Price: FREE (with $2.99 in-app purchase to download full game)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There's something about Fix-it-up: Kate's Adventure that doesn't quite gel, even for a big time management fan like myself.
At first I thought it was the storyline. Focusing on fixing up cars is quite a departure from the usual more feminine time management titles and it didn't seem to immediately work. Unlike other titles, Fix-it-up: Kate's Adventure isn't colorful or cute to look at, instead it's pretty plain and unexciting. It turns out the graphical style isn't the only thing that's this uninspired.
The gameplay feels less like a time management game than one would expect. Players spend their time buying and selling cars, fixing them, cleaning them and upgrading them. The problem lies in the time limit. Nothing about Fix-it-up: Kate's Adventure feels anywhere near as frantic as other titles by G5. Instead it feels leisurely to a fault as the game just isn't interesting enough to keep players keen. There's a lot of tapping back and forth with players buying a car then dragging it to the lot, then another drag to the repair station followed by another drag session to turbo charge it and a double tap to clean the vehicle. It's not the most exciting premise unlike something like, the recent release, Stand O' Food 3 which requires more variation and quick thinking.
As an extra annoyance, dragging isn't even quite as responsive as it could be with the game sometimes not realising that the player has deposited the car on a relevant building. Constant tapping is a particular irritant as there's no queuing system meaning that there's no prioritizing of the customers that are getting increasingly impatient for instance. One of the key components of a title in the genre.
The specific goal system offers some variety as at least players have the freedom of choosing to achieve such goals however they feel most appropriate. That, at least, makes a change from the conventional time management way. There's a fair amount of hours of gameplay here too with plenty of levels to complete. It's just unfortunate that Fix-it-up: Kate's Adventure doesn't feel compelling by any means.
As a big fan of the genre, I felt quite let down by Fix-it-up: Kate's Adventure. While there was some enjoyment to be found and I liked being left to my own devices to an extent, the game doesn't have that extra dose of fun that keeps me coming back to Stand O' Food 3 or Supermarket Mania 2 long after completing them. It's a game that's worthwhile for those who have exhausted all other G5 time management games but that's about it.