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Fast Food Tycoon

Windows - 1999

Alt names Pizza $yndicate, Pizza Syndicate, Pizzasyndikatet
Year 1999
Platform Windows
Released in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (1999)
United Kingdom, United States (2000)
Germany (2005)
Genre Simulation, Strategy
Theme City Building / Construction Simulation, Comedy, Crime, Managerial, Real-Time, Regional differences
Publisher Activision Value Publishing, Inc., Dinamic Multimedia, S.A., Frogster Interactive Pictures AG, IQ Media Nordic AB, Software 2000
Developer Software 2000
Perspectives Isometric, Free-roaming camera, Diagonal-down
4.57 / 5 - 44 votes

Description of Fast Food Tycoon

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Activision has recently released two new SIM City-style business management simulation games under its Activision Value label. Both of these new products fall ostensibly into the "tycoon" series of games, if for no other reason than by virtue of their titles. One is Ski Resort Tycoon. The other, which is the primary focus of this review, is Fast Food Tycoon. Does Fast Food Tycoon measure up to the high standards established by previous tycoon games such as Railroad TycoonTransport Tycoon, and the eminently successful and popular Roller Coaster Tycoon? For the answer to this and other burning questions, read on.

As is the case with other ventures into the "tycoon" arena, the objective of Fast Food Tycoon is to transform the modest amount of capital (bread, moolah, scratch... we're talking cold, hard cash here) on hand at the outset of the game into a sizable fortune. You initially invest in the restaurant industry and then manage numerous factors regarding your business such as infrastructure, finances, staff, menu, advertising, etc. in order to turn a profit and gradually build a vast empire of dining establishments.

Something important to reveal first - Fast Food Tycoon is the same game as the European release, Pizza Syndicate. In all fairness, it is a somewhat common practice to release games in the U.S. with a different title than overseas (Roller Coaster Tycoon expansion, Added Attractions went by the name Corkscrew Follies in the states, for example). I would have no problem with the modified title if it weren't for the fact that it is considerably misleading - to me, Fast Food Tycoon clearly implies that you will be building and managing a variety of fast food restaurants, including burger joints, fried chicken franchises, taco houses, and more. Instead, there is a conspicuous absence of any option other than pizza on the menu. Perhaps a title such as Pizzeria Tycoon or something of the sort (in fact, Fast Food Tycoon shares many similarities with Microprose's 1995 release, Pizza Tycoon, although this earlier title is a bit more simplistic, particularly regarding the graphics) would be more accurate and equitable to consumers.

You begin by selecting a character to act as your CEO. The various choices each have different personality traits, making some of them more suitable than others to achieve your objectives depending on the type of strategy you decide to pursue. You also select what city to build your establishment in from a list of real world locations. This adds a nice touch of realism, rather than playing in imaginary towns with names such as "hungryville" or whatever. Another agreeable feature is that the various cities each have distinctive style architecture incorporated into the buildings to further the notion that you are actually in Rome, London, New York, etc.

The theme of each city is further emphasized by soundtrack music indigenous of the area. As time passes, night and day are simulated, complete with sunrises and sunsets. Time zones are accurately depicted as well, so if you jump from Tokyo to New York, you'll go from night to day, reflecting local time. There are also three difficulty levels to choose from at the outset, but I couldn't discern any substantial difference in the computer AI. Competing restaurateurs seemed to behave the same regardless of the difficulty setting.

Once you've accomplished these preliminary tasks, you are ready to start your business. There are many vacant buildings available for lease. Some are more expensive than others (although I believe the disparity primarily addresses the size of the building only and not whether it's in a prime location). You then stock the new branch of your franchise with furniture kitchen equipment and amenities such as floor tile, carpet, etc. Of course, you also need to hire a staff and, most importantly, devise a menu that will attract customers.

There's an old adage in business that states, "The customer is always right." You will need to put this ideology firmly into practice to be successful at Fast Food Tycoon. Just as in the real world, people in this game have a variety of personal preferences. Although there are a number of default "ready made" pizza combinations, but you cannot merely offer traditional pizza on your menu if you expect to prosper. You must cater to the individual tastes of the local demographics. Variety is essential to success.

You won't find any shortage of ingredients to work with, either. There are numerous toppings available, which can be mixed and matched as desired, making a seemingly infinite number of combinations possible. In addition to conventional meat and vegetable toppings, you can create your pizzas with such "delectable" offerings as ants, snake, and maggots.

Another element present in Fast Food Tycoon is the influence of "underworld" activities. If you desire, you can align yourself with organized crime (hence the term "syndicate" in the original title). Doing so can be highly profitable but is not entirely without risk. If you opt for a life of crime, you will have to be on the lookout and avoid law enforcement at times. You may also find your pizzeria the victim of a "hit" (rival mobsters will sometimes vandalize your restaurant). If you intend to pursue mafia associations, be sure to take this into account when selecting your character's personality traits, as some characters are better suited for these activities than others.

Fast Food Tycoon is teeming with potential. It could have been quite excellent save for a few troubling issues. The main problems with this title are the laborious gameplay and its cumbersome and confusing interface. Instead of using "pop-up" menus like Roller Coaster Tycoon, you are forced to constantly switch back and forth between different screens. For example, one screen provides data concerning the type of pizza your customers want. This often includes a lengthy list of ingredients that you must either write down or memorize because you have to exit this screen and then access you pizza making screen from the main menu. By the time you are halfway through with your recipe, you may forget one or more of the ingredients and have to return to the aforementioned market research screen.

What I really found frustrating though was the lack of clearly identifiable icons to represent the various action screens. I was constantly searching around unsuccessfully for the correct place to click in order to complete a desired action. I think I might have actually enjoyed this game if it wasn't such a burdensome task.

The concept of a food service based "tycoon" game is an excellent one. Unfortunately, Fast Food Tycoon falls below the mark in its somewhat uninspiring implementation of this splendid idea. Hopefully, someone will come along soon and fill the void with a really exceptional fast food restaurant empire building simulation game (that includes more than just pizza on the menu). In the meantime, I guess we will all have to settle for sticking with theme parks, along with planes, trains, and automobiles for our "tycoon" fix.

Review By GamesDomain

Fast Food Tycoon has an addon available: Pizza $yndicate Mission CD: Mehr Biss, don't miss it!

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Comments and reviews

Jure 2024-02-05 0 point

Just go to game icon, right click, go to properties, change from Win XP to Win 8

mel 2022-11-07 -2 points

cannot read registry entrys ! Please reinstall is the error Im getting
even with the patch.

win 10 64bit
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5820K CPU 3.30GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

Margherita 2022-09-13 1 point

Has anyone got this game working with music? As far as I can tell the game opens fine for me (Win 10 x64) but I'm just missing the music on both RIP and ISO version! So frustrating as the music was highly nostalgic for me. It's hard to pinpoint the problem as all other sounds work no problem.

HisNoodlyServant 2022-07-11 1 point

@Dave and any other people with the video driver problem. You just got to right click the "pizza" application and go to "compatibility". Switch it over to Windows XP service pack 2. Worked after that for me.

dave 2022-05-20 0 point

i get a videodriver 102 error code when using the patch! does anyone know where i can get a nocd DL?

person who needs help 2021-11-13 -2 points

I downloaded zoo tycoon and was playing for a few days and then decided to try and download the dinosaur and marine expansion packs. After that it says it cant download because i need to download the original zoo tycoon first when it should already be working . How do i fix this?

Perry Rhodan 2021-08-20 1 point

Hi BK, here's the expansion on this Disc, but it was only ever released in German. Maybe someone can translate the files if it's required?

Pizza $yndicate Mission CD: Mehr Biss

bk 2021-07-10 0 point

Hey guys, the game works for me however I am looking for the expansion: Pizza syndicate Mission Cd : Mehr Biss that apparently only was released in Germany.
Anyone would have an ISO or a torrent? Thanks

BritneyB!tch 2021-04-16 3 points

It looks like it works for me, but starting the game I get the "Can't init videodriver: Errorcode=210' error? Anyone else? What can I do?

Trollsmash 2021-01-15 4 points

I have found a way to run the Pizza Syndicate ISO version on Windows 10 X64.
After mounting the image, run the setup file, it will probably not start.
Go in task manager (ctrl,shift,tab), details tab and search for the 32 bit installer process
Right click Analyse wait chain, check the process blocking the setup and click end process.
The setup file should now work normally.
After this be careful to use a good NOCD, there is a protection in game that deletes your save file after 8 hours of play.
There is a good NOCD file for Pizza syndicate 1.02 EN that mentions this problem and has a save file attached for verification.

The following thread helped

bafi 2021-01-09 1 point

I have been looking for years.

Trollsmash 2021-01-06 0 point

Did anyone manage to start the setup file from the ISO on Windows 10 x64? It does not seem to work even with compatibility options. The RIP version is working but it's missing the music and movies.

Stefano 2020-10-20 0 point

Hi guys, if you have issues in running the game, set the executable's compatibility mode to windows XP SP2

Dashquinn90 2020-04-26 4 points

I cant seem to get the game started it keeps giving me an error anyone here to can help me out here please and thank you

Pizzamonster 2020-04-01 1 point

This game is awesome!

Lucasmetal 2020-01-19 2 points

I played the first one a lot with my bro. This not that much but great games both of them!

Rotciv 2018-08-24 1 point

For some reason the ingame music is not working, the rest of the game works as intended so far. Maybe it's cause of the RIP Version i downloaded.

European Darkness 2018-05-04 19 points

I disagree. Pizza Syndicate is awesome! Go away Nerdo!!!

nerdofnolwe17 2018-05-02 -31 points

I remember having this game and it was just terrible. Even seeing the screenshots now makes me feel a bit angry. Horrible game, just don't waste your time.

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Windows Version

DownloadRIP Version English version 141 MB DownloadISO Version English version 432 MB DownloadISO Version Spanish; Castilian version 440 MB DownloadSetup Polish version 359 MB

Game Extras

Various files to help you run Fast Food Tycoon, apply patches, fixes, maps or miscellaneous utilities.

PatchPatch 1.02 English version 656 KB

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