By Eric Pankoke updated on 03/20/2012
I’ve played quite a number of time management games over the course of my reviews, and generally I find that the more hectic they are the more fun they tend to be. Of course the chaos needs to be organized, but the key is that there has to be a lot to do. Occasionally, though, I just want to have a nice, relaxing time, and Streetfood Tycoon fills that bill quite nicely. At times it almost feels more like an arcade game than a time management sim, but lest you forget you can always check all the stats to bring you back to reality. The important thing is that the game is fun, and I have become rather addicted to the game play and atmosphere.
You have stars in your eyes and the desire to make it big, and apparently the best way you could decide to do that is to peddle food on the curbs of anyville, Earth. You start out by choosing where your initial capital will come from (for a real challenge you can break your piggy bank), and then it’s time to get some permits and a ratty old cart to sell your grub from. As the game progresses you’ll be able to move to new locations – 4 in total – and upgrade your cart to serve better quality food and more of it. At first you’ll be selling just corn dogs and fries, but eventually you can upgrade to exotic fare like Kwek Kwek and fishballs. You can also spruce up your cart with speakers and a teddy bear for good luck.
Everything in the game costs coins to purchase. You earn coins by selling food or purchasing them via in-app purchase if you’re in a hurry. Besides buying upgrades in between days you’ll also need coins to restock food, so be sure you don’t run your funds to zero before beginning a fresh round or you might have poor sales that day. Also keep in mind that you can only restock one thing at a time, so while you don’t have control over when things run out you can make smart decisions on what to restock first. At some point you’ll be able to hire an assistant which makes restocking almost instantaneous, but that’s a daily fee that should be exercised wisely. The bottom line is that with a little care and a lot of patience you can get everything you need simply by earning money within the game. How long it takes will depend on your spending decisions and how efficiently you serve the customers.
When a customer approaches the cart they’ll tell you what they want thanks to a picture bubble. You just need to tap all the ingredients in the right order (container, main item and condiment) to create their wish and then drag it to them to complete the sale. If you mess up you can tap the trash can to scrap what you’ve done and start over, but if you take too long the customer will cancel their order and walk away. The controls are really simple and intuitive; it’s just a matter of getting a rhythm down, which I haven’t quite mastered with the bigger cart and more products yet.
I always love the look of a Kuyi Mobile game, and Streetfood Tycoon is no exception. The backgrounds have a dreamy, washed out look to them, and the characters are colorful and well animated. The best thing is certainly the cart itself, though. As you get upgrades they all appear on the cart complete with animations – the speakers emit little musical notes and the tip jar rocks when someone fills it, for example. As the food gets used you see it being reduced in the bins, and from time to time elements splash out around the cart, which you even have to clean up.
The sound effects are kind of corny, but that’s a big part of their charm. Whereas most time management games have distinct noises for each of its characters, Streetfood Tycoon uses a mix and match approach that often proves amusing. A macho looking guy might let out a whiny “bye” as he is leaving, or a “proper” woman belts out a nice belch when she departs. The music is decent and kind of reminds me of an elevator tune. There is an option to buy your “own” jingle, but otherwise you only get the one song throughout the game.
When I first loaded up Streetfood Tycoon I wasn’t really sure I’d be into it for more than a few rounds. Now here I am on day 73 of my latest run through, headed towards having all the upgrades and working on purchasing my first special guest, and I’m loving every minute of it. The simple, arcade like actions combined with plenty of upgrades to earn and the ultimate goal of become THE Streetfood Tycoon make me want to keep coming back for more. That’s really all you can ask for in a good game on any device.
Overall Score: 9/10
App Store Link
This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch 4G running iOS 5.0.1