Food Truck Simulator Review: Grand Theft Burger

Good burger or greasy spoon? Food Truck Simulator is now available on Steam. Here's my review as a non-food critic.

Playing Food Truck Simulator for the third or fourth time after the initial previews and demos during the Steam Next Fest was mostly enjoyable, but now the game’s out, it doesn’t have the same impact.

Perhaps one of the biggest cliches in simulators, you’ve inherited a business – this time from your father. The story is quite prominent at first, and it feels like playing The Wonder Years on wheels; only the voiceover here was pretty annoying. After your old man croaks it, you have to pick up his truck, take to the road, and live the dream of selling fast food to the public.

There are too many tutorials, to begin with, and if you’ve also played the demos, you might find that all these narrative elements and hand-holding are off-putting. For me, it was. By the time I managed to place my order online for a handful of burgers to sell in the park, there were only so many minutes to pick up the goods to ensure a discount was applied. However, the first thing I wanted to do was run someone over. It’s ok – you get a trophy for doing so.

Food Truck Simulator Demo coming to Steam
Source: Drago Entertainment

Food Truck Simulator Review

Y’see, Food Truck Simulator is a mixture of open-world driving and first-person multi-tasking as you have to cook the items from your menu on-site. That’s pretty damn obvious as it’s a mobile fast food service, but there’s quite a lot of faffing about with ingredients. From your base, you can place your order on the computer and then collect. After this, head to the designated location on the mini-map and keep Johnny Public satisfied.

It isn’t solely burgers, as you can serve nutritious(!) pizzas and sushi for those who want to smell like their cat’s food. You’re peachy as long as you store your ingredients and prepare and serve the items to your customers within the time limit. However, there’s a little too much involved with preparing your order as extra mechanics have been added to make the cooking element a bit more… meaty. Most of your culinary skills won’t be experimenting like in Disney Dreamlight Valley, but slicing everything off the shelves with minimal cooking. At least you can hop in the front and take the van for a spin whenever you want, right?

To do as you please, you must complete the story first, which unlocks the free roam option. Explore the city from the outset, and you’ll find most of it locked. If you want the key to the city, you have to earn prestige, which comes from orders. Presentation-wise, Food Truck Simulator is a nice-looking game and the third-person and first-person viewpoints when driving are welcomed, but the handling isn’t the best. Granted, you aren’t driving a low-profile vehicle here, but the number of times you’ll roll it is mental. So much so that there’s a dedicated hotkey to reposition the truck if (when) you flip it. Still, flipping the truck is a bit more fun than flipping the burgers.

Unfortunately, the tone for this review is much different than the earlier playthroughs. Interestingly, this is the same developer and publisher as the superb Gas Station Simulator. In all honesty, I’d recommend the latter in a heartbeat as I’ve spent quadruple hours on that, and that’s not including the DLC. It’s also worth noting that the tutorials and narrative elements are minimalist in DRAGO Entertainment’s other venture, and, considering I’m a narrative slave, that’s saying something.

On the surface, Food Truck Simulator is a nice-looking game, but the fast food contents are probably a good example of what to expect here: a quick fix, but nothing substantial. I didn’t hate it, but I prefered Burger Chef Tycoon for the Nintendo Switch. Do your homework and check out some other reviews, but sadly, it isn’t one I can wholeheartedly recommend until some future updates/DLC makes it a bit more engaging.

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