Mending Machines – FixFox Review

Mending Machines – FixFox Review

Come for the repairs and stay for the soup in FixFox, a cozy sci-fi adventure from studio Rendlike.

FixFox is a top-down space adventure created by Jaroslav Meloun, the sole developer at Prague-based game studio Rendlike. Described as a wholesome sci-fi exploration game, FixFox promises a combat-free adventure that features point-and-click gameplay with a bit of puzzle solving and lots of loveable robots. Since wholesome games are always welcome additions to my game library, I was eager to try out FixFox for myself.

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FixFox takes place during a time when the Earth has essentially frozen over as a result of climate change. In an effort to adapt to the freezing weather conditions, humans found a way to genetically modify themselves to acquire animal traits, such as a fur-covered body and the ability to hibernate.

Players take on the role of Vix, a humanoid fox and space engineer who crash-lands on a strange planet named Karamel, which is inhabited by a society of robots. Vix is accompanied by her sassy and protective toolbox Tin, who helps guide Vix as they explore the planet. Along the way, Vix and Tin will meet an assortment of quirky robots and sentient computers, many of whom have unique personalities that shine through the game’s stylized dialogue.

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Various local bots will have machines in need of repairs. However, tool use is illegal on Karamel, which means Vix must find a way to use scavenged materials from nearby pirate stashes to fix machinery in lieu of tools. Fixing too many machines results in a visit from robot police, who will swoop in to take something from your inventory as punishment. However, looting too many stashes will result in a visit from robot pirates as well. Both constraints effectively limit how many machines you can fix in a day. Luckily, these limits can be reset by setting up camp during the evening and resting until morning.  

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Since tool use is forbidden, Vix must utilize scavenged items to perform machine repairs. A postage stamp may be used instead of tape to fix loose wires, for example. Repairing a machine involves tinkering with its innards through simple point-and-click gameplay. The most challenging part of making repairs is having the right materials for the job, which is further constrained by the limited number of pirate stashes you can loot per day. You can swap out some of your items at local Traders, though any newly discovered items will need to be identified by an Oracle first.

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One of the more charming aspects of FixFox is being able to share meals with the local robots after finishing a big repair job. Doing so typically grants you a meal ticket, which you can redeem for a free meal from designated food stations. While eating, you can glean important information from the robot serving you the meal that will help you on your journey, so make sure to finish every last bite.

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When you aren’t fixing machines, you can choose to spend your time getting to know the locals, solving puzzles, and exploring the region. Occasionally, the layout of the planet will shift around, causing you to have to rethink your mental map of the area. Upbeat chiptune music encourages exploration during the day, while your cheerful scooter makes cruising around the planet a breeze. However, there’s not a whole lot to do in between major locations besides looting stashes, which is already a limited endeavor.

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As you progress through the story, puzzle sections become available to help change up the gameplay. Vix will eventually gain access to new machinery like power loaders and mechs that allow you to move obstacles and resolve various issues. Although the puzzles are more time-consuming than they are difficult, I appreciated having other tasks to do besides machine repairs.

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The story of FixFox is quite compelling once you begin chipping away at the mysteries of Karamel and unveiling new information. While attempting to fix the planet’s beacon, you will meet a slew of characters with unique personalities and backstories, including AI with a traumatic past and a pair of estranged brothers separated by time. The story is full of surprises and I enjoyed watching it unfold.

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For the most part, FixFox allows you to play at your own pace. The game has friendship and compassion at its core, which becomes more apparent as you continue the adventure. Players looking for a chill game with light puzzle solving, witty dialogue, and a colorful cast of characters will find plenty to enjoy in FixFox.

FixFox is a top-down space adventure created by Jaroslav Meloun, the sole developer at Prague-based game studio Rendlike. Described as a wholesome sci-fi exploration game, FixFox promises a combat-free adventure that features point-and-click gameplay with a bit of puzzle solving and lots of loveable robots. Since wholesome games are always welcome additions to my game library, I was eager to try out FixFox for myself. FixFox takes place during a time when the Earth has essentially frozen over as a result of climate change. In an effort to adapt to the freezing weather conditions, humans found a way to genetically modify themselves to acquire animal traits, such as a fur-covered body and the ability to hibernate. Players take on the role of Vix, a humanoid fox and space engineer who crash-lands on a strange planet named Karamel, which is inhabited by a society of robots. Vix is accompanied by her sassy and protective toolbox Tin, who helps guide Vix as they explore the planet. Along the way, Vix and Tin will meet an assortment of quirky robots and sentient computers, many of whom have unique personalities that shine through the game's stylized dialogue. Various local bots will have machines in need of repairs. However, tool use is illegal on Karamel, which means Vix must find a way to use scavenged materials from nearby pirate stashes to fix machinery in lieu of tools. Fixing too many machines results in a visit from robot police, who will swoop in to take something from your inventory as punishment. However, looting too many stashes will result in a visit from robot pirates as well. Both constraints effectively limit how many machines you can fix in a day. Luckily, these limits can be reset by setting up camp during the evening and resting until morning.   Since tool use is forbidden, Vix must utilize scavenged items to perform machine repairs. A postage stamp may be used instead of tape to fix loose wires, for example. Repairing a machine involves tinkering with its innards through simple point-and-click gameplay. The most challenging part of making repairs is having the right materials for the job, which is further constrained by the limited number of pirate stashes you can loot per day. You can swap out some of your items at local Traders, though any newly discovered items will need to be identified by an Oracle first. One of the more charming aspects of FixFox is being able to share meals with the local robots after finishing a big repair job. Doing so typically grants you a meal ticket, which you can redeem for a free meal from designated food stations. While eating, you can glean important information from the robot serving you the meal that will help you on your journey, so make sure to finish every last bite. When you aren’t fixing machines, you can choose to spend your time getting to know the locals, solving puzzles, and exploring the region. Occasionally, the layout of the planet…

Summary

This game was reviewed on PC. Guide Stash received this product free of charge.

Gameplay - 7
Narrative - 7
Visuals & Sound Design - 7

7

Rating

FixFox is a laid-back game with simple yet fun puzzles, loveable characters, and an engaging story.

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