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This Wrench Video Game Lets You Fix Cars Without Any of the Hassle

The majority of auto enthusiasts enjoy working on their vehicles, but we’re an odd bunch that don’t mind turning an Advance Auto parking lot into a makeshift garage if needed. While enthusiasts enjoy working on their cars, it can be a daunting task for people who have never placed a wrench on their cars. Luckily, there’s a new video game called Wrench that lets you virtually work on a car without any of the hassle or the pressure.

For the record, not every enthusiast enjoys working on their car. While some enjoy the process, others do it to save money. For the most part, working on a car can be an inconvenience. If you own an older car, rust can turn even the smallest of jobs into an all-day fight for your life. Running into random issues (like breaking a bolt), finding that you need a specialized tool after you start the job, and multiple runs to your local auto parts store after realizing the part you bought doesn’t perfectly match the one you just took out are just a few things that can go wrong. The simple way to avoid all of this is to take your car to a garage.

Now, thanks to Wrench, everyone can learn and act like a mechanic without having to worry about all of the hassle. Forget about rust or breaking something, Wrench lets you go as in-depth as you want without requiring you to get your hands dirty. You’ll learn the same amount and get the same experience, but without the back pain or the need to invest hundreds in a decent toolkit. Essentially, it’s the ultimate auto mechanic simulator.

Wrench Cinematic Trailer

At the moment, Wrench is currently in early access and can be played in two ways – with a mouse and keyboard on a PC with Windows or in virtual reality with the right piece of hardware (Oculus Rift, RiftS, WMR, Vive, and Index). Before we can dive into what you can do in the game, we should point out that it costs $20 on Steam and the Oculus store.

Based on the game’s description and its official website, players are tasked with maintaining a variety of components on a vehicle, including the engine, suspension, brakes, fuel system, cooling system, and various ignition components. Since the game is in early access, we’re sure more aspects will be added in the future.

The really cool thing about the game is the level of detail. It’s not like some massive Lego set that you just smash together in the hopes that they all fit. It’s just like working on a car. That is to say, every nut and bolt that you would find on a regular car is found here. You have to put them together in the right way and torque them down to the correct spec. If you complete an oil change or flush the brakes, you’ll have to use the right fluid. The game lets you dive even deeper into the waters by assembling an engine, if that’s what you want to do.

There’s a lot, like a lot, to do in this game that should appeal to everyone. If you’ve been interested in learning how to complete basic maintenance like oil changes, you’ll be able to do that. Want to completely disassemble and then reassemble a car’s suspension? You can do that here, too. We should point out that there’s only one car that the game lets you work on at the moment, and it’s a Bauer LTD Catfish. For people that have never heard of the car, it’s a kit car that’s based on the Mazda Miata.

For anyone that’s interested, here’s a description of the game from the Oculus store: “Wrench is a mechanic simulator where players prepare and maintain race cars. The parts in Wrench are the most detailed of any game in the genre. The car assembly is fully serviceable with over 800 individual parts. Extreme attention has been paid to even the smallest components, including fasteners which are accurate to the thread pitch and install torque.”

While this game certainly won’t have us locking our tools away for good, this is the second best thing to actually going into your garage and taking things apart. Based on reviews, there’s a lot the game gets right. For anyone that’s wanted to get into wrenching on their own cars, but felt like it was a daunting task or that there was too much that could go wrong, this is a great way to get started.

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Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
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