The Overcooked formula has been adopted by numerous developers in the last few years, usually leading to fun games based on different professions (see: Lumberhill). Now 4J Studios (the Scottish developer that ported Minecraft to consoles) has its own take on the genre with the car mechanic-themed, Switch-exclusive Manic Mechanics. Featuring easy-to-learn gameplay, 4-player local and online co-op, and lots of unlockable characters, it's a fun and fast-paced party game.
Manic Mechanics takes place on at Octane Isle, an island that specializes in car repairs. Players will drive around the island's five unlockable areas on go karts, searching for collectibles and interactive elements, and stopping to play 25 increasingly hectic levels. The game supports drop in, drop-out local co-op, wireless local co-op, and online co-op for up to four players.
Every level features a conveyor belt that delivers an endless stream of parts, and constant deliveries of disabled cars. The repair team must grab parts from the conveyor, prepare them at the appropriate station, and then put them on the designated car. Initially, the parts are limited to tires, doors, and engines, but spoilers and other parts are introduced in other levels. Hazards like paint and oil spills and even aliens will keep the team on their toes as well.
Each part station has its own minigame to complete before the part can be installed, such as rapidly pressing a button or holding the analog stick in the proper direction for a short duration of time. The minigames can be set to skippable via the accessibility menu, so even young kids can get in on the fun. Players must fully repair as many cars as possible until the level's timer runs out, at which point they'll be awarded a star rating for their performance.
After playing a few levels of Manic Mechanics, I'm quite impressed with its charming presentation, intuitive gameplay, and multiplayer options. This is a game that gamers of any age or gender can have fun with, and kids who like cars will especially love it. The only downsides are the lengthy loading times and ugly character designs, but you don't really see the characters up close that often outside of dialog scenes. There are lots of characters to unlock, many of which wear masks or helmets over their hideous visages, so that's a plus.
Manic Mechanics sells for $24.99 on Switch. No other platforms have been announced, but we hope it will come to current-gen consoles and PC in the future.