Developer: Breakthrough New Media
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The time management genre is stuffed to the brim with titles based around cooking and preparing food as quickly as possible. The thing is, cooking in a game isn’t that exciting after a while. I love Diner Dash but I’ve done that to death. It’s time for something different. Something a bit darker and more grim. Enter Garage Inc, a title that combines the Mafia with a time management game.

Refreshingly there’s a story attached to it. It’s not the most original admittedly but it’s much more interesting to read than the slightly patronising tone of other titles of this ilk. You play Angelo an Italian immigrant who’s trying to make his way running a garage in Chicago during the 1920s. To succeed you have to serve customers as fast and as efficiently as possible. Just like any other time management game then.

The game mechanics are pretty much like all other time management games but it’s the way it’s presented that makes it feel more compelling. As you progress, there are new staff members to acquire and mini games to complete. The mini games are an excellent touch as they mix up the gameplay perfectly, you’re not trapped doing the same thing over and over again. They also implement the touch based controls well without feeling gimmicky. Progression is well timed ensuring that you never feel overpowered but that you never feel like you’re fighting against the odds.

Controls are fast and responsive, although the ability to queue up actions would have been welcome. The music fits in well with the 1920s image and the graphics are detailed and attractive. The cartoon nature of the storyboard scenes are particularly charming and make up for the shallow storyline.

The only real limitation behind Garage Inc is that it’s a little short. It only takes a few hours to complete. Then again, when the experience is this much fun, it doesn’t feel so bad. Garage Inc really shines in a genre severely lacking in innovation.

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