Food Truck Simulator Review 1

I love cooking games. There’s already a fantastic food truck game, courtesy of Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3, but that series obviously isn’t very hands-on. Food Truck Simulator sets out to offer the full experience and, early on, it seems like it might actually make a surprisingly good dish. Driving out to spots and selling the food of your choosing is quite an alluring prospect, indeed. But after a few hours, it becomes obvious just how barren and lacking this game is despite some of it appearing to be quite a treat at first.

Food Truck Simulator has a surprising amount of narrative elements early on. You play as the son of a food truck pioneer who has shaken off his mortal coil. You inherit your dad’s truck, and set out to follow in his footsteps. You’re aided by a trio of individuals who give you the pushes you need to make your way in the world. But tragedy strikes early when you piss off a rival food truck operator, and he sets your garage on fire. Despondent, you have to start again from scratch. Narratively, at least. This has practically no impact on anything, which is jarring. Plus it’s tonally inconsistent and way too serious.

 

You then break into his garage, slash his tires, and rob him instead of calling the cops. It’s very bizarre that any of this made it into the game. There’s a good amount of dialogue early on, as well. It’s all voice acted too, although not very well, especially from the wooden actor voicing the player character. Your main point of contact is Clara, an older woman who sells ingredients to you. The other two contacts are Italian and Japanese caricatures that sell other types of ingredients.

Food Truck Simulator Review 2

Serve the servants

Food Truck Simulator takes place in an open world. You drive around it in your truck, finding new truck parts while exploring. The driving feels much like it does in every other simulator game. It doesn’t feel great, but it gets the job done. Every time you load into the world, your truck drops from the sky and bounces on the pavement. It never stops being janky. Your home base is your garage, where you’ll use your PC to order items, customize your truck, and sleep. The graphics are pretty detailed, even if everything looks quite bland. Performance in the open world is terrible, though.

For the first part of the game, you’re given an extremely rigid set of quests that mostly serve as a tutorial. There are only three types of dishes in Food Truck Simulator — burgers, pizza, and sushi. You’ll also make French fries. If that seems like a small number of options for a cooking game, it absolutely is. The quests mostly send you on your way to buy the exact amount of ingredients you need, and then have you drive to a specified location to set up shop.Food Truck Simulator Review 3

Your truck contains the following: a fridge, freezer, shelves, grill, prep table, cutting board, sauce holder, deep fryer, oven, and rice cooker. You’ve also got drawers to hold sliced ingredients, but any slices vanish once you get behind the wheel, so these are mostly pointless. There’s also a monitor that lets you see your orders and how much time you have left. A lot of orders simply don’t give you enough time, while others give you too much. The amount of time granted seems tossed off with minimal effort, much like most other aspects of Food Truck Simulator‘s design.

Let’s compete

Getting through most of the main story takes about four hours or so. Afterwards, you unlock free roam and are tasked with making a certain amount of money and getting enough prestige (which is awarded with each order served) to gain access to the game’s finale: a food truck competition. What this means, of course, is that after just a few hours with Food Truck Simulator, you’ve seen pretty much everything the game has to offer. You’re responsible for your own ingredients, and you get to pick where to open for business. This seems like a good idea, but it falls flat on its face.

As soon as you unlock free roam, your food will begin to spoil. Not only that, but it spoils fast. So fast that some of it’ll go bad even if you put it in the freezer just the day before. And your storage space is already very limited, with each individual item in a stack filling a single slot in your storage. Astoundingly, you can only throw spoiled food items away during a shift. If you want to get rid of your spoilage and pick up fresh ingredients before starting a shift, you can’t. You have to start the shift, slowly throw things in the garbage one by one, and then leave without properly serving your customers before you go, and buy what you need.Food Truck Simulator Review 4

But you don’t even have a menu. The map tells you which of the three varieties (burgers, pizza, and sushi) customers will order, but they will order anything that goes with that variety. If you don’t buy enough of an ingredient, or simply don’t have space for it, you’re going to get orders you can’t fill. This system is so poor that I can scarcely believe it.

A slice of hell

This brings me to another awful thing about Food Truck Simulator — the actual cooking. The cooking could have easily been at least decent, as it does most things normally. Cooking burger patties, putting ingredients on burgers and pizza, etc., that’s all standard. But you need to cut nearly all of the ingredients before using them. Since you can’t prep beforehand, this usually means you’ll be cutting up an ingredient as soon as the order comes in. Then you have to store the leftover slices that you often won’t use, as shifts usually only last long enough for four or five orders. These leftover slices will often spoil, so you’re just throwing money away when purchasing them.

Most of your cooking time is spent cutting things. It’s asinine. And it’s made even worse by how sloppy and terrible the cutting is. Cutting things horizontally is a nightmare, as mouse movement often doesn’t work correctly when doing this. The cuts themselves often make zero physical sense. You’ll cut something, only for the ingredient to not get sliced at all. This is a common occurrence. And the slices you get aren’t related to how you cut the ingredient, and they’ll magically be transformed into different sizes before your eyes once you cut them. You also need to cut sushi, but it uses an awful minigame instead of using the cutting system that you use for everything else. This also makes zero sense.Food Truck Simulator Review 5

Finally, the pizza you make is hideous. All pizzas have you put mozzarella on them, but the pizzas don’t reflect this after you take them out of the oven. You’re just looking at individual slices of something sitting awkwardly by themselves on top of marinara. A pepperoni pizza will often have a single pepperoni on it. Oh, and you can’t save manually. You have to rely on autosaves for everything.

Food Truck Simulator can be fun when you brute force past its flaws, but this is a dish that wasn’t even remotely ready to come out of the oven. Much like the game’s pizzas, the individual elements are awkwardly placed in illogical ways that serve to spoil the whole endeavor. How does a cooking game only have three dishes? Madness.

Food Truck Simulator

4

There are some good ideas in play here, but Food Truck Simulator gets many of its basic elements wrong to the point where the game becomes a repetitive pain to play.

Andrew Farrell
Andrew Farrell has an extreme hearing sensitivity called hyperacusis that keeps him away from all loud noises.  Please do not throw rocks at his window.  That is rude.  He loves action and rpg games, whether they be AAA or indie.  He does not like sports games unless the sport is BASEketball. He will not respond to Journey psych-outs.

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