Playvue.com Editor Rating: 8.0

Story

Diner Dash brings us the story of Flo, an office lackey fed up with the monotonous and unchanging pressures of everyday life and work in the big city. So he throws everything out the window and runs off to find something better to do with his life. Turns out that’s starting a chain of restaurants in the suburbs of America.

We are led directly into her quest as a restorer like Flo herself; An energetic and enthusiastic owner who fills all roles from hostess to waiter to waiter to busboy (thankfully the kitchen is provided by an overworked dark figure behind the counter).

Starting with her first dinner and ending with an exclusive surf and turf ensemble, we tackled all of Flo’s activities; seating your guests, handing out menus, handing out breadsticks, taking and delivering orders (not to mention cocktails), clearing tables, and seating the next guests. All this in search of money with which to improve your existing restaurants or even open a new one!

Navigation

Navigation is fairly easy to learn on the first try; is point and click (click on a dirty table, she runs and cleans it, click on the table waiting for her food, counter delivery). This becomes quite challenging in later levels, where you need to click on other activities while Flo is running the current one (the game creates a queue of activities that Flo will run one by one until they are completed).

Easy to use

In terms of ease of use, this game is fantastic. I was not surprised when I was able to pick it up quite quickly, however I was surprised when my grandmother was flying at a faster rate than I was able to gather. While it’s easy to get going, it requires a master touch to reach the high scores at the end of levels where constant movement is a must. But this only adds to the gameplay and is a welcome change to contemporary games that are easy to complete without additional challenges.

Playability

I found myself wanting to complete this game from 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 concerns are alleviated with the Endless Shift feature – an endless level of score building that keeps them coming back. And it offers extras like super ovens, ultra-fast tennis shoes and a super pod 3000 to help you on the road.

Full version features

The free trial includes unrestricted access and allows you 60 minutes of play; what just started me. The full version includes more than 40 game levels, 4 different chains, 5 different types of clients, two game modes (Race and Endless Swap) and high score tracking. At just 10MB, it’s not a hard drive buster, nor will it clog your dial-up line for long. And at $ 19.99 it’s not a wallet breaker either: cheap enough to guarantee casual play year-round.

Pros cons

Pros:

  • Appeals to the Rest of Us (Unconditional Teen Players)
  • High replay gameplay
  • Easy to use, navigate

Cons:

  • No multi-player support
  • Little high score competition (score post available on publisher’s website)

Bottom line

A busy restorer provides a nice change of pace to card and puzzle games for those of us who aren’t interested in shooting aliens, goblins, or terrorists for 12 hours straight. Definitely a high repeatability, even after beating the Career portion of the game. The low price and the size of the download are a real bonus. It lacks competition and multiplayer support, however this only matters if you are interested in such things. One of my 10 best games of the year.

Editor’s rating:


Storyline: 8
Ease of Use: 9
Playability: 7

Overall: 8

Game Specifications:

  • Publisher: PlayFirst
  • Full version price: $ 19.99
  • Download: 10 MB
  • Windows 98/2000 / Me / XP
  • Processor: PIII 600 MHz
  • 128 MB RAM
  • Free hard disk space: 12 MB
  • Graphics card
  • Sound card

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

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