Back in 2017, a prototype trailer for a new video game made its way on to the Internet. Simply called “Wrench,” the game promised the ability to build a car from the ground up in a virtual reality space. Now the game is moving closer to completion as creator Alec Moody has released more in-game footage and promises that an “early access” version will be available this fall.
With Wrench, the ultimate goal of the game will be to manage a shop, run a motorsport team, or simply figure out engine problems for a given car. Where the game will certainly shine is in its depiction of actual mechanical work. Every part of an engine appears to be modeled incredibly accurately. This means that you’ll be able to completely tear down and build up an engine without actually getting your hands covered in grease and oil.
Or you could do so before getting your hands covered in grease and oil, as Wrench might just be the ultimate teaching tool for DIY mechanics. Imagine loading up the game and having the actual engine of your project car modeled in this virtual space. If you’re unsure how to manage an engine repair in your real garage, you could practice it in the Wrench garage. Then when it comes time to do the real job, the time required would be cut down since you truly know what you have to do. Assuming your real-life bolts aren’t frozen in place, you know where all your tools are, and you don’t get bogged down by other tasks.
Wrench is a fresh new take on an automotive video game. Yes, it’s fun to drive all manner of machine across wonderfully recreated real-life landscapes. But a game dedicated to the wrenching aspect of automotive enthusiasm is one that we eagerly want to play. Initially, it’s heading to the Steam platform and will be just for PC users. You don’t need VR goggles to play it, but that seems to be the most immersive manner for gameplay.
Hopefully Wrench proves popular enough to find a home on consoles as well. Sitting down at night to knock out a bit of virtual wrenching seems a great way to spend an evening—especially because you won’t just be playing a game, you’ll be learning a lot more about how your car works in the process.