I’m not lovin’ it…
As I was telling one of my friends from the political blog, The Newshoggers, my intent is for this blog to remain a politics free zone. My decision to abstain from political writing comes from a number of different things, and one of the reasons why I think this blog has remained as successful as it is is because I refuse to let the malaise of politics tarnish its digital pages.
Still… I don’t mind if every great once in a while I featuring something that has a bit of a political sting to it. Plus, anytime someone wants to take a potshot at a major chain like McDonald’s or Wal*Mart, I like to think that me helping that someone out takes me just a little bit closer to heaven.
Enter the McDonald’s Video Game.
Meant as a parody of the real McDonald’s the McDonald’s Video Game puts you in charge of your very own McDonald’s from cradle to grave. You must make executive decisions all the way from the ranches where the beef is produced right down to the actual store itself.
One of the interesting things about this game is that for a game that is intended to be more parody and statement than actual game, it is actually a very well put together time management/resource management simulator.
Oh, and it’s pretty damn hard too.
As a statement, it takes some decent shots at the world famous franchise, landing some serious blows aimed at questionable ethics. But whether you agree with the designer’s political statements or not, there’s simply no taking away from the fact that this is a very well built game.
While most sim games tend to be a bunch of hurry up and wait, the fact that this game forces you to spread your attention over four considerably different areas will keep you busy throughout. You must continue to provide optimum grazing areas for your cows, monitor their health as they prepare to head for butcher, continually maintain an effective marketing strategy, and oversee the minute to minute operations of your store.
In doing so, you will be forced to make lightning fast decisions constantly whilst juggling back and fourth between four different screens.
This alone is enough to keep any sim junkie in managerial bliss, but the sights and sounds are also a treat. The visuals are cartoony and somewhat endearing (in the cases of the cows they can be a little too endearing), and the catchy little theme song will gut stuck in your head hours after you stop playing.
But make no mistake, while this may look like a kid’s game MVG is no joke on the challenge. The pacing of the game remains breakneck, and in order to keep your McDonald’s running for a little more than a few minutes will require you to conduct the myriad of dynamics with the precision of a Swiss watch.
Once you have things running smoothly, though, it’s a blast. Are mom’s having issues with the nutritional value of your product? Hire a couple of pseudo-dietitions to go on record talking about how healthy your food is. Are too many people complaining about getting fat on your burgers? No problem, don’t change the recipe, just start airing some commercials about how in shape our food can make you.
Yes, your integrity might be challenged, but your sense of fun will be absolutely tickled by this game.