Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure


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Rating: 4.4/5 (29 votes)
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Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure

JohnBFrom newcomer World Loom comes the latest resource management game to take the action out of the diner/restaurant/shop/airport: Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure. More of a business simulation along the lines of Build-a-lot, you must help Kate expand her profits by buying cars at low prices, fixing them up, and selling them for a hefty profit. The combination of time management and business acumen creates a delightful final product made even better by its whimsical art style and soundtrack.

fixitup.jpgWhen Kate returns home from college she finds her father's garage is failing. She decides to help out by cleaning and repairing cars to sell them at a higher profit so the shop can make its rent. As Kate soon learns, however, she has a knack for this business, and after her father's garage is back on its feet, she takes off to half a dozen locations from backwoods farms to Hollywood, California.

Each round of Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure has a set of objectives to complete and will progress in much the same way. Cars drive by, some of which are broken and worth less money. Click a car to have the owner make an offer, then drag the vehicle to your lot and start fixing things up. A trip to the repair shop is necessary for broken cars, while the body and/or tuning shop spruces up the ride and increases its resale value. Once all the trimmings have been added, drag the car or truck to the sales lot and wait for someone to make an offer. You can also leave cars on the lot and earn rent, depending on how urgently you need the cash.

It wouldn't be much of a game if you didn't have to manage your resources, and in Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure they come in two varieties: spare parts and employees. In order to fix broken vehicles and run them through the body shop, you need a certain number of parts. These can be ordered at any time provided you have the cash. The number of employees affects how many jobs you can perform at once, such as sending one worker to wash a dirty car (dirty cars earn no rent) while three others add a spoiler to an expensive truck.

Each location in Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure is arranged differently from the last, which adds a surprisingly strong feeling of variety to the game. I never realized how stale the locations in some time management sims can be! A number of achievement trophies can also be earned, and we all know how much everyone loves achievements! Earning special certificates can unlock new modes of play along with bonus levels, new buildings, and extra machines.

fixitup2.jpgAnalysis: Another surprise resource management game that's actually fun (see Parking Dash for my previous bewilderment), Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure builds a little variety into itself by including elements of tycoon sims while toning down the twitch gameplay several notches. Instead of worrying about how fast you can click or what order to do things, your main tasks is planning how to maximize your profits. There isn't much thinking involved, however, as this is still a casual game, but the level of financial decision making is sufficient to induce a thoughtful pause or two.

On the side of disappointment, I really wanted to see a little haggling in the game, there was so much potential to expand on this aspect of the business. Buying and selling cars is a straightforward "yes" or "no" response, and everyone seems to offer the same fair price. Just like in real life! (Note: That's sarcasm.) Even a little fake haggling would have made me feel ten times the car tycoon. Let me turn down an offer in the hopes the next sucker fine citizen will offer just a bit more.

A surprising winner in my book, Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure mixes all the elements in just the right proportion to make a fun, satisfying, and engaging time management game.

WindowsWindows:
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Mac OS XMac OS X:
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26 Comments

Wow. I really like the concept of this game. I've never looked into any of the "downloadable" stuff that Jayisgames ever had, but this one really piqued my interest. Unfortunately, my old computer can't run it. Are there any older games that are similar, and by that I mean dealing with fixing up and reselling cars?

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Anonymous January 3, 2009 11:10 PM

Wait, unsold cars sitting on the lot can earn rent? Does GM know about this?

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To Cornelius Baxter:

I haven't seen anything else with cars like this that I recall during my time with Jayisgames. And if your computer won't run this one, it will probably be hard to find anything else. All the games that I have require Windows XP or Vista.

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I tried the demo, and it does feel like a re-skinned, re-imagined Build-a-Lot, which isn't a bad thing as their on game #3!

I wish the rewards at the end of each level added some value to the gameplay rather than just aesthetics though. That's my only beef with the game so far, and looking forward to picking it up soon.

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Mravac Kid January 4, 2009 5:52 PM

Actually, you *can* haggle. If you don't like the offer, you can wait for a better one. It happens now and then that someone comes in and offers a really good price.
It's more noticeable in later levels, where there's more kinds of cars and customers (each customer values different cars, and is willing to pay more for them).

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The sounds to this game are great from the things customers say to sound of tuning up a car and the graphics are pretty cool too. I love souping up a whole bunch of cars from mini coopers to minivans (LOL)! I wish you could customize the colors when you do body work on the vehicles (eg. wagons will always be green with that tattoo looking graphic and sedans will always be red) but after playing for a while, I see that you may need the same color code just to keep your eyes organized with "which cars have work done to them and which cars need it done".

I would have liked to see an option for maybe different bonus stages, like maybe a chance to hook up Kate's personal car, customize everything from the body work to the interior just to change the pace. I totally agree with JohnH's comment about wishing the bonus stages added more value to the game play cause you work hard to finish your goals in the time allotted only to find that your only reward is to play yet another level for the mere satisfaction of it, no spare parts gained - no extra money! How is that a bonus? :P

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I've enjoyed playing Fix-It-Up so far, and I've gotten almost to the end by now.

But now I seem to have hit a glitch, or I'm not understanding what the game's trying to tell me. Now I want to play the last special level (in Hollywood), which seemingly is the last level. It says I have to finish all levels in prime time to unlock it, and I have done that. When I hover over any of the previous levels, it always says (complete, PRIME!). Yet, that last special level id not unlocked.

Am I missing something? Are there any other levels I have to complete in prime time? Are there prime time limits for the special levels in the other locations? Do I have to complete (if so, how?) the time and money challenges at the other locations? Is it a bug?

Unrelated to my question, I have run into a distracting bug, too. After the game has run for some time, some of the sound effects go into an infinite loop, so I would often end up being harassed by an infinite amount of 'Bye!'s and cars driving off, or other effects that are usually only triggered once in a while. Has anyone else had that experience or is it something on my system that's causing it?

Other than that, it's a fun little game, and I do not regret the purchase. :)

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Update on my issue: Replaying the last level resolved it for me. Too bad there's no cut scene (or cut comic?) at the end.

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To Thomas:

I think the issue about the sound effect looping is a bug in the game. Mine does it, too. I just mute the sound on my computer until I finish playing, then next time it's ok.

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I need help!! I am on the final level (not the bonus one) and my field is full of the 6 of each car, but my rent is only abou £193,000 when it needs to be £200,000. All my cars are upgraded and complete, and my whole lot is full (only 12 empty slots). How do I get it up to £200,000??

Thanks

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To Mandy:

If I remember correctly, the trick to that level is to leave one a car in a garage space instead of putting it on the parking lot, which is already full. I'll try to play the level again and get more details for you.

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please help , i finished the compleed game in prime time, but I'm trying for days to build a helicopter, anyone any tips?

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I made it all the way thru except for the last bonus level....grrrr LOL and loved the game. It froze on me a couple times right when I was about to win but otherwise ran well...ok the noises seem to stick a lot. Sure wish the last bonus level wasn't so extreme.. 25,000 parts was too much!

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Jenifer Morris January 26, 2009 3:57 PM

To Mandy, You need to buy at least one car with a star on it to get the $200,000.

Anyone any clues for the last helicopter level??

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Is anyone looking for mac version? Here is: http://www.macgamestore.com/detail.php?ProductID=1080

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How to do train employees to service the cabriolet?

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I'm having a having a hard time getting past level 3 on the beach. Any suggestions?

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To Lo:

It's been awhile since I've played this game, but I think there is a building you have to buy in order to get trained on the cabriolet. Similar to when you buy the other upgrades.

To Amy:

What are the goals for that level?

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Pam

Hire 8 employees

25000 in rent income

5000 spare parts

[Edit: Thanks, Amy. I'm afraid I'll have to play again up to that point. I thought maybe it would jog my memory if I got more details from you, but it didn't. -Pam]

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please help , i finished the compleed game in prime time, but I'm trying for days to build a helicopter, anyone any tips?
Posted by: wilma | January 23, 2009 5:40 AM

I've got the same problem - please help!
Sandy

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can some help with the buggies i put the truck in and it said proceesing but it won't level up

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I'm stuck on the Helocopter, too. I've been working on it for weeks, but I don't even get close.

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with the heli, just buy busted cars, fix em, and sell em.. constantly look for the green thumbs up with buying and selling and the keep a few convertibles for constant cash flow and then start sellin those and buyin the sport cars for your cash flow, top em all out and then one you've completed the first 2 levels of the heli, just sell all ur cars, buy buy buy parts and hope you get it built in time. i only had like 30 sec left when i finished building it. good luck

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Iskandar April 26, 2009 6:43 AM

Hm. Good game, but it has issues. Sound effects sometimes don't play or more often will loop. Exiting to the main menu fixes the latter. Last special level doesn't seem to unlock unless you play the very last level twice. Minor, but annoying bugs.

And the story just kind of limps to a halt. Not that the story in any of these things ever is the driving force, but still. I imagine there will be a sequel, but despite that they could have done a little better job wrapping things up.

Trophy room could use improvements. Would be nice to see where we stand. Instead, you know what level you achieved and what you need for the next level, but not how close you've come to that. Airport Mania did it better IMHO.

Overall, though, the problems are trivial. Good game. Solid 7/10.

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Grannygamer February 18, 2010 10:03 PM

Wow, this is emabrassing to ask but...I am on Spain 2. The royal cars n suvs, I am stumped as to what they want. Says Royals upgraded 4 of a kind and SUV's 3 upgraded of a kind. I have done every type of suv n royal possible leaving either 3 or 4 on lot depending which vehcile am working on. Nothing has worked. I do not have a clue what they want so can complete level. Help please, pretty please. Thank you in advance.

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bondtopdog March 27, 2010 11:53 AM

I am having a hard time earning rent in the first game, even though all my trucks/cars are clean and in working order. I know this may sound stupid, but how do I earn rent quickly. I get all my goals except for the rent. What am I doing wrong?

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