Hotdog Hotshotis a new time management game by developer Sweet Tooth Games. However, some gamers might recognize that this game is actually adapted from a previous Flash game called Hot Dog Bush. While the Flash game enjoyed a lot of popularity, the download version is less convincing given its lacklustre presentation, well-worn gameplay and lack of innovation.
The very basic storyline only serves to get the game started, which is fine. You compete with 14 other chefs at fifteen different locations throughout New York. Each location consists of six levels, hence the story mode alone provides impressing 90 levels to play. Your ultimate goal is to win “The Golden Hotdog”, an award given to the chef who is able to make the most profit in 15 weeks.
Hotdog Hotshotcan be easily compared to titles such as Burger Island 2or Success Story, although it bears much more resemblance with the former title. You have no actual character to control; rather you are serving customers directly from your hotdog counter. Meals that can be prepared include burgers with various ingredients, hotdogs (of course), fries, different beverages, and deep-fried corn. Of course you have to prepare a lot of stuff in advance to keep up with the orders of incoming customers, which can become pretty hectic and is definitely entertaining for a certain amount of time.
The only distraction from the usual serving routine is provided by thieves, who might try to steal money still waiting on the counter, or customers who forget to pay and leave your hotdog stand while whistling innocently. Both these situations can be solved by simply clicking thief or customer, who will then put the money back on the counter. There are also customers whose thought bubble only says “My usual,” thus requiring you to remember what this customer ordered earlier.
A clear disappointment is the lack of creativity when it comes to customers. For one thing, the graphics are not exactly appealing. Perhaps the appearance of the customers was meant to be goofy and funny, but all in all Hotdog Hotshotfails to deliver a decent, engaging presentation. Furthermore, the game lacks a variety of customers with different behaviors, which make similar time management games more interesting and require at least some strategic thinking. Granted, there is the occasional celebrity, who will please other customers, and one rather unclean customer, who will drive those near to him away. But apart from that, the customers visiting your hotdog stand solely differ in appearance, but not in behaviour.
From the profit you make in each level you are able to purchase various upgrades, which help you to prepare more meals at the same time. This upgrade system brings nothing new to the table, and it takes a little bit too long to be able to afford an improved machine. Ingredients on the other hand are added automatically when you advance in the game and only appear few and far between.
The numerous awards you can obtain are a nice touch. These include interesting challenges such as “serving 7 burgers in 35 seconds” or “to serve more than 40 celebrities.” While the story mode has a decent length itself, you will also unlock a challenge mode later on. These are in fact the same levels, although you start with perfect equipment from the beginning on. When you are able to reach gold stars for those challenge mode levels a mysterious bonus level will become available. For people who like this sub-genre of time management games Hotdog Hotshotdefinitely offers much gaming time for your money.
Frankly, Hotdog Hotshotis not much more than a filler for short breaks, and the gaming experience feels cumbersome quickly. What probably has been a great idea for a Fash game does not necessarily work as well for a downloadable game. Of course it is always worth a try for real fans of the genre, but do not expect any new twists, gorgeous graphics, charming characters, or a well-rounded gaming experience. If you still enjoy the game after the trial hour though, you can’t do anything wrong with purchasing it, because you can expect much more of the same.