Meet Kate's Parents
Wow. So, yeah, the 1980s. Slap bracelets. Synth bands. Big hair. Neon-colored clothing. If you remember the 80s, you probably want to forget, and if you don't, here's a good way to get started. Fix-it-Up Eighties: Meet Kate's Parents is the latest time management game from World-LooM continuing the car-centric Fix-it-Up. This time around, Kate plays a backseat role as she visits her dad who begins to reminisce about the days of old, meeting Kate's mother and running a car repair business together as they fought with the owner, Richard. It's a neat set-up for a time management game, but there's just one problem: what the heck is up with Kate's dad's moustache?!
Just like the other Fix-it-Up games, Fix-it-Up Eighties is all about buying, fixing up, modding/painting, and selling cars. It's a business-centric design, with your main concerns centering around bringing in as much cash as you possibly can. The cycle runs something like this: drivers pull up beside your garage and offer their car for sale. If the price is good (often indicated by a green thumbs up or a red thumbs down), buy it and drag it on your lot. Many cars need repair, so simply move them to your repair station and get to work.
After a car is fixed, you can set it on your lot and earn rent. You can also send it to the paint shop to give it a shiny new color, or drop it off at the mod shop to turn it into something really special. Painted and modded vehicles fetch a higher rent price, but if you really need some cash, drag a car to the selling spot and a passerby will eventually stop and make an offer. Again, if the offer is good, take the cash and call it a day!
Some customers are in a rush and have special needs. A frazzled-looking "doc" stops by at one point, saying his flux capacitor needs repair and some stranger named "Kate" recommended this shop. You don't have to go Back to the Future to get the reference (well, I guess you do), but the Doc is just one of several needy folk who will pay big bucks for a rushed job. You can also keep an eye on pedestrians as they think up their dream car. Fixing and selling a car that matches one of these thought bubbles fetches a nice price!
Analysis: The Fix-it-Up series walks an attractive line between a tycoon sim and time management game. Much like the Build-a-lot series, your main focus is always on making money, not necessarily managing resources. You do have to keep an eye on your spare parts and workers, ordering more when necessary, but it's such a small part of the game you only have to think about it once in a while.
It wouldn't be possible to talk about Fix-it-Up Eighties without mentioning the awesome setting: the 1980s. Yes, there's a lot of music from that ill-fated decade. There's also a lot of fashion, including hairdos, outfits, and toys scattered in the background of various scenes. If you're a child of the 80s you'll crack a smile when you see all the references thrown in to the game, such as the mechanic talking on his "mobile" telephone (that's roughly the size of a cinder block).
Like many series on the casual market, Fix-it-Up Eighties: Meet Kate's Parents suffers from a lack of originality when compared to previous outings. The story, setting, and characters may be different, but the gameplay is largely the same. If you've mastered previous Fix-it-Up games, this one will provide new challenge, but only because the layouts and customers are slightly different.
A simulation meets time management game, Fix-it-Up Eighties: Meet Kate's Parents is another successful car-repairing adventure for Kate. Well, for her parents, at least!