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Wednesday, 21 December 2016 09:35

Game Preview: My Summer Car


So you want to build your own car, from scratch, by yourself? Well, in real life that could be quite an undertaking. But even in this Finnish video game simulation it will take some effort.

In My Summer Car, on the surface, the aim is to build your project vehicle. You have a car-body shell, and a garage of parts to begin putting your ride together.

Beware though, this is a daunting task. To get a recognisable two-door car up and running will take a few hours of clicking away, selecting the correct part, ensuring the size of nuts and bolts is right, and positioning precisely, with the correct sized tool.

Eventually you will have a running vehicle in which you can tootle around the Finnish countryside.

My Summer Car though is more than this. Yes, vehicles of all sorts are the focus, but My Summer Car is also a life simulator survival game.

Weirdly, while you are building your dream machine, you will also need to maintain your own body. So, there are on-screen meters for Hunger, Thirst, Fatigue, Dirtiness, Urine and Money.

As time goes by, like in the real world, you become hungry or thirsty. Working on your car causes you to become dirty.

The game world is highly interactive, everything can be manipulated. The phone will ring, you can sleep in your bed, you can get into the conveniently located Scandinavian sauna or shower.

The kitchen in your virtual home is functional, and the game begins with a crate of beer (beer is very important in this game) and a tray of sausages. And while these items will relieve your thirst and hunger respectively, again, just like in real life, drinking too many beers will impede your ability to not only drive your new car, but even walk. There is even a control for “drunken speech”, which is hilarious in Finnish.

There is also a key that can be pressed to give other drivers the “finger” in anger.

You also need to manage your bladder, which again can result in some hilarious or disgusting (depending on your point of view) moments.

If you don’t manage your bodily functions and requirements, you could die. If you had the permanent death option enabled, you can say goodbye to all your hard work on the car you had been building.

Cars and trucks are very detailed; each vehicle control works as expected. Indicators, wind up windows, a variety of audio systems, headlights, wipers and so forth.

The fundamental mechanics of the car are also modelled as accurately as possible. These are not modern electronic laden fuel-injected motors, rather your classic internal combustion engine with a choke and a carby that can all be tinkered with to a desired level.

Adjusting the fuel intake for example will alter the sound of the engine, you will learn to recognise the difference and performance changes as you fiddle with the various components. Getting in and giving the car a rev will realistically rock the fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror.

My Summer Car is an eccentric labour of love from developer Amistech Games and currently in the PC Steam store as an Early Access title. This means it is quite far from its version 1 release, but you can play the most current version, tinker around await the full title in the future.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.


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