Pepper: The Food Truck Hero from Gamefox features Pepper, a food truck vendor, who is on her way to a cooking contest when she crashes into an inn. But this is no ordinary inn. Somehow, Pepper was transported to an island filled with beastfolk, merfolk and nymphs in addition to humans. If she wants to get back home, she needs to do what she does best – cook! But between dealing with a snobby saboteur and other drama, Pepper will have to go to great lengths to achieve her goals.
The island is divided into four levels, one for each of the four species of inhabitants; nymphs are at the top, followed by beastfolk, humans and merfolk. All species intermingle on all four levels, however. Pepper initially starts her journey on the human level, gradually making her way to the others. Her only chance to get back home is to speak with an elf sorcerer who only appears once a year. But first, she has to pass four cooking tests. To do this, Pepper must complete numerous quests that involve helping others and finding ingredients. Unfortunately, the path to success is rarely a straight line. A snobby rich girl walking around with two massive bodyguards constantly buys out every crucial ingredient Pepper needs, causing her to get creative with her dishes.
Players can move Pepper around the picturesque, pixelated land by sliding a finger. When sliding far enough, she’ll start to run. As running will get her to destinations faster, this might be the preferred method of travel for most players. If you’re feeling impatient, however, you can just tap the Auto-Move button to watch Pepper run, or the Teleport button to get her where she needs to go instantly. She can interact with people and objects when they have either an exclamation point or question mark in a speech bubble above them. Same with entering and exiting buildings, except those speech bubbles will have a door symbol. A very straightforward and easy way to get around is something most players prefer. Of course, the gameplay has to be interesting as well.
Play & Make
Pepper: The Food Truck Hero has two main gameplay modes: match-3 blocks and find the hidden object. Match-3 is pretty straightforward, just tap three or more blocks of the same color to earn points. Sometimes extra challenges will be added in, like destroy a certain number of boxes or bring a number of apples to the bottom. Don’t worry if the number of moves run out before meeting the requirements to pass, just watch an ad to get more. The hidden object feature is a bit more difficult. Some hidden items are obvious while others are very skillfully concealed. There will be times when a hint is needed to find something. One hint costs one diamond, a currency earned while playing the game. Try to spend them wisely, as they tend to go fast.
When the level is completed, Pepper earns stars, which in turn earn gold. This currency is primarily used to buy ingredients for recipes. Gold is also earned by completing main quests, such as arriving at a destination. Optional quests, like feeding a stray cat, have the same idea, though they don’t move the story forward. Despite how much gold a player gets, it disappears quickly when buying ingredients. Sometimes Pepper needs to make three of the same dish, and always walks away with a much lighter wallet. While there are ads to watch that can provide some extra gold, it’s a bit frustrating that gold comes and goes so easily. Thankfully, there’s a lot more gameplay to help with that.
Pepper: The Food Truck Hero offers several types of mini-games. From speed eating to chopping down trees, these mini-games offer players a fun and challenging experience. The story can’t continue without completing whatever mini-game pops up, however. One mini-game I had trouble with initially was the eating contest. Players have to rapidly tap the screen to make Pepper eat, but when her health bar gets in the red, she has to drink some water. If her health bar goes dark, she’ll spend a few moments clearing her throat, often allowing her opponent to catch up. Every mini-game is timed with three levels. Players will have to strategize on the fly a bit, but that’s what makes things interesting.
An adorable adventure game made for everyone, Pepper: The Food Truck Hero is certainly not one to miss. Though Pepper has to practically jump through hoops to complete even one task, the friends she meets along the way make it worth it. Additionally, the different gameplay modes keep players engaged and challenged, ensuring boredom is tossed aside like a dirty dish. Grab your chef hat, it’s time to get cooking!
Is It Hardcore?
It's *chef's kiss*
Cooking delicious food and playing through unique challenges against the backdrop of a peaceful fantasy world is sure to have players coming back for seconds.