I saw this news pop up on industry website BikeBiz, and I still had to check the date on this one. And as it turns out, a PC and console-based game that lets you manage a bicycle workshop and play as a mechanic truly is scheduled for release in early 2023.
Bike Mechanic Simulator 2023 is pretty much as it sounds. The gameplay lets you embark on a lucrative career as a bicycle mechanic. Within the game, you’ll be able to perform common service tasks, repair components, customise bikes, and perform test rides on them … all with mediocre-quality tools based on what the teaser video suggests.
The teased virtual repairs appear to reflect real-world components and realistic methods, assuming you ignore the fact that everything appears to be threaded in reverse of the norm. However, compared to the super-well-paid work of a real bike mechanic, the gameplay is expected to be somewhat simplified, something done for “a high level of playability,” according to Tomasz Sobiecki, CEO of the game’s publishing company, Manager Games S.A.
That simplified gameplay surely excludes the true joys of being a bike mechanic in the present day. Such as spending hours re-cabling a modern aero road bike in order to replace a top headset bearing. Or opening up the creaky pressfit bottom bracket on a triathlon bike to find a goopy yellow salt crystal mix hidden away just for you. Or trying to service a drivetrain to realise that not only do you not have the weird-offset, proprietary direct mount chainring in stock, you don’t even have the right tool to remove the worn one. Or perhaps just the pure joy of getting two hours into a repair only to find a grooved carbon steerer tube that’s not safe for customer return.
That said, the game is coming from the Ultimate Games SA group, which also created Ultimate Fishing Simulator. So they should be well placed to at least implement a lifelike simulation of modern-day cable routing and frayed gear cable replacement.
Jokes aside, this game has the potential to be something quite enjoyable, interesting, and educational for the young and cycling-obsessed. Meanwhile, cycling brands will surely love the endless product placement opportunities, and it sure feels like something tool brands should try to get involved with.
The game is created by Polish studio Punch Punk S.A, a games developer focused on management and Tycoon-style gameplay. They are the creators of Car Mechanic Manager 2022, which you guessed it, lets you manage a car workshop. They also offer a game called eSport Manager, which is indeed a virtual game allowing you to virtually manage a virtual eSports team of virtual gamers playing virtual games. My head hurts.
Bike Mechanic Simulator is expected to premiere first on PC (Steam), and be released later for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. In the meantime, there’s always YouTube to let you play virtual bike mechanic.