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Diner Dash Review

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On 12/03/2009 at 11:10 PM by Chessa DiMola

Flo's transition into 3D makes for an unwelcome change to the series.

Recommended for casual gamers or devoted fans of the series.

Diner Dash is a title that first caught people's attention in 2003 when it appeared on the PC. Since then, Flo and her infamous diner have been brought to consoles, handhelds, and even phones. The most recent addition to the series transitions Flo from 2D to 3D, giving players full control of her motions. If there is one lesson to be learned from my play time with the title, it's that overcomplicating a simple formula only leads to disaster.

The premise of the game is still the same: seat customers, take their orders, deliver them food, bribe them with free extras, clean up, and make the moolah. Originally, the game was more of a point-and-click experience, with players simply clicking on a set of individuals to seat them, and then clicking on tables in order to perform several of the other aforementioned tasks. It was a simple model, and it worked well, especially considering the increased pace and franticness that ensues as the game progresses.

In this new Diner Dash title, instead of simply clicking or pointing on an area to move Flo, players are now given full control of her via the joystick. Now each time players need to complete a task, they must walk up to the person/table, and subsequently press an action button in order to execute the event. While this method may seem simple, there are several downfalls to the system.

The first is the manner in which Flo now selects items. Every time a customer needs to be seated or served, players must walk Flo up to the object and hit a button once it becomes highlighted. This system has two faults: one, it's slow, and two, it’s incredibly frustrating to be forced to make sure an object is highlighted before you can click on it. These small hold-ups can disrupt the rhythm of an entire level, causing players to lose customers, and subsequently money; potentially forcing them to re-do a level.

Flo's movement on screen is often another hassle for players, as the tables are many times very close together. While this wouldn't have been an issue in the previous versions, players must now navigate her through closely aligned tables, making it easy to get caught up when trying to squeeze through a narrow path.

All complaints aside, Diner Dash is still the same game that people have been enjoying for nearly seven years. Those who have previously enjoyed the series may welcome and enjoy the move to 3D, despite the frustrations that have come along with it.

Diner Dash is a classic example of how some games are better off the way they are. Adding frills just for the sake of it sometimes translates into a mediocre experience, and that's exactly what this game is. It's the same old Diner Dash with nothing new to offer, other than a subpar 3D experience.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



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