I recently got hold of Stand O’ Food and because I like time management games (like Diner Dash) I thought I’ve give it a quick go. That quick go turned out to be a long go and several more long goes because I found this game addictive as hell!

The idea behind the game is that you are a young man who works in a burger bar who must serve a queue of customers different types of burgers (and salads for the healthy minded). You have a counter in front of you, which the customers line up against, and several conveyor belts of different ingredients behind you. The ingredients (buns, burgers, lettuce, onions, tomatoes etc) are randomly mixed up on the conveyor belts (not very logical for fast access, but I digress) and you have to select them in the correct order to assemble each customer’s order.

StandOFood1

This starts off nice and easy but after a few levels the customers start piling up and ordering more complex burger combos with multiple layers of stuff, and then they get cross when you inevitably don’t prepare their meal fast enough. You really begin to feel under pressure as you churn out burgers to a seemingly endless horde of moody high-carb/fat addicts. However, I soon began to rise to the challenge and developed a kind of verbal muttering system that helped me to be ultra efficient in serving customers – I felt like some kind of autistic kid. My kids thought it was hilarious hearing me going “base, burger, cheese, lettuce, onions, top” and “some of this, some of that, there you go sir – enjoy your meal!” , at high speed over and over again. Then they got bored of watching, but I didn’t – I was hooked on this senseless repetitive “McJob”-mimicking game. Plus I was making bundles of cash and never failing to beat a level due to my robot-like system.

Sauce! I forgot to mention that there are also six types of sauce that you can put with the burgers for bonus cash. Basically there are several different types of meat such as: burger, chicken, fish, bacon and egg (not meat I know) and you can put ketchup, curry, tartar and mayo with them, but like only curry with chicken and only mayo with bacon, otherwise it gets wasted. Also, amusingly, there is expensive Tabasco sauce that literally “goes with anything”, and there’s also a mega expensive secret sauce that goes with anything – but it doesn’t generate (any?) much more profit than Tabasco sauce, so I didn’t bother with it. You can stick sauce in different layers of some burgers to maximize bonus cash.

What really kept me going (and ultimately stopped me from playing – I’ll explain later) was the shop upgrades. With your cash, as well as buying sauce, you can upgrade various components of your shop that do stuff like keep the customers happier for longer (jukebox and air con), make you run faster (coffee), gain more tips (bun toaster) etc. You can also buy plates to stack ingredients on for quick access – these are vital to succeeding – and boxes to stuff ingredients randomly in when you start to panic. I kept eagerly earning more cash looking forward to buying the next upgrade.

StandOFood2Another aspect to the game is the fact that you don’t work in one food outlet, you actually migrate around a town to all sorts of different joints like burger bars, chicken places, breakfast bars, vegetarian places (serves stuff like cucumber and tomatoes in lettuce – crap knows how it’s supposed to hold together) etc. Interestingly you make the least money off the vegetarian food, mainly because no one wants any sauce with it. An oddity was that you took your upgraded equipment and sauce with you to each establishment, which really doesn’t make sense logically.

After I’d upgraded all the items in the shop I figured I must be near the end of the game and I kept on playing hoping to reach the end soon. After a while of doing this I realised that the map I was looking at was in fact part of a bigger map and that I was only halfway through the game! With the end so far away and no more power ups available I stopped playing it because it was eating up my time and was no longer rewarding me with new stuff.

A side effect of playing this game was that I really started to crave some fast food – specifically nice burgers with all the trimmings. I’m vegetarian but I still felt the craving, so I made my family vegeburgers and hotdogs with chips a couple of nights running!

The graphics are nice and friendly and do the subject matter justice and the music an sound was fine. The game, as I’ve said already, is super addictive – at least to me, but also rather pointless especially once you run out of upgrades. I liked it quite a lot but I’m not going to give it a super high score as there are other more deserving games (I’d give it 3.75 if there was an option between 3.5 and 4). Give it a go yourself and see how you feel about it.

Jake

I'm an Indie game developer with a couple of titles under my belt. I've been programming for 23 years on a variety of platforms. Currently I'm using BlitzMax, which is great.

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