Food Truck Simulator is a sugar-coated but oh-so-satisfying take on the mobile food service industry.
Even when you don’t finish an order in time, there’s no-one pulling you out of your van or screeching their displeasure. And after a couple of tutorial sections you’ll take to the road, pulling up outside parks, nightclubs and other spots, slicing up burger buns as meat sizzles on the grill and running over pedestrians with absolutely no consequences whatsoever.
Wait… what? No, this isn’t Ravenous Devils all over again, although the fact your burger patties are simply labelled “meat”, not beef, does have us wondering a bit. Getting away with murder is one of Food Truck Simulator‘s rough edges, alongside customers who just beam their orders to your menu board instead of directly interacting with you.
But like Gas Station Simulator, Drago Entertainment’s last big release, you’ll be willing to overlook the occasional janky moments because Food Truck Simulator is such a blast to play. Yes, you’re paying real money to do a virtual job, but the actual mechanics involved in that job, coupled with the sizzling sound effects, are so satisfying.
Take slicing burger buns, for example. Had Drago made it so that you clicked on a bun then double clicked on it to separate it into two halves, this simple operation wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. What actually happens is you place the burger on the cutting board, select your knife and then painstakingly move the cutting line up and down, then click to slice the bun.
It isn’t some tedious quick-time event: if the order hasn’t expired you can take your time, but there’s always the risk the meat you have on the grill will burn or otherwise overcook. Food Truck Simulator is relatively forgiving when it comes to most tasks, but you’ll still want to hit that sweet spot.
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The same is true of most tasks. You’ll get more prestige for getting orders perfect which, in turn, allows you unlock bigger and better equipment. But the real fun comes from working out how best to handle the orders. It may not be marketed as a puzzle game but you’ll be constantly pondering which items to put on first, and which tasks you can attend to next, minimising the time you spend idle.
It is basically busywork, but nailing Food Truck Simulator‘s flow will give you such a buzz. Driving around is, we suspect, meant to break things up, as you drive to new locations or pick up new supplies. But Food Truck Simulator’s food-juggling gameplay is so rewarding when you’re in the zone, we occasionally resented it taking us away from our burger-hurling, bacon-frying, pizza-making shenanigans.
One diversion we did appreciate was the ridiculous rivalry between your character and Dennis, another food truck operator, which continues to escalate as the game progresses. The basic premise is that your character is honouring their late father’s wishes by running their food truck, though this angle is undermined a little by the fact your character sounds like Connor from Detroit: Become Human. All we could think was, “But Connor… you came off an assembly line!”
Like Gas Station Simulator before it, Food Truck Simulator could benefit from a little more polish. And, also like Gas Station Simulator, you’re paying money to pretend to have a job. But expanding your little business and being the best Food Truck Guy, shaving seconds off each time you fry, never gets old. As mundane as its premise may seem, Food Truck Simulator is a real joy.