Mechanician Alex is an ode to old school, single screen platformers in the model of Manic Miner for the ZX Spectrum. It is a very charming game that is really easy to get to grips with and has that ‘just one for try’ factor.
You play as Alex who is a little mechanic who has lost his tools. You have to take him through lots of different areas such as the park or the gym to try and help him find them all, before you continue through the door to the next level and that’s it. Now this sounds very simple, and it is…for the first few levels, but in the good ole fashioned way the difficultly curve shoots up rather quickly, more enemies appear, they move quicker and the levels get more complex. You can think you have finished a level, but the door hasn’t opened and then you realise you have missed one of his tools and have back track on yourself. In some levels this is possible in others you only have one chance to collect all of his tools as there is no way back around again.
You start with 10 lives which seems quite generous, but as you get further in you realise you need to be very careful. You cannot kill enemies, merely just jump over them. Timing is the key to this game, you time one jump wrong – you die – you have to start the level again. Although sometimes you can be playing the same part you did like two minutes ago, which you cleared, but it kills you this time? Consistency is not one of the game’s strong points.
The controls are very simple on this game all you have to press is left, right and A for jump which makes it very accessible for all sorts of gamers, young and old. The music in this game loops, but this isn’t a bad thing, it’s quite a pleasant tune that you will find yourself humming after you’ve turned the game off.
For once I actually quite liked this game! I can see myself going back to it just to see if I can get any further. I also found it had a competitive element, as Mr TeeJ got further than me so I had to go back and try and beat his score! It’s not the most responsive of games but neither were the old school platformers either so it reins true of what it is trying to do. It’s a fun game and it’s definitely worth all of 69p.