Like its predecessor, Fast Food Tycoon 2 is based on a worthwhile concept -- creating your own pizza franchise -- but the complicated interface and confusing structure will probably hinder the amount of enjoyment you'll ultimately have. All the pieces of an entertaining experience are essentially in place, but how long you'll want to play will depend on your willingness to wade through obtuse menus and your patience to experiment with how things are supposed to be done. The game comes with no documentation other than a brief, poorly executed tutorial, so you're basically on your own to decipher the meanings on icons, charts and menu functions. But if you can get past all that, Fast Food Tycoon 2 can be a fun, little game to play around with as long as you don't expect too much.
The first thing most players will notice is that the title is deceiving. You might be led to believe that you'll be able to sell different types of fast food, but all you can sell is pizza. Not even breadsticks, calzones or Greek salads, just pizza. However, you are able to design different types of pizza, which is one of the game's strengths. You're given a huge selection of toppings, including some strange ones like ants, and must create recipes that will fit your customer's desires.
What's good about Fast Food Tycoon 2 is the degree of control you have over your restaurants, from their location to the look of their décor to the quality of the staff. Once you get the hang of the interface, it's fun to watch virtual customers enter your restaurant, sit down and be served by your wait staff. Unlike better simulations, though, Fast Food Tycoon 2 throws too many things at you in the beginning rather than letting you get up to speed at a more natural pace.
The visuals are fine, utilizing the familiar isometric view found in most simulation games for the outdoor scenes, with a style somewhat reminiscent of The Sims used for the views inside the restaurants. There are some instances of sloppiness, such as text messages that don't entirely fit in a window, but the overall look of the game is pleasing enough.
One can only imagine what a top game designer like Will Wright or Sid Meier could do with the idea of building a fast food empire, but in the end, Fast Food Tycoon 2 works on the level of a budget-priced title that offers adequate entertainment for its low price of admission.
Graphics: The graphics get the job done in a pleasing manner, but aren't overly impressive
Sound: You're able to choose the music playing in each of your restaurants, and your customers and staff occasionally make spoken comments.
Enjoyment: The underlying premise of Fast Food Tycoon 2 is strong enough that it's worth dealing with the high learning curve.
Replay Value: Once you come to grips with the interface and figure out what you're doing, Fast Food Tycoon 2 can offer multiple hours of gameplay time.
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