Ah, the world of fast food ownership, while it can become a fast-paced chore, it does have it’s rewarding. From the crazy customers who may take their time in deciding what they would like like to the profits you can make, it truly is a world you can make your own. But does Winking Entertainment bring the world of fast food into Virtual Reality and serve up the right combination? Let’s find out with I’m Hungry for the PlayStation VR.
In I’m Hungry, you play the owner of your very own fast food restaurant. The job is simple, customers come up, order, you make so said order (hopefully in the correct way), serve the order, and get paid. So before you dive in to see if this is the career choice for you, make sure both Move controllers are fully charged and get ready to make some orders and serve those hungry customers.
When you first start you will notice that you have the counter with the register and trash bin in front of you, along with some bags. To your left you have the ice cream machine, next to that is your hamburger maker, to the right is the drink machine, and next to that is the fry maker. As the timer starts, you will have customers come up and give you an order that you must prepare. Before you start to think that I’m Hungry has a familiarity to it, you would be correct, but there are some things that set it apart. For one, you do have to bag each order regardless how big or small it may be, which depending on your hand-eye coordination skills, could cause you to have that perfect order get accidentally trashed as it happened to me a few times as I was just trying to rapid-fire everything. So regardless of your orders are multiple of the same items or just something simple as one drink, you have to bag each order.
When starting I’m Hungry, you will see Career Mode and Infinity Mode. In Career Mode will have two different scenes, Small Town and Winking Park. But you will notice that you can not enter Winking Park until you finish Small Town. Some may wish to have the option to go to Winking Park off the bat, but for me, I like how you need to complete this action first in order to take on additional actions and trust me, enjoy the Small Town while you can.
Each level requires a certain amount of customers to be served in order to move on to the next and as you progress you get introduced to different characters and depending on what they order is how much they will pay. A hamburger, fries and a drink will allow you to be paid in bills, while a smaller order, such as ice cream, may result in just some change. I was all good with my orders and getting paid until Sally Sue skipping along came up to my counter for the first time and wanted a fry and a drink and gave me a few coins. I looked at so said coins and thought, really? I really wanted to tell her to go back to her parents and request more money, that was until I saw a cop behind her who looked like he hat trees for breakfast and used people like me for a new tossing distance record, so I kindly took her coins (they were shiny) and added them to my cash register of hopes and dreams.
The thing about money is you can use them to upgrade your equipment, however, the cost to upgrade so said equipment is $10,000.00 and being paid in coins, well makes my cash register of hopes and dreams seem smaller and smaller almost like I was being taught a lesson of the better job I do, the more I could get rewarded to help me become the best that I can be. So I pressed on and on and kept serving and serving until the preppy butler type came up and ordered two of almost everything and threw me off. Why? Will you see, in order to serve all your customers, you also have to prepare the items. That means if you make ice cream and serve it, you have to put an empty cup in the machine and pull the lever to make a new one. Hamburgers are a little bit different. If you accidentally throw away a bun, you have to wait for a new bun to be made. Thing is if that bun you let go to waste the bottom bun, the next bun is the top bun, hence you then have to wait for a new bottom bun to be made. Now let’s talk about the drink and fries. The drink machine is the slowest out of the four. Not only that, you have to wait for the liquid to be pumped and poured, then a machine will then put the top on. This is fine until the rich butler person wants two of them and you only have like one minute to serve 4 more people. Then there is the fry machine. You have to pull the lever to dump the cold fries into the basket and then put the basket into the fryer.
What I suggest is as soon as the timer starts and before the first customer shows up (which is about 5-10 seconds) start the drink, fries, ice cream, and then hamburger. See the fries, you can have one ready to go and then start another batch and they will not burn. Hamburgers are pretty much the same with bread, meat, lettuce, it’s only if the order requires cheese or spicy that can make it different, and the ice cream is the same one flavor, chocolate, and vanilla swirl. The thing you have to keep in your mind is as soon as you pick up a drink and place it on the tray, start another drink. As soon as you put the ice cream on the tray, start another ice cream. But once you get familiar with where everything is, it’s starting to become automatic in away. And just when you think you have everything down, you then get to have golden food added to the mix. With this added menu item it will require additional movements. For example, if you there is a request for a golden drink, you will need to grab the drink and shake it or if a request is for a golden patty, you will need to grab the patty and bang it against the surface. If done correctly, you may just be rewarded with a bag full of money, which if Sally Sue has the ability to carry this much, then dang it Sally Sue, no more coins.
Earlier, I mentioned how you should enjoy Small Town while you can. This brings me to Winking Park. Winking Park brings the sense of fun as it should with an amusement park. You have clowns, you have smiles, and you have that excitement. All good, until the orders come. You see, in Small Town, you can look up to see what the orders are, which is helpful, especially when customers start ordering doubles of things. Here in Winking Park, your orders will burn and you will have to rely on your memory skills along with making sure you put into practice of once you made one item and put it on the tray, make another. Here, you will need to be quick and this is where you will make sure to go as fast as you can all while getting the orders exact so you can upgrade the machines to more efficient ones.
After each level, you will be presented how well you did with the number of customers you served, how many were not happy with what you served, stars that can be earned depending on how well you did with the number of correct orders and how quickly you did them, the amount of money you earned and something I really liked that was implemented, and that is a calorie counter that will show how many calories you burned in that particular level and will come in nicely when you start to play the Infinity Mode with unlimited time. In addition to what is presented here, there are also leaderboards, which are positioned under Rank. After the first few rounds, I just wanted to see where I was and I see that I have quite the feat ahead of me in the fast-food ranks of I’m Hungry, but I will get there…I must.
Now there are a few things that I wish could be tweaked. After each level, you are presented with a reminder of “Please Stay in the center of the cleared Play Area, do not walk around”. Maybe this is to help make sure that tracking still stays where it needs to be, which I never experienced any issues with, but if your streaming, it will stop the stream only to have it resume each time. Not really a big deal to be honest.
One thing that helps with VR is sound and the different sound effects are done very well. From the sound of opening the paper bag to hearing the sound of the fry machine letting you know the fries were complete to hearing the birds all sound very independent of each other and not trying to overpower the scenario. The customers do not speak but do make sounds from being happy to when you have the order right to making you aware when you did something wrong. Honestly, I think if the characters actually said things, it might get too repetitive and is not really needed here, but again, someone might say the same about the grunts. I was just happy that I could be able to hear the different machines to help let me know when items where complete.
When looking at the graphics, I really enjoyed the details of the characters as well as the detail in the food and items around me. Small details such as an energetic child to an elderly lady who was slow in giving you the money was a nice touch. I did nothing about the backdrop that did not seem as clear compared to when everything was more closer. I would love to be able to see more clarity in the back as it is not really that far from where the characters and items are compared to where you are located. I think this could easily be updated with a patch. If anything I would love to see added is more environments and different food items to the mix. Maybe have a Tawain setting where you have to prepare some Beef Noodles or some Soup Dumplings or even go to Germany and prepare Bratwurst or Schweinshax, there really is many different options that can be had here that I am excited to see if they do get added.
I’m Hungry shows that you can have fun all while learning a life lesson. Working smart is as important as working hard for the goals that want to achieve.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some leaderboards to climb in the fast-food restaurant business.