This post is based on the demo version of the Food Truck Simulator available on Steam.
I love cooking games. Don’t ask, don’t judge. Although I’m not someone you’d call a foodie, I do like the challenge of preparing food in haste and delivering them to hungry customers. And there are plenty of cooking games for Android and iOS that satisfy my hunger for such challenges.
So when I came across Food Truck Simulator on Steam, I was immediately hooked. The game trailer showed driving the food truck around and preparing food from the first-person point of view.
That seemed interesting. I always felt that cooking games presented a type of challenge that is best handled on a touch interface where you could move quickly to prepare multiple orders.
Of course, I’m aware of the irony here. People who prepare food at burger joints don’t use a touch interface to do so. And I have massive respect for them. If anything, Food Truck Simulator would give me a taste of what it’s like to cook for real.
With that interest in mind, I dived into the Food Truck Simulator demo on Steam.
Unfortunately, the game started with terrible frame rates. The graphics preset was on Epic and I was getting 20 fps and lower. I turned down the graphics to High, but I didn’t get any significant FPS boost.
I had to turn it down to Medium to get a playable 30-35 FPS. I also had to turn on Nvidia DLSS and set it to Performance mode. I wasn’t happy with the FPS I was getting, but it was at least playable.
The thing to note here is that I was on a gaming laptop (Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 with Ryzen 9 and RTX 3070 Laptop GPU), but I’ve been playing Horizon Zero Dawn on the same laptop (connected to the same 4K display) and I was getting 50-60 FPS on “Favor Quality” preset. I also have Nvidia DLSS on Performance mode so it wasn’t laggy or anything.
The fact that such a game with a sprawling world plays so smoothly but the Food Truck Simulator doesn’t, makes me think it’s less about my hardware and more about optimization on the developer’s part.
I’m not a hardware expert that’s why I’m giving you all these details so you can judge for yourself.
At least, the game didn’t look too bad. At Medium settings, the interior (the game starts inside the garage) looked nice and clean although things took a turn for the worse when I was outdoors driving my freshly painted truck.
Look, any game that has an open world-y driving experience gets compared to GTA V. That’s not fair. And I’m not looking for GTA-esque driving experience here either. But the driving experience was pretty terrible.
Granted, you aren’t playing Food Truck Simulator to do driving, but the game seemed to focus more on resource management than just cooking and delivering food over the counter.
From my terribly short playtime, I got the feeling that you’d be taking fairly routine trips across the small city between your garage, the shop (that often has discounts so you better drive fast or risk paying more), and the place where you sell food.
For a game that forces you to drive around like in a real-world in a rusty food truck with broken machines, it was hard for me to overlook the terrible driving experience.
Then again, keep in mind that we’ve only been playing the demo. The game is still unfinished and it’s yet to be released. So hopefully, things are more polished when the final version is out.
Food Truck Simulator forces you to keep your balance in mind as you upgrade various parts of the food truck and upgrade the machines.
For example, not only do you have to start with a new paint job for your truck, but you also have to replace the wheels, fridge, gas for the grill, and other necessities to run a Food Truck business.
You also have to buy meat, buns, tomatoes, etc. to start cooking food. Some of these initial upgrades don’t cost you much, but I could see you getting stuck if you’re not careful about how and where you spend your limited cash.
Even after you’ve bought items, they don’t last forever. You have to store them in the proper place (if you store meat in the shelves instead of the fridge, you know what will happen). The proper place is also limited, so you can’t just buy as much as you want even if you have the cash.
To make things more realistic, there’s a freshness bar on every food item. So they aren’t going to last for days. I also noticed that if you take food out of the fridge, their freshness level decreases much faster. So you’ve got to know what you’re doing or you risk wasting precious resources.
If you still haven’t got the picture, here it is: If resource management isn’t your thing (It isn’t mine), then Food Truck Simulator may not be the right game for you.
First person cooking
Now, let’s get back to the thing that got me interested in this game. How does it go from cooking on a touchscreen to cooking like you’re playing Call of Duty?
Well, let me preface it by saying, everyone’s experience and opinion will be different. I’m already seeing people killing it at cooking in the first person in the very same Food Truck Simulator. And I’m sure, as the case is with every other game out there, there will be many more who find immense pleasure in playing this game.
However, I discovered that it wasn’t for me. Sure, I found it fairly interesting to cut tomatoes, but that interest was short-lived as it was bugging out.
Walking around inside the food truck and taking items such as meat from the fridge, placing them on the grill, putting the burger box onto the assembly table, taking the buns out of the shelf and cutting them in half, putting them onto the grill, getting tomatoes, cutting them, all the while keeping in an eye on which stage (rare, medium-rare, or well done) the meat is in… it’s a lot.
On a touchscreen, it feels fairly easy. It gets progressively difficult as you have more complicated recipes and more customers about to lose their patience, but even then, it’s manageable after a few tries.
In first-person cooking on Food Truck Simulator, I had serious difficulty even getting the very first tutorial recipe done. I know many people will enjoy this, but it wasn’t for me.
Food Truck Simulator release date
As of this writing, there is no confirmed release date for Food Truck Simulator. I’ve searched the web and came up empty, so it’s likely the developers aren’t sure themselves when they want to release the game on Steam.
Should you buy Food Truck Simulator?
An easy recommendation is to look at gameplay videos to see if you like it. However, I don’t think you’ll get the true sense of playing this game if you watch an expert play it on YouTube or Twitch.
After all, veteran players always make things seem so easy (just watch zero-hit Dark Souls boss fights and try them for yourself.)
I thank Food Truck Simulator’s developers/publishers (DRAGO entertainment/Movie Games S.A.) for making a demo available on Steam. This will help many players like me to try the game for themselves and decide if this style of cooking game is a match for them.
Provided that the demo doesn’t go away when the full game is released, my strong recommendation is to actually download the demo and play it for yourself.
You’ll know soon enough if resource management, subpar driving, and first-person cooking in Food Truck Simulator are fun for you.
For me, Food Truck Simulator has raised my respect for those who do the actual cooking. But I’ll stick to Euro instead of Food as far as Truck Simulators go.