Fixfox is one of those games that I almost overlooked and boy am I glad I didn’t. This game was such a pleasure to play. Wholesomeness at its core, Fixfox sets you off to explore a planet you crashlanded on. Meet new people, the local government, space pirates, and eat amazing food! Keep reading to find out more details about this clever title.
Fixfox starts off with a tale of a world that climate change had wreaked havoc on. Humans began splicing DNA with animals to grow fur and be better suited for the cold weather. As the years went by all of humanity had become spliced and eventually took to the stars.
In this adventure, you take the role of Vix, an unlucky space mechanic. You’re about to get fired from your job when you’re given one last chance. You are sent to the planet Karamel to repair their beacon. It stopped suddenly and no one knows why.
The story is central to Fixfox and I found it rather endearing. Upon landing at Karamel you see robots from The Order, a cult-like group of robots that have banned the use of tools. And, the Pirates that get quite angry with you pillaging their stashes throughout the world. There are a lot of people and stories to explore from amnesia riddled AI to a brother looking for his lost sibling and more.
Oh boy, this is where Fixfox shines. You are a space mechanic, so you will spend most of your time repairing machinery. Anything from toasters to full-on dormant supercomputers and spaceships. The best part is that upon landing on Karamel your trusty tools were all removed so you have to macgyver your way through. Broken wires? Use a bandaid. Do screws need removing? Well, use a spatula.
Almost all items have some kind of use. As you discover new items you visit the oracle to decipher what their traits are. Flat, tape, brushing, etc. These things will be your tools to fix the machinery you encounter in your travels. In turn, you can trade for supplies, buy items from vending machines, or raid pirate stashes.
The life of a space mechanic
As much as you are here exploring the world of Karamel you are also here as a mechanic and you will be fixing a lot of machines. These are presented as small little puzzles. In some machines, it may be wires broken, or maybe you need to turn on switches in a logic puzzle. These aren’t necessarily difficult but they are cute and fun to go through. Certain essential machines may even need something beyond your basic tools, like combining firefly goo on a toothbrush. It kind of gives off that point-and-click adventure vibe and I for one am here for it.
Each biome you visit on Karamel gives you different rewards, or tools, to use. So while you will find bandaids in the Salty Desert, you won’t find those in the Sour Woods for example. Thankfully you’re able to travel back and forth quickly and freely. This keeps you stealing pirate stashes because you never know when you’ll need to trade in that postage stamp for apple cider or honey.
The world of Karamel
Karamel is an interesting planet with quite a lot going on. The planet is devoid of any life except for robots. Your adventure starts in the Salty Desert. A wasteland with villages populating various oases. These villages contain sometimes have oracles, traders, job boards, and radios (these are quite important). Sadly the locals don’t have much to say, but they can help find amenities (even those in different villages) or help find your current objective.
The Order and Pirates
The political landscape of Karamel is interesting. When you land you find that the planet is being run by a group of robots called The Order. They believe in banishing all tools and work to fix machines. Fix too many things in a row and you will be visited by these fanatics.
To counter the fascistic Order you have the Pirates of Karamel. These pirates believe all the machines and the materials to fix them are theirs for the taking. They have hidden various materials throughout Karamel. Don’t let your greed get the best of you though. Take too many stashes and they will show up to steal back some loot.
I have just fallen in love with the art style of Fixfox. The character models harken back to the 16-bit pixel art and the environments have this hand-drawn look. It seems odd at first but has absolutely grown on me as I play more. I love the way it gives the world even more character and life. When searching through your toolbox things are also presented as hand-drawn and no longer a top-down perspective. Really showing off the odds and ends you’re using to repair things.
Oh man is the sound unbelievably good in this game! The soundtrack fits so perfectly throughout the game. Playing through you’ll be accompanied by a western tune that truly fits with the way you’re slapping things together on the frontier. The opening cut scene had me feeling like I was listening to 2001 A Space Oddessy soundtrack. The music is great, fitting, and extremely polished. Even the sounds used throughout the game are spot on and only further engross you in your playthrough. My only real issue is that there aren’t enough tracks. I would love to have more because it does get a touch repetitive at times.
While I have been enjoying my time with Fixfox it does have a few issues with it. Thankfully nothing fundamental. The game plays great and I had no crashes or technical problems to speak of. Where I did feel things could be better would be to have more musical tracks. It’s not a necessity, it would just be nice to have more variation between biomes.
Lastly, the game does get a touch repetitive. You go to new towns, meet new NPCs, fix their machinery. You learn more and more about what has been taking place on Karamel but the game loop is often the same and starts to feel repetitive. Thankfully the way to solve puzzles does gain some variation as you progress but it’s still similar enough I would have loved to see more types of puzzles.
Fixfox is such a wholesome and refreshing experience. It’s a game where you explore a new world, learn of the mysteries it holds, and meet very interesting characters along the way. The way puzzles are presented and the way you use random items from the world to solve these is fun, unique, and kept me playing. While the game had moments of repetitiveness, its story really drove me forward. I found Fixfox to be quite the surprise and I truly did enjoy my time with it.
An incredibly wholesome adventure with interesting puzzles and a planet full of mystery. Fans of adventure and exploration; This game is for you.