Plane Mechanic Simulator rewards precision, diligence and more than a little patience. The game puts the player in the role of an RAF ground crew technician during the Second World War and tasks them with the maintenance of one of three historical warplanes.
Each plane has been simulated with considerable accuracy, and the game offers a wide array of engineering tasks that must be completed.
“JUST SO” STORIES
I’ll be honest; my initial experiences with Plane Mechanic Simulator were…clumsy. This is perhaps best represented by the moment in which I picked up an oil refuelling hose and found myself tethered to the tank and unable to find the correct button to drop the hose.
This was before I began to gain an understanding of the physics, or lack thereof, at play; despite its graphical qualities, Plane Mechanic Simulator is quite rigid about how one navigates its 3D environment. I soon discovered that the correct action to drop the hose is not to drop it at all but to return to the tank and reattach it to a hook (logical, although not so accommodating to a “drop it and tidy it up later” approach).
Indeed, every aspect of Plane Mechanic Simulator is exacting, demanding that each procedure is done “just so.”
Once I got accustomed to the rather particular control system, Plane Mechanic Simulator became a far smoother experience. Early tasks include performing basic repairs or replacements to external parts of the plane while getting used to repetitive activities like refuelling the aircraft at the end of a job.
TAKE IT APART TO LEARN HOW TO PUT IT TOGETHER
The game has three modes to tab through: assemble, disassemble and inspect. The latter is used to isolate damaged components, while the former two are, unsurprisingly, used to remove or replace parts.
Some damaged components can be repaired via a timing-oriented mini-game in order to save on spare parts, while others must be replaced entirely. Accessing certain aspects of the planes can often require completely dismantling sections of the craft.
It was here where I once again lamented the lack of a more realistic physics engine; I want to see all the parts I’ve stripped away on the floor so that I can keep everything in order (or more likely lose track of what goes where). Instead, removed components are simply added to an inventory menu; like much of the game, this is all very neat and tidy but not very dynamic.
Failing to conduct repairs properly can lead to dire consequences for the pilot. Each repair job is followed by a short summary of how well you did and – if the job was a failure – a short description of just how grim the outcome was. Attention to detail and a diligent approach are necessary as tasks become more and more complex.
A certain measure of patience is also essential; waiting for each screw and bolt to finish unwinding can be a little tiresome. I did, however, find that a rhythm began to emerge as I played, and the game evokes a sense of satisfaction in a disciplined procedure.
Plane Mechanic Simulator seems dedicated to providing a unique window into the experiences of a flight technician, and for this, it should be lauded.
LEFTY LOOSEY, RIGHTY TIGHTY
Some of the game systems are very rigid; I found myself wishing there was more potential to make my own fun. After getting tired of placing every nut and bolt back in place, I did sometimes wish I could play a saboteur and task myself with making subtle, undetectable changes that would nonetheless lead to a crash.
The game has no such flexibility, sadly. Suffice to say Plane Mechanic Simulator, isn’t always the game I would like it to be, but that is hardly a fair way to judge it. For anyone who enjoys a focus on precise and methodical actions and attention to realism, Plane Mechanic Simulator is a relaxing and absorbing experience.
Plane Mechanic Simulator is available in Early Access via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Plane Mechanic Simulator below:
Author Bio — Kit Goodlife
Kit is a freelance writer specialising in gaming, film and digital media. His passion for games began at a very young age and has only grown since then. Kit is IGR’s U.K. correspondent.