Gas Station Simulator | PS4 Review
Have you ever dreamt of owning and running your very own gas station? No? Me neither, but with Gas Station Simulator you can do exactly that. Developed by DRAGO Entertainment and published by MD Games, Gas Station Simulator has been available on Steam since September 2021, and it now makes its way to PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Any references to gameplay in this review was from the playthrough on the PlayStation 4.
It’s the middle of nowhere, some place on Route 66, when you come across an old, abandoned gas station. You part with some coin and all of the sudden, the old, run-down gas station is yours. You get a phone call from your uncle, who appears to be some sort of loan shark gangster, who lends you some money to get on your feet and get things moving at the gas station. You do of course have to pay him back the money he gave you, otherwise he’ll send round a couple of tough guys to remind you of your debts. And so, your story begins. You will have frequent communications with your sweet uncle who teaches you the required game mechanics to restore and develop your business such as cleaning, painting, collecting garbage, pumping gas, and keeping your shelves stocked with produce. All these tasks will now become your whole life.
Before you open the Dust Bowl to paying customers (this is the name of your gas station), you need to clear out all the old and tattered furniture and garbage from inside the buildings and get everything ready for your grand opening. I found that this kept me busy and really focused on the gameplay for a couple of hours. Then it was the moment I had been waiting for. It was time to open my station and start earning those big bucks. To start with, you are given certain objectives and milestones you must hit in order to progress such as “serve X number of customers” or “refuel X number of cars”. This was great as it really gave me a goal to focus on while also teaching me the basics and how to get things done as required. There is a lot of repetition in this because in the end, I was performing the same tasks day in and day out, but I never found myself getting bored. There was always so much to do to keep me busy and before I knew it, hours had passed, and I was still very much engrossed in my little gas station. Along with fueling cars, manning the cash register, repairing cars, and keeping the Dust Bowl clean, you also have to deal with a pesky local kid who comes round to cause havoc by spraying graffiti on your walls. You can fend off this pesky little weasel by chasing him around and throwing things at him which will make him run off. I found this to be pretty hilarious. That is one thing I really liked about Gas Station Simulator; it really doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are a lot of comedy elements in here which I guess detracts away from the menial day to day tasks you have to carry out. I won’t spoil anything because you really need to see it for yourself, but once you start getting bus parties coming through your little gas station, it is an incredible experience to say the least. You simply have to see it with your own eyes to believe what is happening.
Once you start expanding and upgrading your station you are going to need to hire some staff to help out. Eventually you will have enough staff to cover all of the tasks, so you only need to worry about keeping things running by ensuring you have enough fuel, car parts and stock for your shelves. After around 15 hours of gameplay, I have now totally maxed out all of my upgrades and expansions for my gas station. This is where it has started to get a bit boring for me, I have no reason to want to keep playing this as there is nowhere else I can go. There appears to be the shell of an old car wash right next to my gas station that I can’t do anything with, so I presume there will be some sort of DLC released for this in the future which will include the car wash. But for now, at least I have run out of motivation to return to the Dust Bowl. That being said, 15 hours of gameplay is not a bad return on a game these days and I must add that I enjoyed almost every single one of those 15 hours. This game is a lot of fun and very addictive.
So let me talk about the not so good parts of Gas Station Simulator. I can honestly say that I have NEVER played a game that is as buggy as this. And I think that the worst part about this is that the developers know about these issues. There is literally a big red reset button beside your gas station so if you are experiencing game breaking bugs, you can just head over and hit the reset button which gets rid of all your customers and their vehicles and basically resets the NPC’s. Why would you not take the time to fix the bugs rather than just have a big reset button? This really comes across as very lazy game design in my opinion and it definitely drops some points because of this. Some of the bugs include stock that does not get delivered despite being charged for it, staff members getting stun locked in one position while moving from one area to the next and even cars driving with nobody in them while 6 feet behind, the driver was floating in mid-air. Now these things did make me laugh more than anything but the issues with deliveries can really put a damper on your progression in the game. I feel like the developers should investigate and fix these issues and not just acknowledge them with a big red reset button.
Gas Station Simulator leaves me with a dilemma in terms of a rating. There are so many bugs, including some progress stalling ones, but in all honesty, none of this seemed to matter or really take away much of the enjoyment I had while playing. This game had me totally hooked for hours on end and I loved it. I look forward to the addition of the car wash and perhaps some DLC in the future but for now, my time in the Dust Bowl is at an end. Despite its issues, I cannot recommend Gas Station Simulator enough.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Many thanks to PR Outreach for the Review Key.