‘Fix-it Felix Jr.’ Review: A Fun Retro Gaming Fix

I assume by now you’ve all seen the advertisements for Disney’s freshly released film Wreck-it Ralph, the tale of a 30-year old video game villain that has grown tired of being the bad guy and decides to set off to change his lot in life. While Wreck-it Ralph is a wonderfully crafted love letter to the days when arcades still used to exist, and a movie I highly recommend you go out and watch, it is not the film itself that I am here to talk about today. What I am here today to discuss is Disney’s recently released Fix-it Felix Jr. (out now, free), a game based on the fictional 80’s arcade machine that the film’s protagonist hails from.

fix-it-felix-jr-06-401x535As Felix Jr. it is your job to save a hotel that the evil Ralph is wrecking by fixing it one window at a time, thankfully you brought along a magical golden hammer or this would end up being a really long night. Fix-it Felix Jr’s controls — in true Donkey Kong era arcade fashion — keep things extremely simple, giving the player only a virtual 4-way joystick and single button to deal with. Using these controls you will valiantly hop around the hotel — each leap moving you an entire window at a time — fixing everything along the way, all in the pursuit of raising your score.

Naturally the antagonist Ralph can’t just let Felix fix all of his carnage completely unchecked, and to this end the burly man will walk back and forth knocking down dangerous bricks towards the heroic handyman. While avoiding Ralph’s attacks might seem easy at first, as the game progresses the player will begin to find that the hotel becomes more and more maze like when various obstructions begin preventing Felix from taking certain paths. However, things are not entirely against our handyman hero: if Felix should find a yummy pie at any point during his quest, his hat will immediately begin flashing — giving him temporary invulnerability — and every window he fixes will suddenly be worth double the points.

fix-it-felix-jr-04-401x535Accompanying Fix-it Felix Jr.’s retro arcade tribute gameplay is an appropriate selection of pixelated 8-bit sprites and scenery, primitive sound effects, and simplistic looped background music. What the game does not feature is the introduction sequence seen in the movie where Ralph furiously declares “I’m Gonna Wreck it!” before he begins smashing the building, possibly because — realistically speaking — audio samples of that sort did not yet exist back then. What the game does still feature is the part at the end where all of the grateful citizens of the hotel give Felix a medal for his help, after which they unceremoniously toss Ralph off the building and into a mud puddle.

As far as being a faithful early 80’s arcade style experience goes: Fix-It Felix Jr. wins hands down by an entire mile, and will easily bring a smile to the face of anyone old enough to remember those days. That smile won’t last for long — though — as Fix-it Felix Jr. is essentially just a demo for a larger mini game collection entitled Wreck-it Ralph, and this preview will cut the player off after just 10 levels (each screen of windows is a level) and furthermore lacks high score saving. However, if players do like what they see here then the full package can be bought for a mere 99 cents and comes complete with online leader boards — more levels — and more arcade style games based on the other worlds Ralph visits during his film journey.


Fix-It Felix Jr. is a very accurate and enjoyable tribute to the early 80’s era of arcade games, and will definitely delight anyone old enough to have childhood memories of arcades from back then. Unfortunately this release is just a demo for Disney’s larger assorted game collection and will cut the player off after a scant 10 levels, and furthermore lacks any form of high score saving feature what-so-ever. That said, it is still an entirely free nostalgia trip and should help players to better decide whether or not the 99 cent asking pricing for the larger package is worth it to them.