Downloadable Game Review: Diner Dash
Playvue. com Editor's Rating: 8.0
Diner Dash brings us the story of Flo, an office lackey fed up with the monotonous, unchanging pressures of everyday life and work in the big city. Thus she hucks everything out the window and runs off to find something better to do with her life. As it turns out, that is starting a restaurant chain in suburban America.
We are taken right into her quest as a restaurateur as Flo herself; an energetic, enthusiastic owner who fulfills every role from hostess to server, bartender and busboy (thankfully, cooking is provided by a overworked dark figure behind the counter).
Beginning with her very first diner, and ending with an upscale surf and turf joint, we take on Flo's every activity; seating her guests, handing out menu's, delivering breadsticks, taking and delivering orders (not to mention cocktails), clearing tables, and seating the next guests. All this in the pursuit of money with which to improve her existing restaurants or even open up a new one!
The navigation is easy enough to pick up on the first try; it's point and click (click on a dirty table, she runs over and clears it, click on table awaiting their food, she delivers it from the counter). This does get quite challenging in the later levels where it becomes necessary to click on other activities while Flo is executing the current one (the game creates a queue of activities which Flo will execute one by one until they are complete).
Ease of Use
In terms of ease of use, this game is fantastic. I wasn't surprised when I was able to pick it up rather quickly, however I was surprised when my grandmother was flying through at a faster pace then I managed to muster. While easy to get going, it does require a master's touch to reach the highest scores at the end of the levels where constant motion is a must. But this just adds to the playability, and is a welcome change to contemporary games which prove easy to complete with no added challenges.
I found myself wanting to complete this game all the way through the first time I played it; which would worry me as to whether the game would hold my interest a week or even a month later. However, these worries are relieved with the Endless Shift feature: a score building endless level which "keeps 'em comin'" and provides extras like super ovens, bobcat-fast tennis shoes, and a super podium 3000 to help you along the way.
Full Version Features
The free trial includes unrestricted access and allows you 60 minutes of play; which just got me started. The full version includes 40+ levels of gameplay, 4 different chains, 5 different types of customers, two modes of play (Career and Endless Shift) and high score tracking. At only 10MB, it's not a hard drive buster, nor will it clog up your dialup line for too long. And at $19.99 its not a wallet buster either: cheap enough to warrant casual play throughout the year.
- Appeals to the rest of us (non-hardcore teen gamers)
- High repeat playability
- Easy to use, navigate
- No multiple player support
- Little high score competition (score posting available on publisher's website)
A busy restaurateur provides a nice change of pace to card and puzzle games for those of us who aren't interested in shooting up aliens, goblins, or terrorists for 12 hours on end. Definitely high repeat playability, even after beating the Career portion of the game. Low price and download size are a real plus. Lacks in competition and multiple player support, however this only matters if you're interested in such things. One of my top 10 games of the year.
Storyline: 8 Ease of Use: 9 Playability: 7
- Publisher: PlayFirst
- Full Version Price: $19.99
- Download: 10 MB
- Windows 98/2000/Me/XP
- Processor: PIII 600 MHz
- 128 MB RAM
- Free hard drive space: 12MB
- Video Card
- Sound Card
Keith Blake is a Featured Editor at Playvue. com, an up-and-coming online games website specialing in providing online games, game downloads, and multiplayer games in a rich, immersive, one-of-a-kind environment.