From Papa's Pizzeria to Papa's Burgeria to the latest time management game Papa's Taco Mia, Flipline Studios consistently produces great-looking games that walk a delicate line between challenging and straight-up entertaining. The newest in the growing series of restaurant sims puts you in the managing shoes of a taco joint. Take customer's orders, grill up the right kind of meat, stuff the tacos, add the toppings one by one, and present each order to the customer for their evaluation. Make neater tacos, rake in bigger tips, and outfit your restaurant with the best equipment available as you work your way to a taco-making master!
Papa's Taco Mia takes place in three main areas: the ordering floor, the grill station, and the building counter. As customers file in, you must manage your time spent between these locations, always keeping an eye on cooking meats or impatient customers while trying to keep quality at the maximum. Click on a customer to take his or her order, then head to the grill to get started. Each order is placed on a ticket that can be organized on the line at the top of the screen. Drag the ticket to the right to get a large view so you can see exactly what the customer wants on their taco!
To make the meats, you'll need to drag and drop each type onto the burners below. Meat needs to be flipped and sometimes chopped, each according to a circular timer around the pan. It's safe to leave meat alone for a bit while you take orders or add toppings in the build station, but if you overcook or forget to chop it at the right time, you'll end up with a poor grill score when it's time to collect your tips.
After the meat has been placed in the correct taco shell, take it to the build station for the real fun. Toppings must be placed in the order the customer requested them. Because as everyone knows, a taco just isn't a taco if the beans are above the onions! Click and drag each topping and gently spread it across the taco by swiping the mouse back and forth. The neater your work, the higher your score will be, so don't be afraid to take a little time to make sure your food is top-notch.
After all has been prepared, it's time to take the meal to the customer. Each person has particular preferences and will judge your work based on how quickly you took their order, how accurate you were on the grill, and how neatly you stacked the toppings. The higher your percentage in each area, the more cash you'll get as a tip. Tip money can be used in the in-game store to buy useful items like doorbells that alert you when new customers enter or timers that keep your apprised of the meat situation on the grill, even when you're away!
Analysis: The entire series of Papa's games are well-known for their high-quality visuals, well-balanced gameplay, and smart blend of speed and precision. Papa's Taco Mia doesn't change that formula too much, switching the type of food being prepared but keeping just about everything the same.
Unlike many time management or simulation games, Papa's Taco Mia doesn't move at a very fast pace. In fact, very little changes from one level to the next. New customers request new taco builds, more people stream in at a faster rate, and different meats are unlocked after a certain amount of time, but the gameplay remains largely the same, despite the upgrades that can be purchased in the shop. Don't step into this one expecting a fast-paced click-a-thon. Instead, look for some deep time management gaming with a side of tummy-grumbling food preparation.
The only real down side to Papa's Taco Mia is the sense of sameness fans of the series won't be able to shake. The food is different, the method of preparation is different, but so many aspects of the game are the same as Papa's Burgeria and Papa's Pizzeria that Taco Mia feels stale much more quickly than it should. The gameplay is still as well-tuned as ever, but when it comes down to it, a taco isn't all that different from a burger. Not in the browser gaming world, anyway!
Despite a hint of sameness, Papa's Taco Mia is a fantastic follow-up to Flipline Studio's previous restaurant simulation offerings. It's got strategy, it's got time management, it's got crazy customers with crazy taco orders, and it's got everything you'd need to stay addicted for hours on in!