On one of my first attempts at running a hot dog stand I lost the game because three people fell in a row and my reputation dropped enough to put me out of business. If you can't reliably accelerate time the game stretches into an almost unbearable eternity of micromanagement. At mostly normal speed day passes at about a day per fifteen minutes and it can take several days to earn enough money just to advance your store to the next step.
There are also random events in the game, some of which trigger mini-games. Here are the mini-games I played:
Robbery - Your store is being robbed. The game switches to the first-person perspective of the girl behind the counter and you stand motionless and throw plates at a huge stream of robbers. Each robber you let escape costs you money and each robber you hit with a plate (and a splatter of blood) gives you a bonus. Robbers clip through one another and get hung up on the door.
Rats - Rats have overrun your store. Your girl in a bikini kneels down between four piles of garbage as rats scurry between them. You smash the rats with a spatula. If you hit a rat as it is leaping through the air "PWNED" flashes on the screen, undoubtedly making you chortle with unrestrained mirth. You have roughly ten times the amount of time you need to kill the rats.
Virus - Your PDA is infected with a virus that looks suspiciously like Space Invaders, only even less complicated. It is about as difficult and fun as opening Microsoft Word.
Space Invaders - Very small flying saucers are attacking the city by flying around overhead. You have to fly a news helicopter outfitted with a missile launcher. As far as I could tell if there is a UFO on the screen with you then pressing the mouse button will destroy it with a missile. This one caught me off-guard with its strangeness, but there really didn't seem to be a way to lose.
There are other curveballs in the game, like the inclusion of a mafia don who does virtually nothing or the very infrequent attacks on your stand by rivals that cause maybe 200 dollars worth of damage. Sorry girls, no diamond necklaces for a couple hours, I've got to pay to have all of my appliances replaced.
The end-game seemed to be driving your competitors out of business and purchasing all of the lots in a city, but the hours required to get to that point are well beyond my meager willpower. I don't know, maybe one of the girls has your baby or something, or you get married like in half of the hentai games I've reviewed. It's not worth subjecting a lab animal bred specifically to play this game to the tedium just to learn the surprise ending.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the intense graphics and incredible attention to detail in Hot Dog King. The graphics are a mess of low-res textures for the restaurant and slightly unnerving high-res textures for the women. The breasts of the female customers jiggle up and down as they walk, but most of the male customers look like extras from The Hills Have Eyes. They stagger in like they have extra bones in their legs and pause at the register to stroke their oddly-angled beards. Several of the male customer models have black lips and stains around their mouth.
My favorite graphical touch in the game can be found in the larger and more elaborate hot dog stands. These stands have separated kitchen sections where an obese chef waddles around aimlessly. To get orders from the kitchen the women walk to a little alcove in the corner. If you have the camera set to follow an employee when they do this - and you probably will because the game's free camera is almost useless - then you will see them enter a mirrored realm of open polygons.
It's a familiar effect, but usually the sort of thing you would see if you used a cheat code on a game or somehow got the camera stuck somewhere it wasn't supposed to be. This is a part of the game that you will see over and over again. The developers surely saw this and just shrugged their shoulders with apathy. Did I mention that the game sometimes crashes to desktop when you press a menu button?
Speaking of the developers, Hot Dog King is known as HotDogsHotGirls on the nearly-pornographic German website for the game. In a purple splotch of whatever substance the Deutsche slather on their wieners the site brags that HotDogsHotGirls received "7/10 PUNKTE" from "gamio.de." Unless "PUNKTE" is German for "LAWSUITS" and gamio.de is some sort of gaming police force, I have to disagree.
Hot Dog King is not the worst game I've ever played, but it comes awfully close. It's the sort of game that has so much class that the options menu has silhouettes of naked women. So, if you're in the market for a tycoon game that you can half-heartedly jack off to, then Hot Dog King is the game for you!
What is the world searching for when it wants porn? The stats will blow your mind.
it's hard to shake the feeling that I've always got five stars in this Grand Theft Auto known as life.
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