Fixing stuff is always an adventure, isn't it? Especially when it's something as complex and expensive as an automobile. Fix-it-Up 2: World Tour, the sequel to Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure, makes the stakes even higher by moving you around the world, fixing, painting, cleaning and modding vehicles on almost every continent (sorry, Antarctica). It's a little time management mixed with some casual simulation elements for a simple game that's even more engaging than its predecessor.
The story behind World Tour isn't anything unique, but it does unfold while you play, adding a little incentive to keep pushing past each stage. Suffice to say, you need to get your garages pulling in a profit as quickly as possible. To do so, you'll be buying, repairing, and selling cars to the cheerful citizens of the world, one customer at a time.
The cycle runs something like this: drivers pull up beside your garage and offer their car for a price. If it's low enough, you can accept their offer, pony up the cash, and drag the vehicle into your work area. If it needs repairing, drop it onto the work station and your employees will do their thing. Now, depending on the level objectives, you can paint your vehicle or modify it, raising its value a bit. If the car is dirty, give it a good scrub, then either leave it on your lot to earn rent or slide it to the sales floor to earn some quick cash.
You do have a few resources to tend to, namely the number of employees you have and the amount of spare parts in your inventory. The latter is used for just about everything you do, from modding vehicles to painting them and repairing them. The former are directly proportional to how much work you can do at once, putting a bit of a vice grip on the speed in which each level plays out. Most of the time you can get by ordering each only when you're in need, but as the game progresses, you'll have to think three cars ahead in order to get things done in time.
Fix-it-Up 2 packs several new features not present in the original game. For starters, many buildings can now be upgraded to use environmentally-friendly materials which, in turn, net you eco points that are required to complete many stages. Customers also have a tiny bit more personality, often showing thought bubbles depicting which car they'd like to buy. Provide them with their dream vehicle and you'll score lots of extra cash for the sale.
Analysis: Nobody ever said working in a garage was glamorous or delightfully fun, but here again, casual games have turned the mundane into entertainment. Fix-it-Up 2: World Tour builds on the same solid formula the first game introduced and takes things on the road. The strong points from the original game, including location variety, unique set-ups for each garage, and a smart blend of time management and simulation genres, are all intact, leaving World Tour nowhere to go but up.
Developer World-LooM was careful in crafting Fix-it-Up. Just about every aspect of the game flows smoothly, leaving out any frustrating bumps in the interface or gameplay. There's a nice, even progression of difficulty from stage to stage, and time pressure is all but eliminated, sliding the challenge over to managing your money and resources instead. It's more about smart business decisions instead of fast clicking, but it's all handled with a fluid grace that makes Fix-it-Up easy and fun to experience.
A new and somewhat perplexing feature is the mansion you'll slowly add to as you earn coins by completing stages within a set amount of time. It doesn't really change the game, but I was pretty happy to add a veranda to my little green home away from home. You can also earn achievement-like trophies throughout the game, another little surprise bonus you never knew you were earning!
Just like the original, Fix-it-Up 2 is a great blend of casual simulation and time management genres. No stuffy dashing through diners or decorating cakes here, just some car slinging throughout the world.