Alright, let me get one thing straight first of all: I WAS WRONG.
The first time I saw “PC Building Simulator” come up in the thumbnails on a games seller, my instant reaction was “what the fuck is the point in that?!”. Well let’s be real here – you’re using your real PC to build a pretend PC that won’t ever exist, and for what?? Can’t be any joy, let alone point, in that.
Then it came up for free in the Epic Games client, so, thought “ach, might as well add it”. Weeks passed, then I had a little bit of time on my hands so I thought I’d give it a bash…
OH MY GOD I was very wrong!!
Let’s have a little look, shall we…
This is pretty much the first thing you’ll see after starting the game. This is your business PC, and you use it to operate your business day to day. This is where the loving attention to detail the developers have shown first becomes apparent….
You are guided to the first e-mail of what will be many, from customers who are asking you to do all sorts of things, from installing a bigger hard disk, or giving their PC a general clean up – in the literal sense and from viruses too. You can take on more than 1 job at once, but I’m running with 2 at the most, as the game does appear to have a sort of sense of time, and isn’t in real time – meaning you can’t just leave the game running then come back to it hours later hoping time will have stood still. So if someone wants a job done by that day, you need to get it done in quite a timely manner.
All those other icons down the left side aren’t redundant decorations – they all work via a double-click! Here you can see the shop one, where you can browse through any component you’d like, along with all the different variants of the same part. When you come to place your order, you can even select whether you’d like next day delivery! It really is that detailed. What’s important to note here is that I’ve only just started off this game – the parts you can see are silly invented ones. But the developers have brand use authorisation from pretty much ALL the major PC part manufacturers! And my next level to unlock is Razer parts!!
The music player lets you listen to several genres of music on various ‘radio stations’. I’m unsure if they’re genuine internet radio stations or not – I do know none of them have any ads in. The songs aren’t just cheesy in-game songs either – Michael Jackson was just one of them that popped up on my 80’s station. Yes, you can change the wallpaper on the work PC with the “Select Wallpaper” icon. I’ve not yet had cause to use the Add/Remove Programs one but that’s bound to be functional too.
Turn around from your business PC and this is the parts rack. Right now I’m not entirely sure what purpose this serves, because, so far at least, whenever I’ve worked on a customer’s PC and needed to install a part, that part can be accessed from the menus whilst over at the work table – I’ve never needed to come back to this parts rack and pick up a part to use. Time will tell if this is merely decoration for the sake of realism.
Speaking of which….
Now we come to the main event! Fixing people’s PC’s. This is where the lovingly recreated details just blew me away. The process is so detailed you need to unscrew every screw – from the case, as you can see here, right down to each screw that is holding things like the PSU shroud in place, and the hard disk cage too. Then of course you just click on the hard disks and they’re gone. Only joking of course!! You need to slide out the hard disk, then replace it, then slide the new one back in. Nothing is a simple point, click, done process – which is exactly what I love about it!
You can spin around, and zoom in and out of the PC – there is no part of it that you won’t be able to access with the game’s camera system. When you power it back on, you can actually see that CPU fan spinning, and when you power it off it slowly comes to a stop – just like the real thing! You think when you go to power it back on it just magically starts? Nope! You need to connect the monitor cable, the keyboard and mouse cables, and of course, the power lead to the PSU itself – otherwise nothing happens. The game won’t actually let you move on until you’ve connected everything up properly – as you can see by the “Incomplete case” message at the bottom of the job box there in red.
When you install a new OS on their new hard disk the bar goes through a condensed version of all the actual things installing a new OS really does. Again, it’s joyful to watch.
Step outside the office and by the door you’ll find both your customer PC space – where you’ve boxed them up ready to send back, and highlighted in green here are your delivered parts to use in their machines.
Don’t like the name of the company? Well, work hard and you can change that too!
I should point out this is not a static screens game. You use the WASD keys to move around, and you can can use the mouse to look around too.
Once you’ve finished a job and taken the PC out to the little corridor, I found the best thing to do was go to the office door at the end of the corridor and click to finish your day. This will of course then trigger fresh customer e-mails, etc.
This game is an absolute joy for a geek like me. I was wrong about it, and I totally recommend it! They’ve even just recently released an add-on pack for it – which is free for all existing owners of the game! Lovingly crafted, lovingly detailed, you’re going to be in geek heaven.
Get this game!