It’s official: The Mac App Store is here, and with it has come a whole host of games for the Mac connoisseur. In the flurry of opening day, one game stood out to us as something that would be fun to try out, yet casual enough to pick up and play any time.
It’s called Garage Inc., and it’s the story of a nice guy in Chicago who decides he wants to open an automotive repair business. But then the mob gets involved and, well, we’ll tell you the rest after the break!
You play as Angelo Marito, an Italian immigrant who now lives in the Chicago area. It’s Christmas time in the 1920s and you want to start your own business, but you’re broke and there’s no way to raise that kind of funding.
That’s when your cousin comes by and offers to give you $1,000 to get things going as a Christmas gift. Great, right?
Turns out, your cousin got his money from the mob, and now they want him to pay up. He rats you out, so now, you owe the mob the cash. So now you have to successfully run a business, pay employees, and do everything as quickly as possible, so that you can pay off the debt each day.
Oh, and the mob now sees you as their new whipping boy, so they’ll assign you extra work during the night, and ask you to store things in the back that aren’t quite legal.
At first, it’s just you running the shop, and you have to both diagnose the cars as they come in, and proceed to fix them as well. As you get more cars and more customers, eventually you’ll hire an employee, then another, then another.
Each employee has a speed rating and a specialty. The higher the speed rating, the more they get paid, so you have to balance each employee with how much work you have for the day, depending on what recent disasters have hit the shop.
Each employee works in a color coded uniform, designating their particular skill set. To play, you click on a car in the parking lot, then click in one of the dotted boxes. Each move is a two click process.
Since Angelo is the only one who can collect payment or diagnose a car, he has to bounce around a lot. You also have to move each employee around the shop, based on what the diagnosis of the vehicle happens to be.
For example, you may get in a car that needs a light bulb and tire change, which means a Mechanical and Electrical tech need to work on each vehicle. This leads to a pretty frantic pace in further levels, and you quickly find yourself moving your mouse at a feverish clip while clicking constantly.
The Night Shift
Every few levels, the mob hops on and asks you to perform a task. This is your opportunity to play one of the Night Shift levels, which offers a completely different style of gameplay.
Now, instead of clicking wildly all over the place, you do the work yourself. Pick up a tool from the cart, then rotate it by spinning the mouse. Each level has its own set of challenges, so one time you may be reinforcing a door panel, another you’re changing out the coil springs. Either way, they’re a good break from the day to day grind.
As the game goes on, it gets harder and harder. Eventually, you have four mechanics to juggle, but there can only be four on any vehicle at one time. This is complicated by the fact that there are four bays, and each mechanic can only stand on one side of the car.
If you shuffle them around too much, one will walk away from the lift, which then takes more time for them to get back to work.
This gives your wrist and mouse finger a real workout, because you’re always on the go. Click here, click there, and keep on moving because you need to make that money. As you can tell from the shot above, it’s not easy to make a ton of cash.
This is one of those games that I can pick up and play at any time. The only real downside is that every time I play it, I can only do so for a few minutes at a time before my wrist starts to feel like it’s taking a beating.
The higher levels require a lot of back and forth clicking, and that can be a bit of a strain over long periods of time. Yet the game is so fun, you often find yourself pushing right through it.
My first time in I played for an hour, and every time after I’ve spent at least 10 minutes on each level. It’s just the physical pain on the higher levels that stops me from going further!
The price on this app has been all over the map. It came out at $9.99, went on sale for $1.99, and is currently at $4.99, but who knows where it will be in the coming weeks.
I think that, even at $10, this game is worth the purchase. It’s fun, addicting, and it’s a blast to play. While it isn’t quite the “perfect game”, Garage Inc sure is a lot of fun and for me, a welcome addition to the Mac App Store.