A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Despite its title, a lot of the cuisine in the game is not "fast food" as we know it. There's sushi, pasta, and curry in addition to burgers and pizzas. So the negative message doesn't come, as expected from the food, but from the gender stereotyping. The chef is a determined, action-hero-looking male, while the server he orders around to clean tables, chase rats, etc., is female and always looks to be on the verge of panic. You can look at it as a good thing that, as the cook, you run from the kitchen to help the waitress, or you can look at it as a bad thing that the girl can't handle these menial tasks on her own.
Positive Role Models
As mentioned above, the waitress is hard-working, but easily panicked and quick to call for help with simple jobs like busing a table. There are also some customers who are referred to as "big eaters" -- obese people who come in and order several items at once. One mini-game is an eating contest which requires the player/character to gorge on as much food as possible within a time limit.
Ease of Play
The game has three difficulty levels, which is good, because the pace is quite demanding, and even playing on "normal" can be challenging.
Violence & Scariness
Rats run through the restaurant every so often, and you must call for a waitress to chase them out before customers see them. Not violent, but kind of icky.
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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.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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