Attempting to make the most of a day off and here I am writing about Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days. Seeing as I just finished it, I might as well talk about it now, eh?
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The prologue is a follow-up to the demo, from Drago Entertainment and Movie Games (Lust From Beyond), but I haven’t played that, so no comparison. What I will say is I didn’t realise I needed a gas station in my life. I played this for a good hour and a half, and that’s because I milked it.
It follows the familiar story of almost all simulators with a ‘plot’ (Atlantic Fishing or perhaps Ranch Simulator come to mind); you’ve kinda inherited a plot of land that homes an abandoned gas station, so decide to renovate it. Your uncle helps you out at first, being family and all, and tells you now to worry about paying him back. Right…
Anyway, the state that this place has been left in is a shairy hithole. This place is so filthy that ripped up nudie pics would be disgusted in being associated with it. From the outset, you’re lugging about tyres, mattresses (eww) and empty beer bottles into a skip in preparation for open day.
Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days wastes (ha ‘wastes‘) no time in getting you earning though, as despite looking like an abandoned ghost town/hobo theme park, you’re soon manually filling up the tanks of Johnny Public.
Everything is a mini-game of sorts, from stopping the pump just as the gauge hits the target to swiping goods through the checkout while sponging down the scum on the conveyor belt; there’s a lot to do and a good amount of variety.
Initially, you’re serving customers one at a time at the pumps – maybe half a dozen each day, then before you know it, you’re serving them moonshine at the checkout. All of this money is yours (in theory), and you reinvest it in the business by buying decorations and expansions.
The first expansion is additional car parking spaces, and one of the more annoying parts of Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days. You have to use a mini-digger named Rudy and shovel piles of sand back and forth to make way for the renovation. Controlling the digger isn’t so bad, but it often runs out of fuel, so you have to refill it, switching out your tools manually.
These tools can be accessed through the tab key and range from taking out the trash to painting interior and exterior walls, sweeping up the frequent dunes of sand on your wooden floorboards, to filling up Rudy. It’s all very House Flipper, but a little more enjoyable. Customisations are a fun part, adding benches, scrap cars out the front to make it ‘stylish’, and hanging up Americano signs.
In Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days, there aren’t any penalties: I never had a customer drive off or leave the shop in frustration, but they will leave if the shop isn’t clean. I was meticulous – you could lick the floor and still have a tongue that gleams.
So that means regular cleaning on top of everything else and order trash collections as it starts to get smelly. To make the cleaning a bit fun, you can throw rubbish into the skip from a distance, trying to beat your score if you’re that way inclined. But by far, the worse part of Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days is Dennis. He’s this snot-nosed little kid that will graffiti your building, and you have to repaint over it.
The only way to stop him is to throw something. As I hadn’t put them in the skip yet, I’d through big 2×4’s at him, which is breaking some laws somewhere, but he comes back for more. And you know what? He deserves it – especially graffitiing a massive cock on the side of the station but making it look like a duck. It just looks like a duck cock. They’re new.
I eventually got fed up with it and let him get on with it, and he never came back. Hopefully, he’s somewhere out in the desert. Suffering. The other thing is probably a teething issue, but once you place the decorations outside and customers start frequenting the benches, they’ll leave their crap everywhere. Unfortunately, you can’t pick this up. Hopefully, this gets ironed out in the future as it undermines all that hard work gutting the place and dealing with Dennis.
All good things come to an end, and eventually, your uncle calls from the payphone signalling the end of Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days. This was the milking bit, as I managed to get another 30 minutes of gameplay, earn a bit more cash and do up the old place. The only reason it ended was I walked too close to the phone, and it was brought to an abrupt end.
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Thoughts? I played it straight for around 90 minutes, and despite some of the shortfalls, I enjoyed it. There’s definitely a therapeutic element to it, and I felt pretty chilled playing and could happily have continued going. Gas Station Simulator Prologue Early Days is not the kind of title that makes me do the double-take, but since watching the trailer, I wanted in. Having played it, I want to remain. There’s a lot of work to be done.