Success Story – are you a time management burger god?

Posted: August 27, 2009 in Time Management

I never worked in the fast food industry so I can only imagine what it’s like. Or, I can live vicariously through my iPod Touch and play Success Story, which is a good looking time management game running fast food joints. The devs behind this game G5 Entertainment are knows for creating polished games with excellent gameplay, and Success Story doesn’t disappoint.

Typical of most of G5 Entertainment’s titles, the storyline is introduced in a comic book format. As the story goes, the McMooMoo’s fast food chain decides to replace human workers with robot servers which undoubtedly is a bad idea. The robot servers apparently hate the fast food business as much as most human beings because they go on a rampage and attack customers. After all the spilled ketchup and hurled condiments, the franchise is royally screwed with no staff. That’s where you the iTunes gamer comes to save the day, and thus begin your illustrious career in the world of burgers, French fries, and all things that taste good.

The objective here is simple: fill customers’ orders as quickly and accurately as possible. The happier the customers, the higher your profit margin will be, and most importantly, the faster you get to move on to the next fast food restaurant. Of course, it’s not as simple as grabbing this and grabbing that. To fill an order, you actually have to assemble things using the right ingredients and in the correct sequence using a variety of different ingredients. And, that doesn’t include those high-calorie side orders such as sodas, ice cream, pies and French fries.

In terms of content, Success Story offers a good deal of it with 10 different restaurants for a total of 46 levels including a final supermax franchise level to be the ultimate fast food guru. Customers appear with their orders and wait patiently at least for a short while for their orders. Controls are straightforward: tap on the desired ingredient or food product. And if you choose the wrong ingredient, tap again to remove.

Ingredients appear on a layout of 11 tables which constantly appear and disappear throughout so you’ll need to act fast. As I mentioned, accuracy is important. For example, to assemble a cheeseburger, the ingredients must be placed in the following sequence on the bun: patty, onions and then cheese. If any of that is in the wrong sequence, not only will your picky customer storm off, but your satisfaction will also take a hit if it happens too often. In order to proceed to the next level, you’ll need to meet certain profit targets and a running tally keeps track of progress.

As levels are completed, profits are tabulated which can then be used in the upgrade store. Think of the upgrade store as the IKEA of fast food, except way more expensive, and probably more durable. Here you can buy additional items to sell in your restaurant such as foods (coffee, pies, candy popcorn), supplies (lids), and more importantly bonus perks. The game has several perks that require a boatload of money so you’ll need to sell a lot of dollar meals.

Robo-cook—provides a robot helper to automatically cook your burgers
Sale—boosts the price and quality of each ingredient while on-screen
Radio—soothes the savage customer with tunes (think Muzak)
Time—slows down the pace
Hint—highlights the next ingredient needed for an order

On a side note, Success Story has 7 mini-games that appear in between levels which are fun but nothing particularly difficult. These games include ingredient memory match, where you match pairs of ingredients by type; pattern match which involves rotating tiles to match a pattern; tic-tac-toe using food, and a funky game where you assemble burgers backwards. While the games are optional, keep in mind that you earn a Benjamin Franklin each time you complete a mini-game which does help the bottom line.

The game also has an achievement system based on points earned (not profit) called the Grill Hall of Fame where you can be crowned anything from Chief Cook and Burger Professor all the way up to Burger Hero and ultimately Burger God.

Early on, the game is relatively simple, but as you progress, the orders become more complex, requiring more ingredients, as does the number of customers. Visually, it can be tough to make out what’s actually in an order. For example, some customers request extra lettuce or cheese, and sometimes, that’s not readily apparent from looking at the order. In addition, the game throws a wrench into things by including indecisive customers—customers who change their mind while you’re preparing their order. It’s as real life as it gets. For some, the gameplay can be repetitive because honestly you are constantly assembling things. But on the other hand, the diversity of items and the fast-paced flow of the game are both challenging and entertaining.

Success Story is a terrific game with high production values and a ton of content. The gameplay should appeal to those interested in time management games as well as those looking for a faster change of pace. This can be a frustrating game if you don’t handle stress very well, but it offers a fun experience.

Albie Meter: 4.5 Stars (game offers plenty of content with engaging gameplay; challenging enough to frustrate advanced players, and provides a fun time management experience)

Check out my review at http://toucharcade.com/2009/08/30/become-a-fast-food-success-story/

Advertisements

Comments are closed.