A new car game released just yesterday is burning up the Steam charts, but it’s a completely different kind of car game than what you’re used to. I would say it’s unprecedented, but that’s not true: the basic idea was tried at least one other time (but more on that in a couple paragraphs). If you haven’t seen it before, let me introduce you to Scrap Mechanic, the wacky car-building game.
Kotaku published an overview of Scrap Mechanic this afternoon. In this game you don’t race cars or battle with cars — you build cars, and they can basically take any shape. Now the challenge becomes navigating the open world in your new creation!
“I only scratched the surface of what these tools can do,” said Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson. “Already, people have put together blueprints for functional flying machines, while others have managed to churn out mechs, helicopters, mobile bases, and batcars. Scrap Mechanic strikes me as a game intrepid builders won’t tire of anytime soon, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.”
If this concept sounds familiar, then you probably know why Rare has to be banging their collective heads against the wall right now. This exact concept was tried out by them back in 2008, with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts — but that was a game that barely anyone liked. Why are people gobbling it up like candy NOW?
Most likely, it was the misuse of a brand: people went in expecting a platformer and got a car-builder that mocked platformers. Perhaps if “Nuts and Bolts” had been its own IP, while B-K got a more traditional sequel, folks might have given both games more of a chance. But history didn’t turn out that way.
Scrap Mechanic is available now on Steam for $19.99.