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Gas Station Simulator, a PC hit, has successfully refueled for consoles. Curious how it runs? Check out our review here. For those unfamiliar with the game, you take the wheel of a dilapidated desert gas station. Your mission: renovate, expand, and keep the pumps flowing. But be warned, the road to success is a hot one!

This game throws you in the deep end, letting you forge your own path to success. As the listing says, “freedom of choice and multiple approaches to running your business and dealing with pressure” are the hallmarks of this experience. While we’ll discuss the console port’s DLC, Tidal Wave, in the review, our focus here is on the core gameplay and how it empowers you to make strategic decisions.pen_spark

In a tropical island paradise owned by the god-like active volcano, Chunchumanchu, players embark on a unique adventure inspired by Robinson Crusoe. Starting near the coast, they discover an abandoned Gas Station.

What to expect in Tidal Wave DLC

Here’s what you can expect when you hit the road and explore the Dust Bowl gas station: the base game will offer these key areas to focus on.

Gas Station Simulator

Renovate!

Buy an abandoned gas station in the middle of nowhere and restore it to its former glory. Get rid of debris and broken furniture, fix up the walls, paint and decorate the place to your liking.
Just don’t spend all your cash on the looks right away, you bought a gas station after all. Repair the equipment, buy what can’t be repaired and start serving your customers to earn money for further renovations and improvements.

Expand!

You don’t need to stay small. You can expand your gas station to be able to serve more customers. Also, a gas station is not just about selling fuel. You can expand the array of services that you offer to your customers and thus attract more and more varied customers.
You have various expansion options at your disposal, from smaller ones like providing toilets, a simple shop to complement your income up to big ones like an entire workshop to perform car repairs or even a car wash. There are quite a few choices and most of the expansions can themselves be further expanded upon as well. There is so much you can do here.

Customize!

Restoring your gas station is one thing, giving it a personal touch is another. The game offers a wide array of options to customize what you have already built and lots of decorations to further enhance the uniqueness of the place. Some decorations can be bought, others have to be acquired during gameplay.
It is not just about making the gas station look nice. The more impressive your gas station looks, the more customers will be attracted.

Serve!

Serving your customers is key in running your gas station with success. They all expect to have their cars filled up, their shopping done right away and aren’t that patient even when it comes to repairs of their vehicles. You are going to be dealing with some serious time pressure at peak hours and have to schedule various tasks for when it’s less hectic. Proper time management and choosing the right priorities becomes very important when it comes to keeping your customers happy.

Hire!

While you can try, it most cases running a gas station that has been expanded and upgraded offering lots of different services to your customers might be just too much to handle for you alone. This is where employees come into play. You can hire even multiple employees to help you with the various tasks at the gas station. Employees have their own skills and some are better at some tasks than others. Employees also level based on the tasks they perform and become better at them with time.

Stock!

You can’t sell what you don’t have. Keeping track of your stock is important and ordering at the right time for the right price helps to keep profits up. To even better use low price opportunities, you can build a warehouse and expand it to allow for larger storage. Keeping a close eye on your stock is crucial as deliveries take time and you really don’t want to run out of goods to sell, not to mention fuel.

Management!

We created the game so that if you like, you can dive deep into management features and micromanage the living you know what out of it. However, if micromanaging isn’t your cup of tea, we don’t force you to deal with the depths of it. That being said, micromanaging some aspects like supplies or employees can be very rewarding both in terms of finances and fun.

Gas Station Simulator

So now for the key features we have in the game. These are listed below.

  • Renovate, run and expand a gas station in the desert.
  • Build new services like a workshop, shop, warehouse or car wash.
  • Try to handle everything on your own or hire employees to help out.
  • Interesting events on top of the normal gameplay.
  • Lots of customization and decoration options.
  • Lots of different customers with varying needs and expectations.
  • Lots of management options for you to dive into

And Gas Station Simulator Offers So Much More. Let’s Throw Some Tropical Business Planning Into The Mix

So we see from all of this we have a fair amount to look into. However please note we have yet to even look at what the Tidal Wave DLC offers. At the time of writing, we do not have this available on console though it would be expected to arrive at some point. The premise behind this tells us

Welcome to a tropical paradise! You didn’t expect that, did you? Take a break from Route 66 and offer your services to a new populace on a remote tropical island. They need to fuel their cars, too. And their boats, and their jet skis…

With the Tidal Wave DLC you can set up a new gas station on a remote paradise island that is governed by its own unique rules, offers new game mechanics, stunning surroundings and god appeasement.

So the new location gives us new aspects of the game. As we see Steam states

Tidal Wave

A new surrounding needs new dangers and events. Tides, waves and thunderstorms are among those that might disrupt your day. While you won’t need Ruddy to clean up sand after a dust storm, the new weather phenomena come with their own mechanics and there will still be some clean up to be done. That’s the price you pay for being in on a lush, tropical island…

Chunchumanchu

The happiness or anger of the god, Chunchumanchu, is indicated by a Volcano meter. His anger builds over time and can be hastened by customer dissatisfaction. Keep Chunchumanchu happy by throwing coconuts or other items into a cauldron at a sacred altar. Different actions have varying impacts on reducing the god’s anger.
Failure to keep the god happy results in an ominous eruption that temporarily transforms the paradise into a hellish landscape, disrupting business and scaring customers away.

Tourists

With a whole new surrounding come new expectations. Sure, there are still customers who want their cars to be fuelled and repaired, but there is also a whole new slew of customers with expectations that are in-line with the new environment. Their jet skis and boats need fuel and the tourists expect to be entertained. How about offering them scuba diving equipment or surfing rentals?

Accidents

You have to take care of everything better than ever. The right equipment and maintenance becomes crucial, it’s not just about satisfaction anymore. Poor equipment can lead to accidents and accidents increase Chunchumanchu’s anger. Keep your focus on the new Volcano meter and make sure your customers are safe. And it wouldn’t be Gas Station Simulator if we didn’t come up with some twists, right? So how about a shark that might want to attack divers or surfers? Imagine Dennis, but actually dangerous. That’s why we give you the hand cannon…

So the DLC takes the base game, adds some extra features and twists and cranks up the need to be on top of everything a notch. Though now we have dealt with the background and what we are going to get it’s time to focus on the key aspect. That is how well has all this been put together and is it worth a look. Please note the DLC and base game are their own separate stories. You can jump straight into the DLC but I recommend learning the basics first. With that I mean really getting into the base game.

Running The Dust Bowl Today – How The Game Holds Up

Having already given my impressions of the console port, I went into this with a good understanding of the core gameplay and the game’s premise. While the Tidal Wave DLC is entirely new to me, the core mechanics remain familiar, and the game does a good job of explaining things throughout, even with the new content.

Gameplay

Despite its new mechanics and gameplay tools, the game remains incredibly accessible for newcomers. Picking it up and playing is a breeze. However, PC players are left wanting in terms of controller support. While basic actions like movement and menus work with a controller, it doesn’t extend to vehicles – you’ll have to use the keyboard and mouse for activities like driving the excavator at the beginning. This lack of full controller support is a bit of a letdown.

While tasks like cleaning floors, filling cars, and removing rubbish remain user-friendly, the initial sand removal mechanic in the base game feels less intuitive compared to before. The prompt to hold the left mouse button no longer stays on screen, creating a slight hurdle. Thankfully, the mechanics in the Tidal Wave DLC are just as smooth and user-friendly as the base game. Despite my PC exceeding minimum requirements but falling short of recommended settings, the game runs well and maintains good playability.

Graphics

The PC version of the game boasts sharper visuals than its console counterparts. This isn’t unexpected, considering the console ports haven’t received next-gen upgrades for Xbox Series X/S or PlayStation 5. That being said, the console ports are still very well-polished. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered the bugs I experienced on the console version. This suggests that some issues have likely been patched, while others might have been glitches I couldn’t replicate consistently.

The PC version of Gas Station Simulator boasts slightly better lighting and particle effects compared to the console release. This translates into a more vibrant atmosphere for the desert environment. However, it’s important to consider that the stronger lighting in the base game you mentioned might be due to the environment of the specific DLC you’re comparing it to. Character models remain a weaker aspect of the game’s visuals on both platforms. Thankfully, the developers prioritize detail in areas we see more frequently, like the gas station itself. After all, we spend far more time managing our station than interacting with characters.

Audio

While the sound design isn’t a major selling point, it effectively creates an immersive atmosphere. The sound effects, like those from the environment, customers, cash register, and conveyor belt, combine seamlessly with background music to provide a soundscape that complements the gameplay.

Story

Award-winning titles like The Forgotten City, Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Mafia come to mind when we discuss games with impactful narratives. These critically acclaimed experiences offer deeply engaging stories that stay with players long after the credits roll. Gas Station Simulator, on the other hand, prioritizes a different kind of gameplay. As a simulation game, its focus lies on creating a realistic and immersive gas station experience. While the base game’s story is fairly straightforward, the available DLC adds some depth and extra content. In essence, the strength of Gas Station Simulator lies in its ability to provide a captivating simulation experience, not necessarily in its narrative.

To Conclude

This DLC is a must-have for fans of Gas Station Simulator. It expands on the core gameplay you love, dialing it up a notch with a unique twist. Expect several hours of fresh content that will keep you engaged. There’s even more to discover! Other DLC packs are available, and based on the quality of this one and the base game, I highly recommend checking them out. For the best experience, play the PC version as it generally runs smoother than the console ports. Gas Station Simulator remains a rewarding and relaxing experience, although this particular DLC might require you to be more attentive at times. Price-wise, the base game sits at a reasonable $19.69/£16.49 on Steam at the time of writing. With bundles available that include the DLC, now’s the perfect time to jump into Gas Station Simulator!

Gas Station Simulator (PC)

From $19.69/£16.49 (DLC available separately or in the DLC bundle
7.8

Gameplay

7.5/10

Graphics

8.5/10

Audio

7.0/10

Story

8.0/10

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