Success Story in Review – Faaaaaaaast Food

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In the high-glam world of fast-food restaurants, the hamburgers is and always will be king. But, it ain’t all fizzy drinks and fried potatoes in the land of the King. Something is amiss – at least in Success Story – a time-management game which pits you against customer’s demands, time, and physical resources. Part comic book, part match-up game, Success Story is a good romp through the land of grease and goodies.

Your role, as illustrated in the game’s cute comic-book style story-line, is to replace failing food robots which have broken down in a precise corridor throughout the city. Of course, you must also turn a profit. Between stages, you will discover tidbits of the story-line which will (spoiler alert!) reveal an over-arching plot complete with arch-villains and goodly melodrama. Don’t care for the story? No matter, just tap the screen a few times and you are done with it. But, G5 didn’t squander their resources creating a sub-par story. Despite its dark undertones, it is a fun read even for the squeamish.

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You cannot play your iTunes library through the game, but that is no big loss: Success Story has a pretty good background music track which reminds me of several bigger-than-life movies like Rocky, and Jurassic Park.

Success Story is played by tapping the hell out of your screen. Your mission — and you will choose it — is to serve customers’ orders, while not wasting too much time, or resources. You will complete orders by tapping their component parts as they become available at your work station, but you must follow a specific build order. For example, an item of meat must be placed before cheese, lettuce, onion, etc.. If you bungle the order, the sandwich will become useless and you will have to remove items until you can properly create the item. Every part has a time limit before it is thrown out and consequently, each item which is thrown out costs money, time, and the patience of customers. At first, this is a great game formula since it is straight-forward, but after a dozen or so levels, you will start to realise its problems. Success Story is about your failure rather than success. The touch screen works well, but it is too hard to differentiate between orders, press the right combination of items, and sometimes, to successfully suss out the order in which a sandwich is made.

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If you can do it, though, you will sustain a high profit margin and maybe even receive nice phat tip from your customers. Still, you have to accumulate a tonne of tips before you can do anything fancy.

There are a number of ‘power ups’ which can be purchased from the upgrade shop. In Success Story, most power-ups exist for many reasons beside making the game easier to play; some, like extra menu items help with customer satisfaction, but increase the difficulty of orders. Power ups appear every so often and, unfortunately, are not user-selectable. When one is ready, it will be defaulted to you rather than selectable. This strategy works for Success Story because it is crammed full of frantic gameplay, but in a slower-paced game, might detract from the fun.

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The game never loses its sense of humour. Each customer comes alone, but chooses the most gluttonous pile of food imaginable: three sandwhiches, at least one drink, a dessert, combo items. But, you won’t have time to laugh at the humorous hyperboly because you will be frantically digging into the game in order to finish a level. In fact, it is almost impossible to keep your eyes on orders, foot-timers, wasted items, tips, etc., simply because the game’s pace is faaaaaaaaaaaaast. This may appeal to the hardcore time manager, or to those like me, who know they will lose anyway, but to the unseasoned gamer looking for a cute and cheap way to enjoy their touch-screen, it may be overwhelming.

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The tutorial does very little to help you understand how hard this game is, but it works to familiarise you with controls, button placement, and basic customer demands. Fortunately, level design is similar from stage to stage, so you won’t lose your place in the heat of this burger battle. At the same time, it can become a monotonous affair as there are many levels in Success Story, each of which is nearly a clone of the last. And, if I were to nitpick (and I will), I would mention that its menu system is oddly populated with tiny buttons which obviously are the relics of a mouse-driven original.

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Overall, G5 have hit upon a fantastic formula: fast paced, cute, colourful, and steadily rising in difficulty, Success Story is a great buy at nearly a dollar. None of my time has been wasted playing this rather addictive game, but, I don’t have the drive to try and beat it – no person should have to suffer such a long tribulation of personal failures. Success Story is not for the weak. It is a hard game, made harder by the tiny icons which nearly invisibly map out customer’s orders and by the game’s very wide margin for error. But, despite my criticisms, Success Story is fun. The best part of course is its incredible price (which expires today) of 99 cents. After today, it will rise again to 2.99$, a factor which will ultimately judge Success Story’s own success.

Despite being a fun game with a cute, but dark (not really) story line, Success Story is hampered by its difficulty level which is induced not so much by an insane pace, but by the insanely small margin for success. It could be a nearly perfect game, but it falls short in a few areas.

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App Summary
Title:Success Story (v1.0)Developer:G5 Entertainment
Price:$0.99 (Sale) Regular $2.99App Size:18.9 MB
  • Cute graphics and story
  • Good sounds and blockbuster opening sequence
  • Fast paced
  • Goodly amount of resources to manage
  • Lots of game to play
  • Tiny icons make building certain menu item nearly impossible
  • Maybe too fast
  • Repetitive
  • Involuntary upgrades

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