A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this lightning-paced time management game features the cooking and eating of unhealthy foods. Not all of the menu items are bad, though. But even with the less objectionable foods, the game encourages rapidly wolfing them down. Parents should also be aware that even though a girl is featured on both the front and back covers of the box, the chef that players control in the game is male. The female waitress is shown to be inept at times.
What's it about?
An upstart chef starts a new restaurant in FAST FOOD PANIC and must struggle to keep up with his many customers. He must prepare multiple dishes at once, while keeping an eye out for new customers to greet, dirty tables to have cleaned, and rats that could upset the clientel. Along the way, he often has to leave the kitchen to clear a table, wipe up spills, or make a delivery. He needs to be especially careful when preparing meals for visiting food critics (and ignore the fact that critics don't actually review fast food restaurants). Outside of the story mode, there are also a bunch of fun food-themed mini-games that include tasks like spinning pizza dough and using pigs to root out truffles.
Is it any good?
Fast Food Panic does a nice job of combining the step-by-step food-prep of Cooking Mama and the time management element of games like Diner Dash, but, perhaps because it tries to be two things at once, it feels a little thin on both levels. There isn't a huge number of recipes, but the game moves as such a fast clip that that's probably not a bad thing. And the story mode is relatively short. The nice selection of mini-games available to play outside of the career mode makes up for that, though, and several of those mini-games are arguably more fun than some of the main gameplay. As a complete package, Fast Food Panic is worth a try for cooking-game fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about good eating habits. Which foods in the game are better than others? Is fast food always bad? Can it be okay if it's a "sometimes food?" Why is the fast pace at which characters eat a bad thing?
Parents can also discuss gender roles with their children. In the game, the chef is male and the waitress is female. Is this an accurate representation of real life? If so, why do you think that it?
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