The Repair House is basically the video game version of The Repair Shop

The Repair House screenshot of Tonka truck being painted

It might not have Jay Blades, but The Repair House does a great job of imitating the satisfying restorations of the BBC show.


“Welcome to The Repair Shop, where precious but faded keepsakes are returned to their former glory.” Bill Paterson’s warmly intoned introduction to BBC show The Repair Shop is seared onto my brain after all these years.

That show basically got me through lockdown, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has become obsessed with the programme’s gentle but compelling aesthetic, as crumbling members of the public bring in broken down old things to be lovingly restored. It’s almost guaranteed I will shed a tear at least once in every show, as a precious item that represents someone’s only link to their departed husband/wife/grandad/second cousin is beautifully repaired and handed back.

Now, we’re finally being treated to The Repair Shop in video game form. Well, almost. The Repair House is not an official tie-in, and there’s certainly no Jay Blades or Suzie the leather lady, but it apes the spirit of the show in that you’re given grotty old objects and tasked with getting them to shine again. They’re mostly more modern objects – things like toys, arcade cabinets, musical instruments, games consoles and radios – and the idea is to carefully disassemble them, clean them, paint them and put them back together again so they look as good as new, if not better.

The game is from the original creator of PC Building Simulator, and as you go, you can acquire new tools and equipment for your Repair Shop… sorry, Repair HOUSE. There’s even a sandblaster for removing paint, just like the one Dom has in his little outdoor workshop.  Bless Dom and his little beard.

You can find objects to repair by exploring old barns and haggling for items at flea markets, or even buying job lots of mystery objects from abandoned storage lockers. Then it’s a case of lovingly sprucing up the tired toys, consoles, or whatever they are, and selling them on for a profit. And that’s the main difference with the BBC show – rather than making an old lady cry with happiness, your main motivation in The Repair House is building up stockpiles of cold, hard cash with which to buy more pre-loved trinkets.

The Repair House launches on PC on 19th July, and there’s currently a demo on Steam. It seems like a thoroughly relaxing way to spend an evening – even if there’s little chance it will make you shed tears for the kindness of others.

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