Turbo Subs, a follow-up to Turbo Pizza, is a food serving time management game along the lines of Cake Mania 2 and Plantasia. On vacation from the hectic pace of serving pizza (at turbo speeds), Rebecca and Robert travel to New York to relax. The entrepreneurial bug has bitten them, however, and when they see a small subway car they just can't help themselves. With Robert behind the sandwich counter and Rebecca serving food, the pair opens up a subway shop and hopes for success.
The goal in Turbo Subs is to make at least the required minimum amount of money before closing and moving on to the next day. You earn cash by serving customers in a timely manner. A variety of different people come in your store, ranging from impatient tourists to businesswomen on cellphones to laid-back guys in trench coats. Each one needs a menu, then he or she will place an order. Look at the thought bubble to see what the customer wants, then grab the item, prepare it if necessary, serve, and collect your tip. A smart queue system allows you to line up several actions that Rebecca will carry out that order. She can also hold an item in each hand, allowing you to save a few seconds by grabbing food on your way back to the counter. Both of these features are extremely important in this game, as Turbo Subs is fast-paced and saving a second here and there is crucial.
A great feature in this game is the turbo system that rewards you for creating quick combos. For example, if two customers come in and you serve them menus successively, you'll get a small star bonus. When the star meter at the bottom of the screen fills, you enter turbo mode. Turbo mode makes everything in your kitchen run faster, allowing you to serve more customers at a quicker pace and earn more cash.
Toning the pace down just a notch are hidden object-type mini-games you'll complete after every few days of work. They're simple diversions featuring cluttered scenes and a handful of objects to find, all tied to the main game with the pretense of keeping your business neat and clean. They feel somewhat out of place, but slowing the action down for a few minutes is usually a welcome relief.
Analysis: Turbo Subs really lives up to its name. This is one of the most fast-paced time management games available, and the action really heats up after just a few levels of learning the ropes. Customers tend to have a short temper and won't wait forever for their food, so upgrades become extremely important later on. Also, there's no way to refill a customer's "happy meter" while they're waiting, so it's serve fast or watch them walk out the door.
Most of the items have a distinct look in Turbo Subs, allowing you to glance at an order and quickly tell if it's chips or a bottle of soda the customer wants. Subs, on the other hand, look practically identical, forcing you to study it for a split second before asking Robert to start cooking. That wasted time can make a crucial difference in this game, and it would have been nice to have more distinct sandwich icons.
Turbo Subs is a successful time management sim that gets just about everything pleasantly right. It's a difficult game, however, so don't walk in expecting to charge through with top scores. Keep up with the game's fast pace and you'll be pleasantly rewarded.