When FireRabbit says Fix My Car, you're not in for an escape-the-room game in the traditional sense but a fix'em up and ride away on the open highway project. You begin with a task list already drawn up; search throughout a garage geared toward auto repair and detailing to find the parts and tools needed and get to work fixing up your classic American muscle car.
Most everything you do is controlled by a tap, either on the part you're picking up or on the area you want to repair. Inventory is kept in a separate menu so switching items takes a few extra taps. Both this inventory system and navigation can be a bit awkward, which provides unnecessary hindrances to an otherwise casual experience. Much of the challenge comes from the hidden object aspect to the game where you must locate parts and damage on the car. It can take effort to make your way around all sides of the car and the work space and it's easy to miss key areas. A single in-app purchase gives access to hints and solutions, which begin with a slight nudge and, on request, end with the outright solution. It's also helpful to pull up the checklist and scroll down to compare completed tasks to those still unfinished. The checklist is long, yet it shouldn't take more than an hour to complete which is right about before the novelty wears thin.
The methods used to tune-up this car are probably neither applicable nor advisable in real life. Yet the achievement-oriented approach is very gratifying and the unique hybrid of genres works remarkably well by tapping into creative impulses and rewarding progress. Fix My Car is the right balance of challenge and achievements to appeal to every ilk of player. Car enthusiasts, room escape fans and hidden object adventurers should all fit comfortably in the driver's seat.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 2. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.