Puzzle game

FixFox is part puzzle game, part sci-fi adventure, all relaxing

FixFox is a delightful name to say. I keep calling him Fikfok, once by mistake, then the rest of the time on purpose. You are Vix (vikfikfok), a fix-it fox in the distant future, where humans have started genetically splicing with animals to have, for example, nice warm fur. This is a step I would take 100%; Even as I write this at the office, I’m wrapped in a blanket I brought from home and my fingers are still cold. I would be less able to fix things with bits of tape and coins I found in holes in the floor, but I’m no mechanic.

vix East a mechanic, though they are mocked by their compatriots for being pretty bad. They have a sentient toolkit called Tin, but a mishap means all of Vix’s conventional tools are lost. During a pretty meaty preview build, I got to explore a strange cuboid planet, top-down style, and fix things for a bunch of robots. But there are many other aspects to FixFox – a preoccupation with food, a sort of space-sokoban game, a story that alludes to mystery, evolution and time. Part puzzle game, part sci-fi adventure, part fok.

The first part of being Vix is ​​exploring the planet and finding things to fix. Pirates have hidden stashes of things indicated by a small glow on the map as you pass your scooter, and you can steal all the things in them for yourself. In the Salt Desert, a dry, rocky, orange place, these caches are mostly filled with coins, plasters, and a bit of junk, but different locations will yield different stolen fruits. It’s those junk that you reuse as tools, since each has one or more traits corresponding to something an ordinary tool does. You can even do a keyword search to find what you need in your objective menu.

If you need to tape frayed wires together, for example, your favorite would be electrical tape. But since you’ve lost that, you can use a bandage, because it’s adhesive and therefore also has the quality of duct tape. At one point I didn’t have a Band-Aid, but found a rogue postage stamp that I forgot to pick up. Voila, also a sticky friend to fix wires. You can unscrew the screws with something flat, like a coin or, perhaps, a spudger. FixFox therefore encourages a little lateral thinking. Sometimes these mechanical works are necessary for story progression, but other times they are just things that people would like to do, for which they will pay you with a new item, like a banana.

Or sometimes you get a meal token, which were my favorite times. You trade them in for a local delicacy, and the game asks you nothing more than to sit down and eat it, bite-by-bite – although you also have to pay attention to the conversation going on at the same time. These little food interludes are adorable, a nice kind of role play to be a hardworking fox mechanic. Num Num Num. I liked making sure Vix always had a sandwich in her inventory. It was just nice. I don’t know if the in-game sandwiches and cookies are actually useful. Besides being a sandwich, you know.

The second part is that you have to be careful not to steal too many Free Pirate Brigade hideouts or fix too many things. Both are on a kind of countdown, and if you overdo it, the hackers or the Order of Tools will appear and commandeer all the illegally useful things you have on you (the former because you stole your stuff from their hiding places, and the latter because they are sort of tool purists who oppose any unauthorized tooling). Luckily, you can reset this timer at any radio in the area, and getting new tools doesn’t seem like too much of a hassle if they end up being confiscated. FixFox seems to be mostly a cold, non-violent play on helping some bots.

I’d quite like FixFox if that was all it was – just being a rogue little fox – but there’s a story too. It was difficult to grasp the actual form of it based on my preview build, but it appears to involve a cryogenically frozen, unspliced ​​human, and a missing beacon keeper who should have guarded a beacon. I also don’t know why the planet is populated entirely by robots, but it is. There is also a very sleepy AI computer. Also, sometimes the planet just… twists 90 degrees. On at least one occasion I had to go into space and uncouple and move compartments on a freighter (that was my least favorite part of what I played, but I enjoyed the change of pace).

I’m very much looking forward to FixFox releasing later this month, because while it’s (whisper it) a wholesome game, it also doesn’t skimp on being weird and interesting. You must take the new things you find to an oracle who will tell you what their properties are. Tin is constantly worried that you are going to die and will sometimes give you instructions such as “Wait here for a hundred years”, which appear as quests in your quest log. Unless, of course, you’re supposed to ignore them. The tin’s function as a toolbox is just that – a box, with no compartments, so it’s just a big mess you have to wade through. I found an area called Ceramic Lake and after a little inspection realized it was an old, mostly empty pool.

It’s a pleasingly analog vision of the distant future, where you load up your save by inserting a tape into the top of the screen, and sentient fridges are affixed with plasters and coins by a cute fox. I kind of don’t want the story to boil down to something huge and metaphorical, but I think it will.