There's nothing finer than being in your diner.
Sat, 2 February 2008
This is one of those games that absolutely refuses classification.
I don't mean it's full of hardcore porn, just that Diner Dash doesn't easily fit into established video game genres.
It's also a game that if someone asked you "what do you do in this game" the answer "wait tables" is probably going to get you one of those long thoughtful looks. The kind that usually precedes the men in white coats coming to take you away for a holiday. Diner Dash sounds more boring than watching paint dry, but it does have that mystery element, that unknown little thing that forces you to keep playing and enjoy it.
Some background would probably be appropriate so here goes: your protagonist for the game in question is a young lady by the mane of Flo who pushes a desk from nine to five.
|If you squint, you can almost pretend this is Mike Myers in Boogie Nights |
Eventually she tires of this and decides there must be a better way to seek her fortune, so she quits and while heading home passes by a run down diner, (cue light bulb over head). The end result is that Flo now owns and runs a diner (or bloody restaurant or café if you happen to be Australian).
The gameplay is almost idiotic in simplicity but this is a large part of its charm as difficult convoluted control schemes are no good for gaming on the go. The basics of the game involve waiting tables: you seat the customers, you take their order, you deliver the food, and you get cash before you clean the table off ready for the next punter. 'Childs play' I hear you say, and it is begin with.
But when you add in things like drink machines to boost customer's mood therefore giving you a bigger tip. Families with babies that need highchairs, almost constantly being on the go with the mop, plus trying to keep restaurant critics happy, the further you progress the more there is to keep you on your toes. Sound isn't the games strong point the bleepy 8-bit like music will drive you nuts within minutes and have you reaching for the volume control and the earplugs of your ipod.
The effects are also nothing of note; if you've heard one generic cash register's ka-ching noise you've heard them all.
|Sweep mop block, crouch and clean, swipe and steal. That's it for today |
Graphically the game won't be winning any awards either but in this case it isn't a problem, the puzzle like nature of the game lends itself perfectly to the cell shaded look which also fits in nicely with the comic strip cut scenes.
So there you have it, Diner Dash is a quirky little game that suits gaming on the go but you would want to play it for hours at a time. Ideal for short bursts of gaming on the go (like on a bus tram or train) it's easily good way to kill time.
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Perhaps you could pursue a virtual acting career on the side