces of their car that need replacing, along with stern warnings about why these replacements are absolutely necessary, perhaps choosing between dialogue options like "Your car will explode if you don't replace this muffler" or "I can't legally let you drive out of here without new brakes." Faced with the sight of their car opened up like a butchered deer and the knowledge that half their day is already gone, the meeting would end with the customer sadly capitulating. "Well... whatever you recommend."

3) Make the computer slower

Car Mechanic

The computer you use to find and order parts in CMS2015 is great. It's easy to find the parts you're looking for, and when you order them they instantly appear. In my experience, when the mechanic looks up a part in his computer, it requires him to hammer away at the keyboard for several long, unbearable minutes. Then, I'm shown the various brands of the parts I need along with the prices of each. I can never just choose the cheapest, because while fixed in the penetrating gaze of the mechanic it would indicate that I don't love my car like a parent loves a child, wanting only the very best. I usually pick something from the middle, because I'm more of a disinterested-yet-guilty dad. Then I'm told it'll take a week to arrive.

4) Let me plan the customer's next visit for them

Taking apart a car in CMS2015 is fun: it's like a puzzle. Need to replace the steering rack? First you need to remove the rims, the suspension rods, the tie rims, the inner and outer tie rods, and whatever other car bones (?) are in the way, usually by unscrewing a bunch of bolts. Putting them back together is the same puzzle, but in reverse, and I find the task enjoyable and rewarding, especially since the only parts of a car I actually know the names of are things like "door", or "tire", or "that hole I can plug my iPhone into so I can listen to NPR podcasts while I drive to the organic pet food store".

Car Mechanic

Still, reassembling the car requires each bolt to be screwed all the way in before the task is completed. That runs a bit counter to my experiences as a customer. Typically, I'll drive away doing the mental calculations on how I'll be able to pay for everything—cancel the cable service and liquidate my 401K, usually—but still feeling genuinely relieved that my car is fixed. Later that week, however, the rattle will begin. Somewhere deep in my car's intestines (?), something is loose, something new. For a while, turning up the radio will solve this problem, but deep in my heart I know something just didn't quite get screwed in all the way and I'll have to return to the car hospital for more surgery.

5) Let me mess with everything in the car's interior

Complete a job in CMS2015, and the car vanishes from your garage. That's fine, but it's missing something. In reality, when you climb into your car after the mechanic returns it, the first thing you notice is that your seat has been slid so far back that the steering wheel and pedals might as well be in a different vehicle. Upon starting the engine the radio will blast country music so loud your eardrums will rupture, and as you drive off you'll notice the mirrors, typically pointed so you can view traffic behind you, are now aimed at other stuff. One side-view mirror is showing the pavement below while the other provides a nice view of Alpha Centauri. The rear-view, meanwhile, is giving you a nice look into your own nostrils.

I can only assume the mechanic has deliberately fiddled with everything in the interior before handing me the keys, and I think Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 should allow me the same pleasure.


The first PC game Chris owned was Choplifter in 1982, and since then our staff writer has played at least three other games. He has a love/hate relationship with Early Access survival games and an odd fascination with the lives of NPCs.
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