Game review: Diner Town Tycoon

I really wanted to get the memory of Mr. Biscuits out of my head. So I downloaded Diner Town Tycoon. Diner Dash has rarely let me down. And this is no different. Well, I lie. The gameplay is completely different, but it's much more enjoyable! Instead of waiting on tables, you are trying to stop the evil Grub Burger from taking over your town. You start off with one restaurant, where you control what dishes are being served and how much they cost. It is your job to make sure you have enough ingredients for each dish so you can feed the hungry hoards that populate your town. As you try to keep your restaurant afloat, there are daily goals for you to accomplish. With each goal reached, Grub Burger loses their hold on the people.

I found myself completely mesmerized by Diner Dash Tycoon. I expected the traditional 'run around serving tables' game, but was surprised by how different and innovative this version was. There was a little bit of Diner Dash (each customer has specific tastes) mixed with a little bit of the 'Tycoon' games (the game view looks over the town as a whole instead of focusing on one business). If only I had more thumbs to put up for it!

Game review: Cooking Dash

Everyone's favorite waitress, Flo, is back for yet another Dash game. This time it's Cooking Dash. At Flo's order, her chef has left the restaurant to further his career, leaving Flo and her grandmother to handle the shop. Grandmother handles making the sandwiches while Flo cooks food and serves the customers. This was a ton easier than the Diner Dash: Seasonal Snack Pack. As a matter of fact, this version is a lot like the original Diner Dash game but with better graphics. However, instead of just handling customers' orders, Flo also has to handle the grill and the fryer. Adding these jobs to her waitress job doesn't make completing her tasks impossible though. It's just another trip around the kitchen. If you like the Diner Dash series, I think you'd really like Cooking Dash as well.

Game review: Diner Dash: Seasonal Snack Pack

I've always been a big fan of the Diner Dash series. It pretty much started the whole time management genre and it still managed to stay interesting after all this time. However, the Seasonal Snack Pack version is much too difficult. As a matter of fact, it's so difficult that I stopped playing around the third level. I keep going back to try to beat it but, no matter how hard I try, I just can't do it. The main problem lies in the table organization, which you cannot change. You are given one or two four-seat tables and three or four two-seat tables. A majority of the customers that come in are four-person parties, which means you cannot seat them until one of the few four-seat tables opens up. Then the customers get pissed off having to wait. Since it takes so long to do the "Make the waiting customers happy" thing, there isn't really a way to keep them from walking off. Well, there is, but it's difficult. Either way, the level is still too hard for the game. I can't imagine what the higher levels are like.

Game review: Wedding Dash 2: Rings Around The World

Way back in September, I talked about Wedding Dash, a time management game from the creators of Diner Dash. Wedding Dash 2: Rings Around The World has finally debuted. While the game play is exactly the same, this time Quinn is traveling around the world to plan everyone's weddings. A photographer has also been added so now guests can request to have their picture taken. The speed problems have been resolved, which makes the sequel a lot more fun compared to the original. Even with the few added chores, such as chasing birds away from the reception and making sure one of the guests doesn't choke, I never felt like it was impossible to complete a level. It's the perfect level of difficulty. I'd easily recommend this over the original game.

Game review: Doggie Dash

Yet another game from the makers of Diner Dash. This time around it's Doggie Dash. You play one of two new business owners, Walter or Scarlett. The two have joined forces to open a pet grooming store. It is your job to make the pets pretty while growing your business. This game plays a lot like Paradise Pet Salon. You start out with two bath stations, two cutting stations and two ribbon stations. Since you already have all the tools you need for the business, you simply need to upgrade them each level. Yes, you can even upgrade the employees so they will move faster. In some of the higher levels, you can purchase items to keep the pets/customers happy while they wait their turn.

I found the beginning levels very easy to play. A little too easy, really. I was able to get gold stars on every level, which is nice but a little tedious after awhile. I want to be able to really work to get the gold star. However, this is off-set by the next store level being rather difficult. I'm actually stuck in the game because there are too many pets coming in and none of my stations move fast enough to accommodate them before they get angry. Perhaps I need to start the entire level over again so I can re-upgrade the stations but that's a little ridiculous. You should be able to pass a level no matter which stations you choose to upgrade first.

Looking at it in a general sense, the game is just OK. I think it just needs a few tweaks before it can be a great game. Instead of just being able to upgrade the stations, give the option to add a third station when the customer load gets heavy. Stop having so many cranky pets that require immediate attention before they leave the store. Get rid of the pieces to entertain the customers. The employees don't have time to use them anyway. Or, even better, add an additional employee to help with the overload. The game would be a lot better with just a few of these little changes. Until then, I'll stick with Diner Dash instead.

Game review: Dress Shop Hop

Another game from the creators of Diner Dash and Wedding Dash, Dress Shop Hop is a fashion-based time management game. Flo (from Diner Dash) and Quinn (from Wedding Dash) tell Bobbi (Dress Shop Hop) to open her own clothes shop. Of course, the heroine of this games listens to her predecessors. They have rather successful businesses themselves after all. Ohhhh....I really wanted to like this game and I did in the beginning but then it goes to hell. Much like other time management games, you move the customer to their "table." In this cast, the "table" is a machine that helps the customer decide what clothes they want. Then you have to go to the fabric machine to get their color fabric and take that to the sewing machine that makes the clothes. The problem with all of this? The machines take forever to do anything and the customers get impatient quickly. So by the time you reach the second chapter of the story, it's difficult to complete each level. If the machines moved a little faster or if the customers were a little more patient, the game would have been a lot better. As it is, it's frustrating to have to play the same level multiple times and still not be able to complete it.

Game review: Diner Dash: Hometown Hero

Everyone's favorite waitress, Flo, has gone back to her hometown for some rest and relaxation. While driving around with her grandmother, they find out that the places from Flo's childhood are falling apart due to lack of funds. It's up to Flo and her grandmother to save the day! Diner Dash was my first time management game so it has a special place in my heart. This sequel doesn't disappoint. There are some changes to the gameplay to make it a bit more difficult than the earlier editions but the changes are good. Now you are able to slide two 2-seat tables together to make a 4-seat table. I absolutely love this. Before, you always got screwed when you had a lot of parties of 4 coming in. Moving tables together alleviates the problem.

Another change is the 'competition level.' In the demo that I played, there was one level where Flo got to hire a new waitress. To "train" the newbie, you had to beat their score by at least ten points. This wasn't difficult at all since the new waitress seemed to just hang around waiting for you to miss something. She was really good at handing out drinks though.

The restaurant design part of the game is still there too. I think the design part makes the game just a little bit different from other time management games. And, of course, you can still upgrade just about everything.

Diner Dash: Hometown Hero should be a hit with any Diner Dash fan. Let's tie on our aprons and get to work saving Flo's home town!

Game review: Wedding Dash

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Diner Dash, the restaurant game featuring everyone's favorite waitress, Flo. You seat customers (preferably matching the color of their clothes to the color of the seat), take their order, bring them their order then give them their bill and clean up the dirty dishes. There are three separate games in the Diner Dash world, all involving Flo saving restaurants from imminent closure, that feature different types of customers with different types of problems for our heroine to overcome. Wedding Dash is a new service-related game from PlayFirst, the publishers of Diner Dash. We are introduced to our new heroine, Quinn, in the midst of a friend's wedding planning breakdown. Quinn kindly offers to help her friend plan her wedding and off we are to start the game.

This is extremely similar to Diner Dash in that you are seating wedding guests, taking their presents to the happy couple and bringing them food. Luckily there are no dirty dishes to clean up since these tasks will keep you extremely busy, especially later in the game when the guests are requesting who they sit next to. As Quinn, your job is to handle the bigger problems - fighting bridesmaids, bad sound equipment, grill fires, etc. There is an unnamed waitress character that handles all of the guests needs. However, it is very difficult to keep juggling everything with just these two characters in the higher levels. In the second round, there are enough seats to handle about 10 guests but the waitress can only carry two things at once. If you don't figure out how to juggle the presents and food properly, you'll end up with a lot of angry guests. At the same time, Quinn can get overtaxed trying to handle the major problems. There are upgrades to try to offset the difficulty but I found that by Chapter 2, I was having problems keeping up with everything. I did find it to be a very enjoyable game despite getting aggravated that I was having problems by the end of the first chapter. If you liked Diner Dash, give this a try. You'll even get a cameo from the fabulous Flo!