THE REVIEWS Episode 62: McDonalds Games (5th Anniversary Special)
How will the biggest fast food company in the world fare in video games?
Ba-da-ba-ba-ba! I’m sure most of the world know where this jingle came from. That’s right, it’s from the one and only McDonalds, the fast-food titan!
McDonalds is a fast food company that’s well-loved by people. Tasty burgers, delicious chicken nuggets, and juicy chicken wings and drumsticks! Take those, and combine it with a drink and freshly fried french fries to make it a complete mouth-watering, delectable, savoury meal! You can also have some deserts like the sundae and the McFlurry, a soft vanilla-flavored ice cream with some toppings. Otherwise, you could just be simple and take the vanilla or chocolate cone.
There’s Happy Meals too, catering to the children. It’s just a child’s version of a normal meal. With each Happy Meal comes a toy of random choice. It could be a toy that every kid wants, a plush that looks ugly as hell, or even a fuckin’ book. No, I’m not joking. A small storybook is given in Singapore if you buy the Happy Meal.
Who the hell who want to fucking read when you buy lunch? Probably nerds.
Each country has different burgers and variations of other items too. There’s banana pie instead of apple pie, Lotus Biscoff McFlurry instead of the normal McFlurry, and McGriddles, a pancake hamburger. Sounds a bit weird, but holy shit is it very tasty. In select countries, there’s even prosperity burger and prosperity fries, the latter replacing the normal fries.
The fries are now curly instead of the straight, but they can compete with the tastes of the normal french fries. Both are great in their own ways. Personally, I like the Nasi Lemak burger in Singapore a few years ago. That burger’s appetizing. If there’s a chance it’d come back again, I suggest you try it.
Below all of these scrumptious food, there’s weird shit like this.
Yea, what on Earth is this? The buns look like the creators took the ceramic floor their offices have, printed it out, and then pasted it on this poor burger. This is the limited-edition Modern China burger sold in, obviously, China. People called it “granite-like”, and publications compared it to the pollution clouds (this is comedic). This burger gave the internet a true scare, because this shouldn’t exist at all. This is horrendous.
Let’s get down to a bit of history. McDonalds is founded by the McDonalds brothers Richard and Maurice. They started selling hamburgers and cheeseburgers with drinks. Then, Ray Kroc came in and bought over the company in the 1960s. He introduced the new mascot Ronald McDonald, the clown we all know today. All of these are depicted in the 2016 biographical film The Founder, with Michael Keaton, one of my favorite actors, playing Ray Kroc. A bit exaggerated, but it’s still a really good watch.
Now, why am I talking about McDonalds food and its history? You might think I’m a McDonalds worshipper by praising it so much, or better yet, you think I’m sponsored by McDonalds to say something like this. I’m not, though their food is indeed yummy. It’s because there are games I would like to review. They’re no normal games. They’re McDonald’s games. It’s so funny, because McDonald’s have become a part of our lives for a very long time. It’s the same as games, isn’t it?
These games are usually to help promote McDonalds’s business or are tie-ins to a McDonalds event. Well, McDonald’s isn’t the only company to make games. There’s Burger King, Coke, Pepsi, Dominos, Yoshinoya…YOSHINOYA? WHAT? Apparently, Yoshinoya has a PS2 game. Yeah…My point is, there’s many companies who make games to help their business, and McDonald’s is no exception. Let’s see if these games live up to the high mighty reputation of McDonalds or tarnish it horribly.
The first game we have here is M.C. Kids on the NES. It was made by Virgin Interactive in 1992. The moment the game opens, a very loud sound of an airplane flying plays. God damn, couldn’t they make this shit a lil softer? It’s blasting through my ears, and it’s killing me.
You play as the M.C. Kids, helping Ronald get his shitty magic bag from the Hamburglar. So, you go through levels, tryna get the puzzle cards, which are brown M blocks, and the golden arches, which serves as points, I think.
I’m on the first level now, and I’m stuck. Great. I saw the M card I need to get, but it’s under the platform I’m on. I tried jumping off the platform and steering myself to the left, but I can only hit the ground. If I jump up from the ground, I can’t reach the card either. I’ve discovered speed-walking if you continuously hold the right button on the D-pad, and you jump higher if you hold the A button. I used that to my advantage, started from a far point, and as soon as I get close, I long-jumped. Guess what? I STILL didn’t get it. Awesome game, right?
Then there’s this bullshit. I can’t reach the two golden arch tokens on top because the trampoline didn’t send me up high enough. As a completionist, I want to complete this game and get everything, but these two fucking lil shits are somehow unreachable. This game teases you like ‘You wanna get it? You wanna get it? Well, FUCK YOU, YOU CAN’T!’ This is when people shut the damn game off because they can’t even figure how to get the main thing. Well, do you want to know how you get it?
You have to speed-walk…on this little beige thing that’s conveniently pasted beside the platform. Then it’ll turn you upside down, and now you can collect the fucking card with the B button. Then, to collect the two golden arch tokens you couldn’t reach earlier, you have to go to the left and jump off the platform just before you touch the little beige thing. Yes, there’s another plastered at the other end. Remember, if you are going at the moderate speed and you touch that beige thingy, you go back to normal, which makes you end up on the platform. This means you have to run through that octagon crap again in order to turn yourself around once more. After you collect those two tokens, there’s more hidden at the very left and on the right too. Wow. What a nice game. It didn’t even bother TELLING ME THE MECHANICS. I HAD TO FIGURE THAT SHIT OUT MYSELF! The mechanics sound easy, right? Imagine how long I took walking around like a dumbass and hitting the finish line without collecting the card.
Nonetheless, it gets really tedious, because this mechanic is in every single god damn level, and not every level has a simple design like this. Some of them has levels inside levels. Lemme show you what I meant by that. I took screenshots of someone’s gameplay from Youtube so I could show you what the levels look like.
See that zipper? It leads you to another level. At the end of that level, there’s a zipper to bring you back here. Damn, two levels in one. So creative. Instead of making more stages, make less stages with more stages in them! And also, you notice the background? Wonder why it looks like a moon or space color?
BECAUSE YOU’RE IN THE FUCKING MOON! This shit is unbelievable. See this meteorite? Yeah, once it hits you, you lose some tokens. Look at the previous picture before this. You’ll notice that there’s a fish at the bottom of the screen. Yeah, if it touches you, you lose tokens.
Ah, right, I forgot to mention. Any obstacle that you touches or touches you makes you lose some of your tokens. Wow, so original. This wan’t totally implemented in another game that featured a blue hedgehog before. Losing tokens when you hit something, and fast speed as you move forward continuously…they’re taken from Sonic. The level designs? Mario. Damn, you tryna copy both Nintendo and Sega now, Virgin?
Remember what Ronald told the boys at the start of the game?
I need to get four cards and get back to you so you can show me Birdie’s house and the game can continue. But, hol’ up a second, why would you show me the way to Birdie’s house for no goddamn reason? She don’t even need the cards. The only reason I can think of…is that Ronald knows where this Hamburglar have went to or past Birdie’s house, and he could easily track him down from there, but Ronald being the lazy asshole he is, tells us to do it instead. Ronald, you’re a grown man telling your child to get your magic bag back. How bout you get your ass up, act like a grown man, and snatch it back from that ugly lookin’ mask wearing dick?! Screw this game.
Next up, Donald Land for the Famicom. Only available in Japan, it was made by Data East in 1998. Game starts out simple, but jesus, the enemies look scary, except for the thieves-looking men that throw bombs.
This key-like monster with a spring on the bottom appeared out of the box, and I jumped out of my seat the first time I played it. My god, that looked terrifying. It felt like it came straight out from a horror film. To kill it, you have to carefully aim your apple bomb at its head and then when the bomb explodes, he dies.
I should mention your attack method is throwing apple bombs. However, throwing it is another thing. You see, the longer you hold the button, the further you throw the apple bomb. If you tap it lightly, it only goes a short distance. It’s pretty decent. Quite simple…until you get to the first boss. I’m probably bad at the game, but I don’t know how you kill the squirrel boss on the tree. I keep getting hit by its white bombs or I come into contact with the squirrel. It turns out that like the key monster, I have to aim at its head. Ah, but it sounds easy. It’s pretty hard because you have to be at a certain spot to throw it at a certain angle. It’s hard, believe me.
After many tries, I managed to beat the first level. Moving onto the second level, I can’t even get past the first few screens without falling into the water. This game is innovative, but its difficulty is ridiculously high. From someone’s gameplay of this game, you have to throw the bomb upwards and then jump on it mid-air to get through that platform. Otherwise, you’ll fall into water and lose a life. And remember, the bomb has to be thrown at the right angle for you to jump off it and land on the platform at the other side. This game demands you to be very precise and accurate, and that is what made Donald Land hard. Pick this game up if you like a challenge.
Now we have Global Gladiators for the Sega Genesis, made by Virgin Interactive in 1992. Yes, the same time as M.C. Kids. The two kids from that horrible NES heap dung are back in this game. Let’s pop this lil shit in the Genesis.
The first thing that catches your attention is the title screen. Upbeat music is playing while some voice asks you ‘are you ready?’, then says ‘yeah’. What? You ask me that question, and then you reply to your own question? I’m not even gonna question it. Then the game starts the cutscene on its own. What did I tell you, game? I wasn’t ready! Don’t put words into my mouth…or mind, I guess.
Anyways, the cutscene starts off with our favorite two protagonists, Mick and Mack.
They were saying how cool the ‘Global Gladiators’ are, and how being a gladiator would be awesome. It’s a comic book series, from what I can see here. Then, cue in the famous clown coming outta nowhere.
Mans just appeared from a sparkling glitter from the damn book and appears right beside them. I don’t even know how the kids are not surprised. They’re acting as if that’s normal. If I were them, I would’ve ran away as far as possible, and report this maniac to the police.
Anyways, Ronald McDonald heard their conversation, so he, uh, grants their wishes by…ahem…TELEPORTING THEM INTO THE GODDAMN COMIC BOOK WHICH LEADS THEM INTO THE GLOBAL GLADIATORS WORLD! What a story, right? I wish that was fake.
No, it’s not a joke. It’s true.
Okay, you fuckin’ creep, first off, you make them collect your stupid little magic cards and help you get back your magic bag all because you were careless and lazy as fuck. Now, you send them into a world with your shitty magic against their own will? Just because they were talking about how cool it is being a ‘Global Gladiator’? Are you out of your mind, you sick, twisted dumbass!? They’re kids, for fuck’s sake! Don’t you think they might, you know, die? If there were people like you, Ronald, there’d be police babies, business babies, doctors who are babies, lawyers who are babies…you get it, it’s utter chaos. Your ethics are fucked up, you fucked-up clown.
Anyways, the gameplay…isn’t that bad. In this game, you have to collect golden arch tokens to get points, and kill the monsters standing in your way. Although the controls are a bit stiff and the game is a bit difficult, I kinda enjoy destroying the creatures with my blaster. It’s a pretty fun game, I have to admit. Even when you use up all three lives, you can continue where you left off, not from the beginning. I gotta say that’s very nice of the developers to do so.
Also, the music’s decent. If you go to options at the title screen, and then press sound test, you’ll be able to hear a lot of sound effects and the background music for the levels. I like this one track ‘MC Rock Pt 2’ because that shit bangs. It’s like something you would hear in an action-packed game.
In a nutshell, this is way better than the NES piece of shit that is M.C. Kids. It’s not only easier, but more enjoyable. A satisfactory game, I’d recommend this over M.C. Kids any day.
Next up, we have McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure, released in 1993 by Treasure, a group of people who didn’t like what Konami was doing. Here’s a little backstory: Treasure was originally making Gunstar Heroes, but couldn’t get the license to publish their games on the Sega Genesis. However, Sega commissioned them to create this McDonald’s game. After this was done, Sega allowed Treasure to put Gunstar Heroes out on Genesis.
Back to McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure, it starts off with Ronald finding a piece of a treasure map. With that, he begins his journey in finding the treasure. This has to be the best one yet. This game has fluent controls and beautiful graphics. It’s easy to understand what you need to do, and there’s even unique mechanics. The ‘A’ button makes Ronald shoot up some gloves, which if reachable, could allow him to grab onto a hook that allows him to jump to a higher platform. On those platforms are bonus bags of gold which you can use to buy lives, 1-ups, and even continue passwords. You can even find lives and 1-ups there too if you’re lucky.
Another example is on the level where you’re fighting against the waves. You try to move forward, but you’re unable to because the waves push you in the other direction. Luckily, there are frogs. They don’t seem to get affected by the waves somehow, but if you stand on them and wait for them to jump, you can jump and reach the platform at the other side of the screen. That’s cool.
At the end of each stage, you’ll get to face a boss. To defeat each boss, there’s a trick to it. For example, to defeat this boss, you got to let him hit you. He’ll take a jewel off you, but while he’s slowly sucking it into his mouth and eating it, you can attack him. Do it a few more times, and the boss goes down. This is…very creative.
The only complaint I have for this game is the background music. It loops, and it’s a little annoying, but it’s just a minor issue. Overall, the gameplay’s great. This is an example of a good game. Simple, but yet entertaining and addicting.
Moving away from the NES and Sega Genesis games, we have The Lost Ring, a 2008 alternative reality game made by McDonald’s themselves for the 2008 Olympics. To be honest, I don’t have any idea what this is at all. I only know that it was a game, and the domains used in this are now some other shit. Even the Wikipedia page is 50% blank. The most important aspects of the game are left out. I can’t even show you gameplay of this because I didn’t even know this existed, or I can’t seem to find any. This mystery will always remain a mystery.
Now, you might think that the review would end here. There ain’t no more games, right? We’ve played them all, reviewed them, and now we’re done and dusted. Well, you definitely are right…if this is the year 2019 or earlier. Buckle your seatbelts, because this is gonna get pretty fascinating.
This so-called mysterious game was made in 2010 by McDonalds Japan for the Nintendo DS. It was only distributed to the McDonald’s restaurants in Japan, and its sole purpose was to train part-time employees on how to become a better McDonald’s worker. Because this was only in Japan and given out to ONLY the part-time employees at McDonald’s, this cartridge is one of the most rarest games to ever exist. Nobody could get their hands on it for years to come…until 2020, when Youtuber Nick Robinson found an auction selling not only the holy cartridge, but also the special McDonalds DSi, for three hundred thousand yen. He bought it and then uploaded the ROM online.
So, in other words, thank you, Nick. Here’s his video on it.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a DS to run this game, so I had to turn to my next best friend for DS games: emulators.
It has four options in the main menu. The two options on the left don’t really matter. The ones on the right are what makes the game. The exercise and the challenge.
The exercise button leads you to three more categories. The first one, namely ‘SOC Guide’, is what it says. It’s a guide on everything McDonalds. There’s usually pages filled with instructions in point form, like the timings you need to set, what the required temperature for a beef patty is, or the way you need to place the potatoes into the dispenser. Write the notes down so you don’t forget. There’s even more notes if the ‘Advice’ button on the bottom right side of the screen is lit up. More specific instructions, and the tips and tricks too. Very useful for a McDonalds employee. It’s basically a ‘Everything you need to know about McDonalds’ kinda thing.
Next up, the ‘Self Study’ section. You get to try everything yourself firsthand; learn how to make McDonald’s staples such as the french fries, the bun, the beef patties, and even the hash browns. You also get to learn the food safety regulations, how to interact with customers, and even cleanliness in, out, and around the restaurant.
It’s…surprisingly quite fun, although a bit mundane. It feels so surreal doing the work of an McDonald’s employee not in the kitchen or behind the counter but in an emulator, or Nintendo DS if you have the device. Imagine making McDonald’s food in the emulator or Nintendo DS. IMAGINE FRYING THE FRIES IN A FRYER WITH YOUR MOUSE OR STYLUS.
Just like that, I got a 100. Now I’m good at frying fries. Just telling you, McDonalds. You might wanna hire me for making your fries.
Then there is the ‘Self-Check’ section . This is basically a quiz testing you on what you have learnt in the SOC Guide. This is the time where you take your notes out and refer to them so that you can score well in the quiz.
Finally, there is one final big test to prove you’re ready to become an excellent McDonald’s worker. The ‘Challenge the McDonalds’ section. It has two levels: a beginner and advanced course. It only features trivia. Beginner course features stuff mostly from the SOC Guide, while the advanced features stuff that is a bit more common sense and general knowledge.
I kept getting 60s and 70s, even with my extensive knowledge of McDonald’s foods and that notes that I’ve written down from the whole SOC Guide. I don’t even understand some of the answers of the questions. What do you do in a job when you can’t understand some parts at work? You memorize them. That’s what I did.
Finally, after an hour of trying, I’ve gotten full marks for both the beginner and advanced courses. Blood, sweat, and tears have been sacrificed for this very moment. My hard work has finally been paid off, and I have never been more proud of it. Needless to say, I find this game really enjoyable. It is pretty innovative, and the graphics, although not the best, are still pleasing to the eyes. Who knew the McDonald’s fries look so good here? It’s so nice to see how much effort the developers have placed into making this educational game.
Oh my god, does this mean I have proven my worth to become a McDonald’s part-time employee? I mean, this could just apply to the McDonald’s restaurants in Japan only. Nevertheless, I know how to make burgers, fries, and hash browns. I know how to serve customers, either in the outlet itself or drive-through. I know the safety regulations and hygiene practices that needs to be carried out. I feel like I’m ready for it! I could finally be a part of the McDonald’s crew!
There’s one problem. That would mean I have to travel to Japan in order for this to work. I can’t even get there if I don’t have the money to make a trip there. God damn it. Guess I’ll have to work hard now so that I can save up enough cash to buy a plane ticket to Tokyo. That’s what I’ll do. It may take weeks, months, or years, but as a wise man once said, ‘When there’s a will, there’s a way’. I’m already fired up just by visualizing how much fun I would have working in a McDonald’s in Japan and with my crewmates, and how well I could polish my fries-making skill, and…
Wait…I’m working to earn money…to spend money to fly to Japan…to earn money…If this isn’t pain, then I don’t know what is.
Thank you all so much for reading my 5th anniversary special. It’s been 5 whole years since I started making reviews, and I still enjoy making it as much. I will definitely continue to make more reviews as the years pass by, but I’m really glad people have read my reviews for the past 1826 days.
As for the future, I’ve already had plans to review the Tom and Jerry 2021 movie and the Yaurdora games. I really wanted to get into that since 2019, but haven’t had the chance to because of time constraint. Still, I’d hope to play all four games and then write a review about them. Hopefully I could also finish my fanifcs that I’m writing now, because I’m way behind schedule now.
Once again, thank you all for reading my review(s), and I’ll see you soon!
- https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/22/mcdonalds-modern-china-burger-grey-color-criticized-but-sales-on-target.html (Modern China burger and reviews)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s (McDonald’s history)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nKywTkMnAs (Gameplay of M.C. Kids)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4F1SHG-0MQ (Gameplay of Donald Land)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Ring (The Lost Ring wikipedia page)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECrew_Development_Program (eCDP Wikipedia page)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e6xOBCAVvA (Nick Robinson’s eCDP video)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIVfY2UJD6w&list=PLxuRAV0Ph_AUSflbc3cwrd5Kh_kCEWCCS&index=2 (eCDP OST)