I bought it, I tried it, and, well, meh. At least it was cheap.

It seems like an interesting premise, but there doesn’t seem to be any penalty for needlessly wasting time approaching the problem incorrectly or replacing too much stuff. No book times or warranty costs. No issue with repeatedly going back and forth to the parts supplier over and over and over again. And I just can’t stomach the idea of some repairs, like just replacing one spark plug, or using old pads on new rotors or an old clutch plate with new pressure plate. I’ve always replaced the clutch if it’s got some wear on it if I’ve got the engine and transmission separated.

I found it easier just to disassemble the entire car and replace everything that didn’t meet a certain wear percentage. It was a lot less frustrating (but still annoying) than thinking you’ve fixed the problem and have to redo everything you’ve just done; taking out each pushrod and rocker arm, for example, is an excruciating task in this game. You could argue that mechanics IRL experience this kind of frustration, but there would be financial and time issues if they were to fully disassemble the car and rebuild it; this game doesn’t model that. And no, the advanced mode doesn’t make it any more realistic, just more frustrating to find the problems.

And then there’s technical inaccuracies. OK, if you’ve got a generic car it doesn’t have to be accurate, but if you’re using a brand-name vehicle you should model the car properly. I laughed at the last version for having a RWD car with a transverse V6, but that was sort of OK since it wasn’t a real car. But a Bentley Continental GT with a transfer case behind the transmission with a separate, external shaft going to a front differential? That car may be as heavy as a truck, but it doesn’t have a truck’s drivetrain. And everything, regardless of transmission type, has a clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing. Uh, no.

At least the various car models look nice. The C126 is quite attractive, as are many of the other MB and Bentley models, as long as they’re painted in appropriate colors - a shocking green or purple 300SL just makes me want to vomit a little.

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Save this one for the children who don’t understand how car parts and repairs work, and perhaps take the word ‘simulator’ out of the title. But then again, it’s a game and not an educational tool, but still, c’mon...