Food Truck Tycoon is a time management game. There are a lot of similar games. Diner Dash comes to mind. The same people who make it also have other versions with different asset skins. The goal is to serve customers their desired food in the exact combinations they request by matching the pictures the pop up above their heads. If you don’t act fast enough, the customers will get annoyed and reduce their tips or just leave. You use your profits to upgrade your equipment and buy better quality ingredients that you can charge more money for. I found the upgrade system surprisingly rewarding. But can you play it if you’re visually impaired?
About me and my play style: I have albinism. My visual acuity fluctuates between 20/100 and 20/500 depending on if I’m wearing contacts and how tired I am. I have color vision, but no depth perception. I also deal with eye strain if I have to focus too precisely for too long. I primarily play in handheld mode so I can hold the screen closer. I tend to play on my long commute with no sound because I need to keep my ears free to listen for my stop to be announced.
Visual Characteristics 4/10
(Contrast, Lighting, Tracking, Clutter)
The contrast is pretty good as far as the color palette. It’s cartoony and bright. There aren’t any issues with lighting. The tracking is good, too, because the customers are large and their desired orders are also large with contrasting backgrounds that indicate how happy the customer is. The thing that poses an issue here is the moderate level of clutter and the fact that some of the food can be hard to distinguish from each other. The amount of times I thought the bread looked like the fries… What hot dog stand has slices of bread, anyway?
The nice thing and the saving grace here is that there is a system of each particular food has a particular location on the plate. So you only need to see which part of the plat is occupied to know which type of food to serve. There is one exception to this and that is that hot dogs and corn dogs are in the same spot in the middle of the plate. It’s not perfect, but it does help.
The biggest drawback is they tried to make a fairly complex experience by including several types of food, and that made everything pretty small.
Another thing I’ll mention is that periodically you’ll have to clean your workspace. When the place gets messy, the clutter gets really bad, which is a good incentive to clean your food truck, I guess. But it can be really difficult to manage.
Oh, and when you’re in button control mode, the cursor could really stand to have more contrast. The cursor is a cartoon hand, and as someone who is albino, while I don’t have anything against pale, bright skin that reflects obnoxious amounts of light… in this game, visually, it would be more helpful if the cursor stood out against the white plates a bit more.
Accessibility Features 1/10
Accessibility features don’t exist in this game. But to be generous, I’ll give it a point for being able to turn off music and sound effects independently. You can also switch between button and touch controls. It ain’t much.
Assist Modes 3/10
There is an alternate mode where you play for a set amount of time and see how many customers you can serve. Normally, you have a profit goal for each level.
You can also use your profits to purchase “toys” to give your customers. These toys are inexpensive and can entertain your guests if you take too long with their order. Buying the toys will slow down your progression, but if you’re willing to grind a bit, it’s a good option to buy you some more time.
Non Visual Cues 8/10
So I normally play with no sound and nearly told you that there are no nonvisual cues before I remembered that I hadn’t checked for them.
There actually are nonvisual cues, and they’re pretty good. You get these really obnoxious sound effects whenever you successfully get whatever thing you’re using wherever it’s going. So when you successfully get the ketchup bottle to the plate, it gives you a big squelch to let you know you got the ketchup on the plate. When you get the plate to the customer, you hear an old timey cash register drawer. Do kids even know what an old timey cash register is? Whatever. I would really have preferred to see rumble used here, but actually the sounds are pretty good. I would recommend playing with the sounds on, if you can stand how cheesy they are.
Decent Fonts 8/10
The fonts are actually pretty good. They’re bold and large, or at least sighted-people large. I’m taking off a couple points here because the text scrolls automatically and you can’t stop it. If you miss it, you just have to wait for it to scroll around again. That’s not as bad as it sounds because the directions are very simple and the game is paused while the directions are onscreen. Still, it’s strange and unhelpful. If you aren’t a fast reader, beware. I’m a pretty fast reader and I still had to wait for things to come around again most times.
Necessity of Text 7/10
(The higher the rating, the less necessary the text is)
The necessity of the text depends on what mode you’re in. See, this game can be played in either touchscreen mode or in button-control mode. And instead of one being obviously better, they make it an achievement to beat every level with both touch and button controls. It’s a cheap way to double the playtime. In button control mode, the text is more necessary because the buttons are completely randomly assigned and make no sense. To combat this, they pop up reminders of the controls constantly, which is really helpful… if you can see them. But you could also probably memorize the controls (if you care way more than I do) and not need to read the reminders.
In touch mode, there’s not much to read except for the occasional instruction when you get a new piece of equipment. But really, in touch mode, you just tap and drag like you would guess you would.
There are some little progress indicators at the top of the screen, but you don’t really need to know what they tell you. They tell you how many customers you have left in the level and how much time you have left. Basically, just keep playing until it tells you to stop.
Handheld Play 9/10
There’s nothing wrong with the handheld play. I’m docking a point because I personally prefer touchscreen controls because I can’t remember the button controls – and the pictures of the food are pretty small, which means I’d prefer to hold it closer than I can while still fitting my hand in control the game. If you need to hold it close, it might be worth taking the time to learn the button controls.
Level of Precision Required 4/10
You do need to be fairly precise with this one because things are so darn small. Especially when you start preparing multiple plates at once, it’s really easy to put ketchup on the middle plate instead of the top plate or some such thing. I also had a problem with trying to drag some customer their order and it didn’t register that I had dragged it all the way to them, so I thought I messed up the order.
The button controls are worse. The most annoying part of it is using the joystick to move the cursor. For some reason, the thing does not move in intuitive directions. I couldn’t figure out precisely what the issue was, but it always took multiple attempts to get the cursor to move in the direction I wanted it to. In a time management game, especially when you’re already hindered by low vision, I found this very frustrating.
Button Controls 3/10
The pros of the button controls are that you can hold the screen closer. And you can put it up on the TV if that helps you. The cons of button controls are that they make no sense and the cursor motion is totally weird.
Touch Controls 9/10
As mentioned above, touch controls are much simpler. The pros are that your inputs are read more accurately. The cons are that the hit boxes are small, the objects are small, and you can’t hold the screen quite as close to your face.
Recommendation for visual skills needed for enjoyment
I’m going to say you’ll enjoy this game the most if you’ve got somewhere in the range of 20/400 to 20/600 or better. Beyond that, I don’t think you’d have much hope of distinguishing the orders apart from one another. And it’s not a good enough game to be worth trying that hard.
Overall, I recommend this game for someone who is looking for a time-waster.
When I bought this (on sale, which is the only way it’s worth it), I assumed it was a port of a mobile game. Apparently it isn’t. In doing (very minimal) research for this review, it looks like this game was developed exclusively for the Switch. Even so, it’s basically a mobile game. That said, I had a lot of fun with this thing. I enjoy time-management games, and it’s really good for killing five or ten minutes of a bus ride. It also reminds me of the first generation of mobile games, which is kinda fun.
It’s simple and not very difficult. There’s nothing objectionable in it. There’s even some amusement to be had in laughing at the weird food combinations the customers order. If this is the sort of thing you’re looking for, and it’s on sale, you’ll like this one.
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