Review by JChamberlin

"Pizza Pizza"

If I remember correctly, the first Fast Food Tycoon didn't really win over the reviewers. I never did play the first one, by the way, but it looks like whatever was wrong with it is fixed, because this game is exactly what I was looking for. This game reminds me a lot of Traffic Giant, a Simulation title from JoWooD. I am a Simulation and Strategy gamer, so this is right up my alley. The whole 'tycoon' thing is another marketing idea, since both Railroad Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon have really started something special in that genre a while ago. The game is developed in Germany, so the original name is Pizza Connection.

In Fast Food Tycoon, you must build a pizza empire, meaning you're trying to build another Pizza Hut or Papa John's, which isn't an easy task. The amount of actual in-game help is limited, but the developer has assured me that a tutorial is in the game and it will load on the first time you play it. It didn't work for me, so I'm not sure what went wrong there.

There are many, many things you'll need to create a pizza franchise, because you have some unfriendly competition in town. They can send over couriers with bombs and rats, and can even put graffiti on your buildings, which of course can and will drive away customers. Rats will bring in the local health inspector, and that would cause problems, obviously.

To get your pizza franchise off the ground, you'll need buildings to sell pizza. This includes cooking equipment, furnishings, warehouses, armed guards, police stations, and a headquarters. You cannot forget ingredients, pizza recipes, and menus, of course. The pizzas are easy to make, but can become challenging to make a pizza that a particular group of people loves, so it's going to take some practice.

Fast Food Tycoon 2 was what I expected, and then some. It's game play is pretty solid for the budget title that it is. I wasn't expecting the evil side of the game (mafia, bombs, rats, graffiti, etc), so that was another bonus. The ability to import and export pizza recipes would be something that I think the developers should include. This would allow people to share recipes, and perhaps a few fan sites would start up, offering a centralized place for it all.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/31/05

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