Do you like tanks? Your answer is important here. If you don’t, I’m not sure you’re going to enjoy Tank Mechanic Simulator. It features lots of tanks. Loads. If you love tanks, well, rest assured you fall neatly within the target audience.
This simulator casts you in the role of a World War II tank restorer. Turns out it’s a profession in high demand – your email inbox is full of requests, each asking you to take a look at tanks in various states of disrepair.
Restoration is achieved by walking around the tank in 3D and aiming your rust remover, sandblaster, primer and painter at various metalwork. Sometimes you must disassemble parts to reach key areas. If parts are broken new elements must be crafted too…and if all else fails, it’s possible to bring out a big ol’ hammer.
If developer DeGenerals aren’t massive tank fanatics, I’d be surprised. Not only are the tanks lovingly recreated, but you can also jump into the cockpits to get a feel for what it’s like to sit inside. (In short: terrifying and claustrophobic.)
There’s a lot of stuff to crack on with, including a firing range(!) and an obligatory upgrade tree where you can buy new tools. It’s even possible to expand your facilities to include things like a museum where you can show off your metal babies.
We were surprised at the depth here. There are loads of customisation options for both paints, decals, and the museum itself. We were constantly finding new things to do and explore.
I guess now it’s time to get to the bad stuff. And that bad stuff is… the Switch itself. The port job here isn’t bad (although we had a few crashes) but it’s clear this game was designed for PC first – we often found the controls somewhat frustrating. A texture resolution downgrade appears to have taken place too. If you own a PC, we’d suggest going down that route.
We also occasionally found some of the more common actions tedious. Sandblasting, priming, and rust removal all entail pointing a nozzle at an area until it shines. If you played last year’s Car Mechanic Simulator, you’ll know what to expect.
It’s far removed from your typical video game experience – this is the kind of game you play to zone out, relax and chill. It’s the gaming equivalent of painting Warhammer figures, being quite zen. If that sounds interesting to you, Tank Mechanic Simulator comes recommended, although with the caveat that the PC original is even easier going.