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Video Game / Scrap Mechanic

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Scrap Mechanic is a Construction-Focused Wide-Open Sandbox game made by a Swedish developer Axolot Games. The game was originally inspired by the devs' work on a test Xbox 360 port of Minecraft. Its main selling point is the ability to create moving machines of byzantine complexity, with any kind of shape and size you want, and potentially endowed with massive transformation capabilities. The game was originally announced on the 4th of November, 2014, and was released into Steam Early Access a little over a year later, on January 20th, 2016. Four years later, after a protracted development process, the Survival Mode was added to the game, with a load of new content and gameplay mechanics.

The game's Creative Mode features around four hundred different parts and grid-based "base materials" that can be stretched to any size and shape, bearings that can be used to build cars and transforming mechanisms, engines and seats to power and control vehicles, rocket thrusters for flying vehicles, controllers to program elaborate transformations, pistons to move things linearly, and a few other useful things. The Survival Mode, meanwhile, offers a noticeably different gameplay experience - with enemies, weapons, and consumables (such as food and gasoline for cars), an item crafting mechanic, vast procedurally-generated maps, a day and night cycle, bodies of water, NPC characters to trade with, warehouses to raid for rare supplies, and other interesting things. The official page for the game is here.

Not to be confused with Scrappy Mechanic.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: While the basic ranged weapon you can get is a spudgun, which fires potatoes, the double-barreled shotgun that is also available fires... french fries.
  • Action Survivor: In Survival Mode, you start the game next to a crashed starship that was taking you to the planet... and the first thing you'll probably do is put out the fires, pick up the usable supplies, and set out to find a battery to restore its power supply.
  • Agri World: Scrap Mechanic is set on a dedicated agricultural planet, staffed primarily by robots to reduce costs and the need for human presence. One can guess where that eventually went.
  • Amphibious Automobile: With the buoyancy mechanic existing in the game, it's fairly easy to build vehicles like that.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The fruit and vegetables you can farm in the game grow completely unlike they do in the real world (such as a single tomato growing in a pea-like pod, or corn growing directly on the ground) - done so for the sake of gameplay.
  • Base on Wheels: Yes, you can build one, and even one that transforms to hide its capability to move.
  • Booby Trap: In the Survival Mode, you're going to have to build some of those yourself to defend against farmbots (and sometimes, other players). One of the most obvious possibilities are Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom, and rigging your creations to self-destruct is also possible via gas canisters.
  • Building Is Welding: Downplayed. The Weld Tool is used for its actual purpose of joining parts, but the Craftbot emits welding sparks as a default animation for crafting, even when making wood blocks.
  • Bungling Inventor: While learning how to build and/or experimeting with the game's systems, it's trivial to slip into the Bungling Inventor mindset and produce silly and/or dangerous inventions.
    Loading Screen Tip: "If your invention doesn't work as intended, just call it art."
  • Call to Agriculture: Inverted. In the Survival Mode, living off the land and building agricultural machines is a vital part of your Call to Adventure.
  • Construction Is Awesome: The primary appeal of the game. In the Creative Mode, the primary appeal is to build all kinds of different ridiculous and amazing machines, and in the Survival Mode, your construction skill is basically an Imagination-Based Superpower.
  • Complexity Addiction: Sure, you could make a simplistic car out of a metal plate, four wheels, engine, and driver's seat - but what's to stop you from making a massive truck with multiple sets of wheels, a flying tiltjet craft, a Walking Tank, a transforming house on wheels, or something far weirder and cooler?
  • Computer Voice: The Farmbots on the in-game radio intersperse their music broadcasts with distorted statements in Machine Monotone - such as "We-are-controlling-the-radio." and "We-will-find-you."
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The only kind of multiplayer so far, with the players co-operating to quickly create impressive buildings and machines. Later on, the developers want to implement PVP against "unscrupulous reprobates who want to steal your stuff".
  • Cute Machines: The Craftbots, who are your helpers in creating useful items. They actually sing a little cheery tune as they craft items for you.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The biggest Farmbot type in the game, as well as the smaller Tapebots that patrol the game's warehouses, and many of your crafting bots.
  • Dagwood Sandwich: Several of the Health Food consumables scheduled to appear in Survival, with a particularly ginormous one serving as the game's 1-Up item.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: There are no pre-determined blueprints in the game. You can build vehicles from existing parts in pretty much any shape you want, and the same goes for structures. An update on March 18th, 2016 added a Paint Tool into the mix, letting you really run wild with the coloring of whatever you build.
  • Disaster Scavengers: In Survival Mode, the main characters scavenge around for useful items in the midst of a Robot Uprising. Notably, scavenging is just the first step; the majority of the game revolves around finding new uses for the items you gather.
  • Drop The Hammer: Your main weapon for combat is a massive sledgehammer.
  • Edible Ammunition: The game's primary ranged weapon is a potato-firing air gun, and it will be on the player to find or grow potatoes to fire from it.
  • The Engineer: You, and anyone you care to bring along for the ride.
  • Equipment Upgrade: One feature of the Survival Mode is finding upgrade kits to improve machine parts like driver seats, engines, thrusters, and controllers.
  • Exploding Barrels: The gas canisters, available in Creative Mode to build elaborate explosives, and craftable in Survival Mode as well. The primary way to trigger them is some form of impact - meaning plenty of possibilities with the game's Design-It-Yourself Equipment.
  • For Science!: One of the primary reasons to build things in Creative Mode; the Emergent Gameplay on offer can allow for all kinds of advanced or unexpected creations, same as in Minecraft.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The only hard limit to what equipment you can design is your own imagination.
  • Ghibli Hills: Large swathes of the planet where the game takes place appear to be this. Zig-Zagged in regards to human presence - the humans aren't normally there, but the machines they have built are.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Farmbots were originally intended as non-sapient farming machines that would keep the planet's agricultural production running with minimal human involvement. There are even billboards seen in the world saying "We do all the work while you collect all the profit!" At some point, though, the Farmbots decided that they would rather not take orders from humans anymore, and took over the entire planet for themselves.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: In addition to building movable vehicles with the parts you have available, you can just as easily attach those parts and material blocks to the world to build impressive houses and workshops, and then decorate them to your heart's content with household objects.
  • Low-Speed Chase: At the start of the game, with the player's car literally made out of scrap and the main enemy type being the slow but definitely threatening Haybots, you might end up in a few of these.
  • MacGyvering: What you'll be doing for the majority of gameplay time, especially in Survival Mode.
  • Midair Bobbing: Justified by the actual mechanics of the game. The hovercraft you can build work by using the standard rocket thrusters in combination with sensors pointed towards the ground, turning on and off rapidly to dynamically readjust the vehicle.
  • Mr. Fixit: You, of course. The game's Survival Mode features abandoned and/or non-functioning machinery throughout the world, which you are able to fix or salvage for your own ends. But even in the game's Creative Mode, you often have to be the Mr. Fixit when one of your own creations doesn't work as intended - in this case, if there's something you can't fix, the answer is generally to fix it harder.
  • Not the Intended Use: Invoked. The players are fully expected to do whatever they want with the available parts, rather just what the developers had in mind. For example, plenty of creations are abusing the fact that suspension pieces and pistons are intangible to other blocks in order to create machines in which some rotating parts pass through each other.
  • No Water Proofing In The Future: You can stun a Haybot by tossing a bucket of water at him.
  • One-Product Planet: The planet on which the game's events happen is focused entirely on agriculture, with the primary source of parts in Survival Mode being the natural resources like trees and rocks, various farm equipment, and the planet's logistical facilities.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can choose to play as a male or female Mechanic, but both have equal gameplay capabilities to improvise and build.
  • Refining Resources: The game's three basic resource types are Scrap Stone, Scrap Wood, and Scrap Metal, which can be refined into usable blocks by hand or by a Refinery Bot.
  • Robot Uprising: The premise of the game centers around an uprising of agricultural robots on an automated farm world, and the protagonist(s) getting caught up in it after the ship taking them to the planet crashes. Said robots have even managed to take over the in-game radio station, and are broadcasting their own odd selection of music.
  • Scenery Porn: The game presents a lush, verdant agricultural planet, full of giant trees, grassy meadows, and farm fields, rendered in stylized cartoony graphics.
  • Survival Sandbox: The Survival mode wasn't implemented from the get-go in the 2016 release, with the game only having the Creative mode - but after a protracted development, it became available on May 7th, 2020, with radically different/expanded gameplay.
  • This Is a Drill: The mining drills you can craft and put on your vehicles are actually a vital tool; by using them, you can harvest stone and metal from rock formations, which is the only way to get stone and a massive improvement to metal production when compared to refining scrap.
  • Transforming Mecha: You can build them with the Controller part, which allows you to set rotations for bearings to turn around and fold/unfold things. The machines some players build can get truly impressive.
  • invoked Uncanny Valley: Used deliberately. Devblog #7 shows some creepy Farmbot heads - and the dev team makes no secret that they're supposed to be creepy.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Unlike the cute Craftbots, plenty of Farmbots are some degree of this. Your own Refinebot also fits the description. Doesn't apply to the definitely cute green, little Totebots.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The game showcases a bunch of different outfits that your character can scavenge and wear; however, you're going to need the help from a Dressbot and cotton harvested from the world to craft them.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Fulfills both definitions of the term. The end goal for the game is a massive semi-procedurally generated world, in which you can create whichever buildings and machines that you want.
  • Working-Class Hero: The Mechanics, natch.
  • Wrench Wench: You are this if you play as a female character modifying scrap for battle just as much as the guys.