#21 Model Builder
Model Builder is a game about building and customizing model vehicles. Assemble, customize and display your creations – fill virtual shelves with amazing machines! Whether you’re a veteran or a novice, you are bound to have fun!
Well butter my biscuits! I have been looking forward to Model Builder for some time and the day before it releases…I’m sent a review key! It made my day.
As a working artist since the age of thirteen, I enjoy everything creative. I have always wanted to get into model building, but as a kid I shared a room with a heavy-handed older brother, and as an adult, I have yet to buy my own property, so I’ve never had the space to properly pursue a hobby like this. Thanks to the wonders of gaming, I can finally build as much as I want.
Model Builder sees you inherit your grandfather’s workshop. This is a popular narrative device/shortcut and that is fine. This is a simulation game after all, and I’d be surprised if anyone is buying this with the plot at the forefront of their needs. As good a bloke as I’m sure Grandpa Stan was, it’s hard to care too much about him from the limited information at hand. Let’s be honest, we’re here to construct cool stuff.
Grandpa Stan was a master modeler and your challenge is to become one yourself. The game takes place entirely from within your basement workshop. Via your computer, you’ll be sent requests, enter competitions, and track down the most significant pieces your grandfather worked on, with the help of your Grandpa’s old assistant, Joy. It is also via the computer that you can upgrade equipment, and buy new tools, paints, and kits.
As you’d expect, your first model works as a tutorial. You’ll learn how to move around your workshop, unbox kits, select pieces, carefully adjust the camera, and follow the required instructions for each build. Everything is at a comfortable pace and well explained.
I played this on my MSI GF65 gaming laptop, that has an i7 and an RTX 3060, and I had game settings on high. I attempted to run the game on ultra but it seemed to chug a little. Still, on high, the models looked fantastic. They have all been lovingly recreated for the small screen and your first task, beyond the tutorial, is to paint a little dwarf. I couldn’t get over how good he looked (my input excluded). The level of detail on the models is really quite something. That includes the beautiful boxes that they arrive in. The effort and attention to detail has not gone unnoticed.
As you beaver away underground, the background music fills the silence with an eclectic mix of instrumentals that do a good job. However, for me personally, I’d play a relaxing game like this listening to my own music or with a favourite podcast. I don’t stream anymore but this would be a lovely game to do so.
There is something I find very satisfying about seeing a project through from start to finish and Model Builder scratches that itch. Your first ‘big’ task is to complete a dragon that your pen pal Joy sends you, explaining that your grandfather wanted you to have it after he had gone. It takes some time to finish, with its multiple stages, but before you know it, a game like this has gently picked up any stress or woes you might have, quietly taken them out the room without disturbing you, and carried them far, far away.
Each model follows a similar path regarding its structure, but having various themes, beasts, vehicles etc. keeps things exciting. Some jobs you’ll have a lot to do and some will be something as simple as applying a few stickers to a tank.
I spent most of my time in the campaign, but there is a sandbox mode, plus you can take your models and showcase them in the photobooth. This is where you can apply different backgrounds and add effects to really make your creations shine. Model Builders also has a bustling discord, and the developers have said there will be “much more in post-release updates” for the game.
I have played a lot of simulation games and they can be hit and miss. Model Builders is a hit. It captures the hobby wonderfully, its deeply relaxing, and it will satisfy the soul of any budding builder. Get your geek on and support this title.