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From the Manufacturer
Good pizza chefs and clever restaurant managers are on their way to conquering the culinary world. The best pizza recipes, the choice of location, staff and interior design of your restaurants will help determine your franchises' success or failure. You will soon have the pulsating cities of the world at your feet! But keep an eye out for the bad guys because they want a piece of the pie too!
Bad gangsters are raking it in with shady dealings and blackmail. Anything goes in the underworld. A restaurant can be the perfect place for laundering money. Authorities can be convinced to turn a blind eye for the right amount of money.
Do you have what it takes to be the Fast Food Tycoon of the world?
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The gameplay is a little advanced, when I was a kid I just played to make pizzas, but as an adult I realized it's a really thorough game where you have to pay attention to a lot of real life type business values.
For instance, what city you're in will determine what type of people live in that city. You then have to pay attention to what types of toppings people enjoy in that particular city, and the correct ratio of toppings to get the most out of your menu.
Placement of each restaurant is important as well. If you take a look at the different types of buildings in the area, you will see what kind of people live in that space, and you can create a menu and adjust your staff schedule based on what time of day those people are most active and visiting your restaurant.
I love any mindless and easy to play tycoon game, but this game was refreshing because of how deeply thought out it was. It's been 16 years and I still haven't mastered all of what's possible in this game. I've yet to get serious with the underground.
All in all, this game deserves a lot more credit. It might be hard to get together at first, but with attention to detail this game can be an amazingly fun!
How different could they all be? you ask. Well, I asked myself the same question, and figured that while some might be cheaper, it didn't necessarily mean that they would make for a poorer game. I got Fast Food Tycoon in my christmas stocking, and promptly installed it.
Note: in the jewel case version of this game, there is no instruction manual. There is a "Read Me" file, but it doesn't give any hints as to gameplay.
The startup menu was cool - bright colors and clever cartoony drawings. The beginning even has a 3D animation depicting the neighborhood where your Pizza parlor will be located. Pretty cool. (Oh, and "Pizza Parlor Tycoon" would have been a more accurate moniker, as there aren't any choices as far as fast food joints go). I also got to choose my own company logo & signature color. Also cool. So, I start with the tutorial, which is so annoying I have to turn it off and try to figure the game out on my own. (Why is it annoying? I have to sit and wait while information scrolls slowly across a little dialog bubble whenever I move my cursor over something. Then, the tutorial ends before I've really learned anything.) Another note: apparently the proofreading team wasn't all that great, as at this point, five minutes into the game, I've come across about five misspellings and/or typos.
The play screen has picture icons lining every side of the screen, none of which is self-explanatory, and several of which overlap (for instance, the "staff" icon shows up in three different places, and each one does a slightly different thing). And that's the least complicated aspect of the interface. (If you're into complicated gaming, then maybe this game IS for you...) There are the basic Sim things to deal with before you can open your restaurant: furnishing your restaurant, hiring staff, determining your menu, ordering your supplies. And as I mentioned before, setting all these basic functions up is anything but easy to figure out. And, there are so many things to manage that it becomes difficult to oversee everything, especially since as far as I could tell, there was no way to pause or slow time.
So, the tutorial tells me that the most important thing in the game is the special recipes of pizza you invent (it IS sort of fun to make pizzas -- there is a list of probably a hundred ingredients you get to put on the pizza including the usual suspects: olives, cheese, salami, etc, and some not-so-usuals: kiwifruit, maggots, lemon balm) based on the tastes of eight different demographics in the particular city you are playing in. The only problem is, this is so hit-or-miss that it's virtually impossible to come up with a pizza that anyone actually likes.
There are aspects to the game that are less typical in a Sim (and add to the interest of play), namely the decision whether to build your business legitimately or through less-legal means (no tutorials ever really broach this subject, by the way). You also have some pretty interesting choices in a couple of areas: financing (loan sharks offer competitive rates with several banks), and marketing (you get to choose from several firms that specialize in different forms of advertising), which I haven't seen in any other game. The problem with these, again, is simply that they are convoluted and difficult to understand.
This review has run quite long, so let me sum it up. Basically, this game has potential if you can stick it out long enough to figure out how to work all its intricacies. However, you'll have to be a very patient person to get to that point. The idea behind the game was fun, but the team who planned it out needed to streamline, and distill everything (especially the interface) down to the very essence. Unfortunately, they didn't, and we are left with a game that is as hard to digest as a kiwi pizza with extra maggots.
Wait until this one hits the dollar bin.
-Hours and Hours of fun game play...
-Cool Music and Sounds
-Has alot of Humor
-Hundreds of different charaters to interact with...
-Just plain ol' fun
-Takes a while getting used to...
-Its hard to make a successful pizza (well to me)
-Can be hard and tricky at times...you got to know what you are doing...
Other than that, I would go and try to borrow or buy a copy,its one of the best tycoon games I have came across (the best for me).
:( I hope I can find the CD to it...I think I lost it! LOL!