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Manic Mechanics Review (PS4) – Chaotic Fun for Everyone

Manic Mechanics Title Screen

Manic Mechanics Review (PS4) – Developer 4J Studios’ newest game, Manic Mechanic, may seem familiar to those who have played the Overcooked games.

While it does share some similarities with the widely loved, highly chaotic cooking games, Manic Mechanic puts in the work to stand apart in this niche category of games.

Manic Mechanics Review (PS4) – Chaotic Fun For Everyone

Your Friendly Neighborhood Mechanic

Manic Mechanic Map

Upon your arrival on Octane Isle, you are greeted by Betty, one of the five Manic Mechanics on the island.

After a short greeting and assuming that you’re there to work in her shop, she figures out that you are actually there to challenge the Manic Mechanics of Octane Isle and earn a spot among their ranks.

Each Manic Mechanic runs a neighborhood on the island. As you make your way through these neighborhoods, the Mechanics will introduce you to new workstations and parts, test your abilities to fix the vehicles, and finally challenge you to complete your tasks while they are working against you.

This is done across five levels in each of the five neighborhoods, plus Banshee Bay, which was DLC for the game’s original release.

Rise Through The Ranks


The game has a very similar look and feel to that of Overcooked. It seems to borrow its structure from that series while giving the formula a fresh coat of paint.

The first thing you are greeted by in both games is your character in a vehicle, driving to each level to select it.

After completing each mission, you will be awarded a certain number of cogs, based on your performance. There is a set score for one cog, two cogs, and three cogs, as well as the score of the Mechanic who runs that neighborhood to beat.

The linear progression of the game makes it very easy to play multiple levels in a row or to replay the same level for a higher score.

If you aren’t able to get each reward the first time through the level, the next reward always seems close enough that you want to keep playing until you can get each one.

The only exception to the single path to the end is Banshee Bay, which is unlocked after reaching a certain number of cogs.

This neighborhood looks starkly different from any of the others, and I found that its darker look and the castle environments were a good change of pace from the otherwise clean and similar-looking neighborhoods.

Franticly Fixing Vehicles Of All Kinds

Manic Mechanics Smelting

Most of what truly sets Manic Mechanics apart is the gameplay that is at its core. Each level finds the players in a new arena with any combination of workstations.

Players can use these workstations to restore certain parts by bringing them to the workstations and playing a brief minigame. Once the parts are restored, they can be attached to vehicles to repair them.

The name of the game is to repair as many vehicles as you can in as little time as possible. Naturally, it won’t be as straightforward as simply getting the part, restoring it, and putting it on the vehicle.

As you go through the levels, there will be many obstacles to work around. These range anywhere from walls that block your path to NPCs who run through the arena to disrupt your progress.

Unfortunately, despite having all of the right pieces, Manic Mechanics feels very tame in the first two neighborhoods.

It isn’t until the third neighborhood that the difficulty begins ramping up and it becomes more fun to play for those already familiar with this style of game.

Nothing Good Lasts Forever

The biggest issue that I have with Manic Mechanics is that around the time I finished the game, my team had hit its stride.

It could have benefited from more levels, either by including more levels in each neighborhood or by adding more neighborhoods.

The inclusion of the DLC does help the game last a little bit longer and offers up a neighborhood that feels fresh and interesting after playing through the others.

This is a showcase of some of the best levels in the game, and it could use more areas like Banshee Bay.

The most fun I had wasn’t working with someone to get a high score, though. It was in the versus mode. After honing our skills throughout the story, going head to head in arenas from each of the neighborhoods was a rewarding challenge.

With the addition of shock bombs and the iron dash power-up, this mode felt like the rush that we had been chasing throughout the rest of the game.

The ability to not only sabotage the other player while they are gathering their parts, but also stripping all of the parts off of their vehicle before it’s completed added yet another wrinkle to the gameplay.

This, by far, is the most chaotic and frenzied gameplay that I experienced. While it is the most fun I had playing the game, there are no rewards for playing versus like there are for the rest of the game.

Regardless of that, I could easily see myself continuing to pick Manic Mechanics up in the future to play a few rounds of versus every once in a while.

Manic Mechanics is now available on PS4.

Review code generously provided by publisher.



The Final Word

Manic Mechanics is great for an afternoon of fun with a friend or someone new to this style of game, but with its limited content I struggle to see it making any meaningful waves. I would love to see the content expanded on in the future with DLC or a sequel. The game is unique and inventive within the structure that it was created. Given further iteration, I could see myself enjoying the Manic Mechanics world just as much as I enjoy Overcooked.