Rover Mechanic Simulator Review

The internal workings of vehicular mechanics have seen a surge in interest in recent years within the gaming industry, with the likes of yearly Car Mechanic Simulator releases as well as Tank Mechanic Simulator and even less likely releases such as Mech Mechanic Simulator. Now though, it’s time to give the guys over at NASA a run for their money and become one of the few engineers to work within the confines of a new Martian colony as you step into the world of Rover Mechanic Simulator, and look to fix up some of the most expensive bits of kit we’ve ever seen ready for their new missions in outer space.

Compared to other mechanics simulators on the market, Rover Mechanic Simulator isn’t quite full of all the titbits you’d expect to find. There’s no huge skill tree that we need to be worrying about, there’s no garage expansion for us to save for and generally, all you need to focus on is fixing up some of the only real vehicles that have ever rolled out onto another planet.

To do this you will of course first need to understand the basics, and with a set of tutorial jobs to get you up to scratch it doesn’t take long before you know roughly where to look to get to the bottom of any given issue.

Making your job easier is the included machines that make up the contents of your hangar, which include the PCB – or Printed Circuit Boards – table, which is used to find out which parts are damaged so you can replace them. Next up is the Rover ECU Configurator which is used after the completion of every job to reset the drivers on the freshly fixed rovers to ensure everything runs smoothly. The MCU – Main Control Unit – is used to control the gantry crane that moves the rovers around the hangar and off the back of the lorry and onto the workspace, as well as having a side option to play games installed on it such as Snake for a resource pay-out dependant on the score earned.

Next up is the 3D Printer which lets you print new parts and components for your rover maintenance, with higher complexity parts taking longer to print. The Crusher is simply a recycling machine with an awesome name that can recover some of the resources from bad parts. Finally, we have the Workbench, used to find out which components of sets are damaged so you can easily replace them, as well as being able to clean dirty parts so they can be analysed.

Using each of these machines is a simple process and once you get used to the parts within each of the five unique and real-life rovers such as the Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity and Perseverance, you’ll soon find yourself flying through orders and even tempting fate with the promise of a premium service which looks for you to fix these machines within an entrusted time limit.

Whilst it would be nice to simply jump into any of the rovers and start dismantling things and have a look around, the more intricate jobs require you to progress through the ranks, with the lofty heights of Major General of the Space Force yours for the taking once you get a bit of experience under your belt. Fear not though as even some of the seemingly simpler jobs early on can become a little more technical once you finally uncover the actual issues and realise that a little more is wrong than first expected with the vague synopsis given.

To complete repairs, the player must first correctly identify where exactly the issues lay. This is done through the Analytics Mode within the repair view and by simply pressing on an individual component you can see its health and how close it is to needing replacing with colour codes and percentages showcasing just how dire the repairs may be. A green item is in good condition whilst one that’s red will be in need of immediate repair. 

Once you’ve got the right components, replacing them is simple and only requires a few buttons as you hold buttons to remove the items within Disassembly mode, before picking the fresh new component you’ve printed and hold the appropriate button once more to apply it back on the rover in Assembly mode.

Once you’re into the swing of it all, you’ll soon find each repair coming along nicely in less and less time. From this point, you can then start promising your customers a premium service and earn some extra cash for each job completion as well as some bonus XP towards that coveted Major General of the Space Force rank.

This is where the real challenge of the game comes in as whilst repairs can’t really go all that wrong once you’ve figured out the parts, getting them fitted within a time limit if you’ve promised a speedy service can be taxing, especially with the 3D printer taking longer to print more complex parts and those time limits coming agonisingly close when it comes to getting the orders out the door.

Of course, there is nothing to say you must add this additional pressure and if you wish to plod through Rover Mechanic Simulator at a slow and carefree pace, then the option is yours to do so.

Visually Rover Mechanic Simulator is great, it doesn’t focus on creating the most intricately detailed environment, however, the Rovers themselves are the star of the show here and they certainly look perfect with every detail and every screw in place just as they are on any google images you’ll find should you go searching.

As for audio, well mechanics generally tend to have a radio close by and that is also an option here; for me a Spotify playlist was my best friend, however the lack of any substantial audio is no real issue here with the focus on gameplay instead.

Conclusion

Overall, if you’re a fan of the other mechanic simulators and want something you aren’t likely to know about straight away, then Rover Mechanic Simulator is a good shout. It’s not the longest of games with an 8-10 hour playtime, but if you want something to simply play through at leisure, without all the excessive hustle and bustle of most games on the market at present, then this is certainly the tranquil experience you’ll be looking for.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Good
  • Fantastically detailed Rovers
  • Repairing doesn't require a NASA qualification
  • Premium Service can bring a pleasant challenge
Bad
  • Not a huge variety that can go wrong with Rovers
  • Some features such as the Gantry Crane and ECU configurator feel like needless padding
  • ECU configuration after every single repair becomes tedious
6.9
Okay
Gameplay - 7.5
Graphics - 7.2
Audio - 6
Longevity - 7
Written by
After many years of dabbling and failing in Dark Souls and many other equally brutal gaming adventures, I can now be found in a state of relaxation, merely hunting for a little extra gamerscore or frightening myself with the latest Resident Evil - Sometimes I write about it too!

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