In Mechanic Battle you play a mechanic aspiring to be known as the best. In order to earn that title you have prove that you can take a bare boned car, and modify it so that you can win races, eliminations, and time trials. The game presents as a top down racer in the vein of RC Pro Am for the NES.
You are given 20000 credits in order to buy one of a number of starting vehicles. The car you choose is not great. Expect to lose races a lot. But that is part of the set up. The game requires that you grind until you can afford some upgrades. This is a painful way to start this game, but after you get a few upgrades under your belt, it is very rewarding.
In order to progress you must get 3rd place or better in each of the races, eliminations, and time trials. Then to move on to the next rank you must play a championship tournament. During your tournament you will have to rank at least 3rd place as before, but the difference is that you will not be able to modify your car in between races. This really got me because the second race in the tournament made it clear to me that my brakes needed an upgrade.
My only complaint about the gameplay is the fact that when racing there are obstacles on the side of the road that can completely stop you in your tracks. The best example of this are the light poles. Worst still there are billboards that can get you stuck between them when you are drifting around a curve. If this happens frequently you need to upgrade your brakes.
The visuals in this game are good but not great. I opted for a Mini Cooper, simply called Tiny in the game. While you can definitely identify it as a Mini Cooper, there are not a lot of details. The courses also look nice, and have a bit more detail than the vehicles.
The game suffers during some of the courses that have more detailed 3D elements. Normally, I don’t notice frame rate dips in games, however it was very noticeable and jarring. Frame rate problems are not unusual for the Nintendo Switch, but it seems odd that this game is having problems as it is a top down racer, not first person, or third person. So far I have only noticed the frame rate problems in the mountain courses.
The sounds in the game are good, but nothing that pops out at you. That isn’t a bad thing, and the soundtrack while forgettable is pleasant to listen to over and over. The they did a really good job with adding little details here and there. During the wine country course, you could hear the sounds of the cobblestone you were driving over. So while the sounds are unremarkable there was considerable thought put into them.
The story in this game is pretty much non-existent. That isn’t a mark against it in my opinion, it is a racing game. The basic premise is plenty to tell you why you are racing, upgrading, and racing some more.
The controls in the game are good, but the button layout is a bit uncomfortable. If you have a grip for your Nintendo Switch, or have a Pro-Controller, I think you will find the game far more comfortable to play. I used my Skullnco grip and that immediately made my time with the game more pleasant. They have the brake control mapped to “B” and the accelerate mapped to “ZR”. The “ZL” button makes you go in reverse.
Mechanic Battle for the Nintendo Switch costs $9.99 on the Nintendo eShop. I think that you will get a lot of value with this game. I played it all night, and only stopped because I had to get up in the morning. Despite there not being a lot of courses, the gameplay mechanic (see what I did there) of racing to earn money, and upgrading was really fun. It is well worth your money.
Mechanic Battle is top down racing game, and doesn’t coddle you in any way. You will be placing last or next to last when you pick this game up for the first time. That was really frustrating if you are used to games like Burnout where you start with a car that while not great is good enough to have some success right out of the gate. This was the case for me. However once I started upgrading my car, and seeing the improvements in my performance in the races, I was hooked.