In October 2022 4J Studios co-founder Chris van der Kuyl announced on stage at Scottish Games Week that the studio would be moving into publishing. 4J made good on this with the release of Puny Astronaut’s beautiful Skye Tales. However that is not the end of the studio’s ambition in publishing.
Our friends at Videogames Chronicle got an exclusive hands-on with 4J’s first piece of original intellectual property (IP) in around 15 years – Manic Mechanics.
Described as ‘Overcooked with cars’, the game offers head-to-head ‘couch co-op’, in which players have to contruct and complete cars from different components.
The game features a series of levels set in different workshops and locations, with the goal of building a series of vehicles in increasingly difficult circumstances.
Every vehicle is missing parts, so players must work together to get these parts from nearby conveyor belts, get them ready for installation and get them into the car – all against the clock.
There are a variety of manufacturing skills required such as painting car doors, charging batteries and – according to VGC – hitting engines with hammers.
The article continues:
Manic Mechanics can be played solo, with the game’s difficulty scaling up and down depending on how many players are taking part. 4J did stress to us, however, that the game was developed with couch co-op in mind.
Having spent some time playing with three of the game’s developers it’s clear that this is indeed where the most fun is to be had, especially when the difficulty ramps up and players are throwing parts all over the stage in an attempt to speed up the process, inevitably hitting other players and causing carnage as a result. We’re not ashamed to say that even playing with three experts we still ended up turning the air bluer than a dead Sonic at times.
Manic Mechanics is due for release on July 13th for Nintendo Switch. We’ll have more news on the game as it happens.