Part fast-food restaurant sim, part horror game, there’s no doubting that Happy’s Humble Burger Farm makes for one heck of a unique experience. I mean, the idea of flipping burgers whilst dealing with the perils of ominous creatures trying to kill you (including the burger joint’s mascot Happy) sounds INSANE on paper, and yeah, it’s certainly unlike anything I’ve played before. Is it actually any good though or is this one of those wacky ideas that should have been left on the drawing board?
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Happy’s Humble Burger Farm puts players in the role of a worker at the titular burger joint in New Elysian City, with your job consisting of flipping burgers and prepping meals for the everyday folk who come in. It’s very much like your typical cooking sim in this regard, with players given orders and then tasked with cooking them. This means putting burgers on the grill until they’re cooked, prepping the bun with things like tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, serving up any sides, and then bagging it all for the customer to eat. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to cook more varieties of food and are given more complicated orders, whilst you’ll also have more diverse tasks to complete behind the scenes (and some which come with a timer).
Sounds just like every other cooking sim out there, right? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong, because Happy’s Humble Burger Farm takes some REALLY weird turns. Besides strange occurrences taking place in the restaurant such as objects moving, lights flickering, or ominous messages appearing, you’ll also find yourself stalked by the restaurant’s bovine mascot Happy if you mess up too many orders. Yep, a giant anthropomorphic cow will hunt you down unless you make her a burger made with rotten meat, with the only way to keep her off your back being to keep your eyes on her whilst cooking it. It might sound absurd, but believe me, it’s incredibly creepy when you’ve got to deal with it in-game. Once she’s happily fed? You can get back on with your job.
I’m actually a fan of cooking sims, so I quite enjoyed whipping up meals for customers. It can be a high-pressure environment, especially when working on multiple meals at once or helping with other jobs such as taking out the garbage, but the whole cooking gameplay cycle appealed to me and I like being kept on my toes. It’s everything else about Happy’s Humble Burger Farm that makes it so unique though; the uneasy sense of tension that ANYTHING could happen, the jump scares that’ll catch you off-guard, or the fact that there’s a deep-rooted mystery to uncover by venturing through the city.
“It can be a high-pressure environment, especially when working on multiple meals at once or helping with other jobs such as taking out the garbage, but the whole cooking gameplay cycle appealed to me and I like being kept on my toes.“
When you’re not working, you’re able to explore New Elysian City, though be warned: it’s JUST as weird as the restaurant. With other locales to visit and characters to interact with though, it’s the only way you’ll progress through the story and find out what exactly is going on. It adds a fun sense of mystery to the game that was fun to unravel, with plenty of little clues to discover that’ll help you understand what’s going on. There’s a surprising amount of lore to be found and I had a good time seeing the turns that the narrative took, even IF some aspects of the game were a bit too bizarre for my liking. I like weird horror, but Happy’s Humble Burger Farm REALLY goes off the wall.
Between the intriguing narrative, enjoyable gameplay loop, and eerie atmosphere, Happy’s Humble Burger Farm has a lot going for it. I was even a fan of the PSOne-style visuals, especially since they fit the uneasy vibe that the game is going for. There really is a lot to like about the game and the experience is a lot deeper than players might initially think.
Unfortunately, Happy’s Humble Burger Farm does have quite a few stumbling blocks. For one, the controls are clumsy and imprecise, with it often difficult to perform the simplest of tasks thanks to how tricky it can be to line the cursor up. It caused me to make quite a few mistakes whilst playing, whilst I also felt that it slowed me down during some of the game’s more manic sequences.
“There’s a surprising amount of lore to be found and I had a good time seeing the turns that the narrative took, even IF some aspects of the game were a bit too bizarre for my liking. I like weird horror, but Happy’s Humble Burger Farm REALLY goes off the wall.”
This was especially obvious during the game’s boss encounters, which force you to make burgers in more challenging scenarios. Whether having to carefully sneak your way around to grab ingredients or avoid exploding mannequins whilst cooking, these showdowns never managed to balance out the difficulty – they always felt unfair and brought a difficult spike they felt out of place and frustrating. Of course, the fact that the controls are awkward don’t help, but I think I’d have thought they were rubbish even if everything controlled smoothly.
Happy’s Humble Burger Farm Review
Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is one hell of a unique experience, with the blend of horror and cooking sim making for a surprisingly entertaining time. Whilst it’s fun to whip up meals for customers, it’s equally enjoyable to explore the eerie world and find out what the heck is actually going on. Believe me, the game goes to some dark and weird places (especially when Happy is hunting you down), but it’s hard to take your eyes away from the screen.
It does have some stumbling blocks with the clumsy controls and the frustrating boss battles, but there really is a lot to like about this weird and eerie cooking-horror escapade. It’s not perfect, but believe me, you wouldn’t have played anything like it before.
Developer: Scythe Dev Team
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC