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Papa’s Taco Mia – Meaty time-management entertainment
Oh Papa Louie, is there any metaphorical or real pie that you don’t have your business-venture hand in? From Papa’s Pizzeria to Papa’s Freezeria, this fictional character with a stereotypically Italian moustache and general appearance has entertained us with challenging restaurant-centric time management games for many years and is such a household (with the house being the giant billion-bedroom mansion that is the internet) name that the title of all of his games don’t even need to include his last name. He is essentially on a first name basis with the world (or at least the world of flash-based gaming), and in true Papa’s form, he has gone ahead and moved into the big business of tacos. I don’t know of many people who don’t like these amazing corn-based boats of meaty flavour, so it can’t be much of a leap to think that I would most definitely derive at least as much fun from this title as I have from the rest of this brilliant series from Flipline Studios. Tacos: assemble!
A Sprinkle of the Pleasantly Familiar
Papa’s Taco Mia has the classic (and endearingly basic) cut-scene introduction typical of all games with the “Papa’s” brand on them; the details of said cut-scene are unnecessary but suffice it to say that the results of a taco-eating competition swing heavily in the favour of your chosen male/female character, after which you inherit an establishment which against sensible business procedure, caters exclusively in Tacos. Rational business acumen aside, the aim of Papa’s Taco Mia is as it has always been, which is to prepare the orders of each customer across a variety of culinary prep stations using a skilful blend of speed and accuracy in order to attain the highest possible marks from the waiting customer. As is always the case you are given full control over the entire process from start to finish from carefully cooking the meat to delicately scattering over the requested toppings according to the customer’s order ticket.
The food production process of Papa’s Taco Mia is noticeably simpler than the other games in the series since the lowly taco is less complicated to make than say, a pizza. After taking a customer’s order – which is displayed in diagram format for ease of understanding – you move on to the grill station in order to fry the meat, which must be flipped half way through cooking when the timer indicates. After this has been completed, you can move on to the topping station where various fillings and sauces can be applied by hand, preferably in an even fashion to garner the highest marks from customers.
More than Food
Slap your ticket on the finished product and you’ve got yourself a successful order, that is if you actually managed to score highly on each of the station. This can be quite difficult considering the pickiness of some of the more difficult customers, whose faces upon being presented with a sub-par taco look like they’ve just eaten a freshly-picked nettle and washing it down with some orange juice after just brushing their teeth. The range of customers increases as you make progress in the game, each having unique tastes and levels of fussiness. Functional upgrades are also available for purchase if you save up enough tips, with products ranging from wall posters that increase waiting time score to bells and alarms which allow you to manage your time more effectively between the stations when it gets particularly busy.
Papa’s Taco Mia is pretty much more of the same, but I implore you not to take this as a negative since each of the restaurant simulation games have consistently delivered large amounts of time-management fun, and this game is no exception. The range of customers and upgrades provides replay potential on the same par as older classics such as Diner Dash or Penguin Diner the level of control over the food preparation process is superior to that of most other games of the same genre. If you don’t like the game, then Taco Bell may be the next best option.