Selling Burgers from the patty wagon like a boss .Food truck simulator review

  The customers are lining up and the order board is overflowing with requests. The truck is hot and cramped as I move around selecting my i...


The customers are lining up and the order board is overflowing with requests. The truck is hot and cramped as I move around selecting my ingredients. Focus is important because if my rhythm is off ever so slightly and I take too long on that tomato, my burger will be burned. But then everything is in tune and all the parts line up the feeling of running well oiled (or bacon greased) machine is all too satisfying. Getting a thumbs up from the customer afterwards is the cherry on top.

With Food truck simulator, Drago entertainment, has added another sim game to their catalog that like last year's gas station simulator, brings a unique blend of story, resource management, adventure and overall wackiness to the player.

This time, as the name suggest you take on the challenge of running food truck and make a name for yourself in the city, turning your dad's old business into a thriving success. Renovating out homebase, the truck (of course) and revitalize the transportation as well as the inside cooking station. All while unlocking more and more recipes to use in creating delicious comfort food for your demanding customers.

The food business is cutthroat

What is interesting in Drago's games is their integration of story into the gameplay which makes for an odd combo at times. What I like is that they seem to be building a simulator extended universe of sorts. In this game you end up in a rivalry with a familiar individual who loves to spray tag, named Dennis. Could this be THE Dennis from our Gas station adventures? If he is then Dennis upgraded from just spray paint to breaking & entry, intimidation and arson. But you will not let Dennis bring you down, you will find your revenge and push him of the block and install yourself as the king of food truck cuisine. The story in the game is about 4-5 hours long after which you unlock a free roam mode where you build up a reputation to eventually compete in a competition.

Grand theft mealtime

The main portion of the game is divided between two parts. The first part is all about prepping your truck, buying ingredients and tools. This is also the part where the story plays out and you can customize your garage. The other part is all about what you would expect from a game like this, cooking and fulfilling customers' orders ensuring top satisfaction for each dish served in order to make the greatest profit.

All the upgrades and purchasing of items is done mostly using the computer in your office. The same goes for stocking your food items but these need to be picked at the store after ordering. Once you are ready you go on a drive around town. The graphics on this portion felt a little less polished but there was improvement over the early demo so there definitely has been some improvement. The controls for driving as a bit floaty and it is fairly easy to hit another car or run over a pedestrian, but it seems no one really seems to care. Once you find your location your truck will be setup automatically and the cooking phase begins.

There are a lot of pieces to the cooking process, and this is where most people will either love or hate the mechanics. Like many sim games of this type, it often can feel like you are working with one hand behind your back. Working in first person with items floating in midair as you grab them it often feels like they are built in a VR engine with mouse controls tossed in. With added complexity of uneven physics, it is often easy to mess up not because you do not know what to do but because you lost control. It is not as slapstick as cooking simulator can be but at times it does feel like it. Of your many tasks you will not only prep your food but also change out gas bottles, clean the fryer oil and cleanup your workstation. 

Food orders appear on a screen above your workstation, once you click them, they break down the needed ingredients and you can start cooking, provided you of course purchased the right stuff. You will start with burgers and fries but soon enough you will also get other recipes that allow you to expand to Pizza's, Sushi and more. Each dish will have a certain amount of base ingredients that needs to be prepped. For instance, for one of the burgers you cook the meat and bacon, slice the bun in half, toast it, slice up a tomato, add the meat, bacon, tomato and serve in a nice burger box.  Each customer has different tastes, and some want well done, while others like their meat rare. 

As orders pile up it is up to you to find a rhythm that allows you maximum output to deliver on time, according to specification and minimize waste. This is not always easy. For instance, while you put out the patty on the grill you need to slice your bread and tomato. But instead of a simple click you are asked to select the knife, line it up properly, which is hard to translate with the mouse into 3D and then click again to slice it. for things like tomatoes, onions etc you need to repeat this a few times. After slicing each ingredient, you need to pick them off the cutting board and move them or you cannot use it for the next ingredient. You can either move them one at a time or put them on a tray and move them in a drawer for later. Do not be fooled however, there is no real room for pre-prep as that will make the food spoiled specially once you hit free roam. So now you are in need to cut it all made to order, which slows you down and too often I have burned or undercooked the burger. Working on multiple orders at once is even more hectic. 

Once you get a feel for the process though, and turn on some tunes on the radio, you can hit the zone in a very satisfying way. Even if that crazy customer just ordered fries with mozzarella and mayonnaise or worse only mustard. The rush of being able to complete a shift with minimal waste, is actually way more of a good time then it should be. 

Here is looking at you kid.

I appreciate the approach that Drago entertainment takes to their simulator series. The main core gameplay is fun, and even though they clearly use a ton of premade assets that do not always seem to mesh together they still manage to make them work somehow and there were moments that I gleefully ran my truck like a true chef, grinning despite the pressure of the clientele. The devteam truly tries to add more feel to their games to give it all flavor, pardon the pun. However, in doing so they send mixed messages about the tone and direction of the game. At one point I was actually breaking and entering and stabbing tires in a weird minigame. Moments like these feels like there were competing ideas and they were thrown at the game to see what stuck. Add to that the lack of technical polish of the game and I cannot feel that there has been some opportunity lost to really make their mark. After the surprising success of Gas Station Simulator and taking in account the cooking part of the game, I feel that a bit more focus on the recipes and the kitchen flow and mechanics would have elevated food truck simulator from a guilty pleasure to true comfort food.

Game: Food Truck Simulator
Publisher: Drago entertainment   
DeveloperDrago entertainment
Release Date: 9/14/2022
Platforms: Ps (steam)   
Review Platform: PC (Steam)


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