LifeisXbox’s FixFox review | Today we’ll be looking at FixFox, a game made by Rendlike, and published by Joystick Ventures. FixFox seems to be the culmination of the experiences of it’s main developer Jaroslav Meloun who has been writing code since the early 90s on his off-brand Atari 8 bit, a machine that kickstarted his passion for making video games. He took part in countless game jams over the years and has released games to various big platforms such as Xbox One, PC, PS4, mobile and even the PS Vita. He’s apparently made a personal vow to not make or play any violent games after visiting the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima. Realising the consequences of hatred and violence he now focuses his efforts on making games that promote kindness and friendship, something he truly succeeds in with FixFox, as it is without a doubt the friendliest game I’ve played to date. Now then, let’s dive right in.
Most Memorable Moment
FixFox has a lot of memorable moments, but nearly all of them are tied into the story. Instead, I’m going to list travelling through the various regions on your hoverbike as my entry. As you’ll read further below, the map is randomly generated and sometimes regenerates, making it so that some settlements can be vast distances away. It was always good fun to ask a local about where my target destination was, and then just set out in the rough direction they gave, seeing what I would find. It controls really smoothly as well, giving it that real hoverbike smoothness.
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- Gameplay | In FixFox you play as Vix, the fox that fixes. Vix is a SPACR by trade, that’s a sort of mechanic/engineer who also operates in space, and is tasked with repairing an old beacon that has gone offline. Thus you and your trusty sentient toolbox that totally isn’t your childhood backpack set off into the depths of space to fix the beacon right up. One cryosleep later and you have arrived to find yourself on a planet that is inhabited by robots, but where fixing machinery and tool usage to that end is strictly prohibited. Now finding yourself without tools for the job, you have to scrounge whatever scrap or oddities you can find. Coins, spatulas, toothbrushes, bandaids and postage stamps, even bananas all become valuable tools for Vix to fix with until they break. So while traversing the land, you’ll see that fixing things or gathering tools will add to a counter for the “Order” and “Pirates” alike. The Order doesn’t like you fixing things and Pirates don’t like you looting their stashes. If you reach either of their thresholds they will respectively come and take some of your tools. That is unless you have some items that will draw their attention first. Besides all this you’ll talk to friendly bots, solve environmental puzzles, share secrets with bots over food, help the locals, etc…
- Graphics | Rendlike has done a great job on making FixFox an experience that’s easy on the eyes. An excellent pixel art style is used throughout the game. They went with a top-down format for the general gameplay. While most things look fairly simple, mostly everything is directly discernable at a glance. Even more so, they even managed to make certain objects or landmarks feel like they’re 3 dimensional by adding a sort of parallax effect and even dynamic shadows to them. These really make FixFox feel very atmospheric. Furthermore are all the portraits, food and repair sections also done with pixel art. Albeit a tad simpler, but that’s because you’re looking at them a lot more closely than a birds-eye view of Vix’s surroundings.
- Audio | Vix is one lucky fox… human… hybrid… if these tranquil and upbeat tunes are to be found in the future. There’s a lot of instrumental music amongst the tracks. Most often this will be a guitar/banjo-like track for when you’re out and about. When you’re dealing with the order you’ll be met with drums and a more militaristic tune. But the background music isn’t the only thing that’s on point, the various sound effects are also carefully implemented. The soft whizzing of your hoverbike, the mighty roar of a Jumbot’s engine, the deafening blast of a launching spaceship and even a sickly robotic companion vomiting rainbows. It all just sounds right.
- Inclusivity | One of the things that immediately stood out to me was that FixFox puts a lot of effort into making it an inclusive game for all. This is immediately visible when it asks you whether Vix is right or left-handed and asks you to choose between he/she/they sets for pronouns, which is a first for me in gaming. You’re also not locked in with your choice at the start of the game, as Tin lets you know you can change it up whenever you feel like it. Out of curiosity, I chose to go with “they” at the start but switched over to “she” after a while. I feel like I might revisit FixFox after my review and try using “they” again, but we’ll see.
- Writing | I’m a sucker for good writing and fun dialogue which probably won’t come as a surprise given the games I tend to play and review. And I can, much to my enjoyment, tell you that these aspects are top-notch in FixFox. While Vix is very much a silent protagonist, the rest of the characters just ooze with life and personality. Between the overprotective and reference spewing backpack Tin, the socially awkward and nerdy Order members, rowdy & rough but secretly caring pirates, and overall wholesome robots that walk around you’ve got enough personality to outdo a good number of AAA games. The dialogue is also peppered with references to various things. As such, I’m convinced my fridge is a Starcraft player.
- Story | FixFox has a story and it’s a really nice one at that. At face value, this story is about Vix and Tin who need to repair a beacon and get off the planet of Karamel. While this story has entertainment aplenty, I’m more interested in the plot and social topics going on right below the surface. The way I interpreted it at least is that the story is about accepting people for who they are, dealing with your past and a myriad of other current-day issues in a lighthearted fashion.
- Chill | The one thing I’ve not found in FixFox is a state of urgency. The game seemingly has no fail state and I welcome it for a change. It’s just you, Tin, your selection of giant robots, sentient hoverbike, and friendly super AI’s.
- Foraging for tools | One of the key ways to obtain the tools needed for repairs is that they’ll be stashed around the world in cracks, holes in the ground, in brushes, etc… While I like this because it gets me to explore more than just the quest locations it does cause me an ever so slight headache when I can’t find what I need. Usually, these are brushes to clean off certain parts for repair. Now, this problem is not completely an issue, since lots of smalltime repairs will offer you one from a selection of tools.
- Hints | This one’s a quicky, but a way of getting a hint for current objectives would be welcome. I’ve had a couple of times where I got stuck, and had to brute force a solution. Your log is a good tool for this, but a dedicated NPC or option would be nice.
What we Disliked
I had no strong dislikes with FixFox.
How long to beat the story | 14 hour
How long to achieve 1000G | Achievements were locked during my playthrough.
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.