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I have played Diner Dash on most platforms (the best being the computer version) and played the PSP version hoping that it might be different playing it on a handheld device. I have to say that I didn't really enjoy this game, but it did have a few positives.
This game is rated at 3 plus, but I didn't really see why it is for someone so young, as I would say this has more of a teenager/adult market. I bought this for around £12, but it seems to be very overpriced in some stores as I've seen it for £30.
Diner Dash is a game made by GameLab who usually make great games, but on this platform, they aren't as good as they could be. Their PC games are definitely better than PSP versions, and much cheaper! Diner Dash has had a lot of sucess and that is what has made it have so many versions and spin offs made. So far I have seen games like Soap Opera Dash and Cooking Dash being made as spin offs from the brand.
For those who have never played a Diner Dash game, the plot of the game revolves around Flo, a previous stockbroker who can't deal with the heavy amount of work. Then she manages to find a new diner, and this is where she sets up her own restaurant, and watches it amount to success!
Throughout the game, you have various tasks to do to get the goal score or the expert score. You must seat customers when they arrive at the store by placing them at the correct tables with enough seats and sometimes matching the right colours and then serving them. This will include taking their order and bringing them the right meals.
Points are gained through doing all these little tasks, and usually by making combos of doing the same actions in a row or by matching them to the correct colours. I found it pretty easy to get all the goals in this, and I'd finished all the levels pretty quickly, so it isn't much of a challenge for an experienced Diner Dash player, although some others may find it easier.
The levels start off as really easy and tutorial, to get you used to the game. But then once you have gone further in the storyline, it gets much more difficult and becomes harder juggling all the tasks that you have to do while maintaining the customers hearts at a high level. They do provide a great amount of challenge, and means the game is never too easy. They don't include too many things and new features at first, and as they slowly increase in the amount that goes on, it makes you easy to get the hang of all the features.
The controls are really easy for Diner Dash as it mostly consists of controlling the analog stick to make Flo walk around and then just pressing the contol pad to make her pick up things. They're really easy to get the hang of and most people will be able to pick it up quickly.
Aside from the normal playing mode of Career Mode, where you just play through the storyline, there is also 2 other modes. There is Endless Shift, similar to the PC game, where you can play as much as you want in different difficulty modes and gain a super high score. Then there is Multiplayer Mode, but this can only be played with someone who has a PSP with wireless connection, and you have to compete to get the highest score against them.
The graphics are pretty similar to the first design of the PC game as they are cartoony as they first were. They are not as developed as some of the games on the PSP and are not as sharp edged or detailed as they could be. However, everything moves pretty easily and the colours suit the mood of the game. The sound fits the game itself, and it does vary in the different levels that you encounter. They fit the moods of the restaurant, yet they can get annoying in the easier levels, but if you are in the hard levels it just passes you by.
I would recommend this game to anyone who is a hardcore Diner Dash fan, other than that I would say it is probably best getting the PC version. The controls are pretty easy to get the hang of and there is a lot of levels, but you will get through them really quickly and I would say it isn't worth the money.
Diner Dash is a video game created by GameLab with it a fresh and addictive look at puzzle gaming. Originally released on PC in 2003 it became one of the top downloaded games of 2004 where its players would take on the role of Flo, a young stockbroker who finds her work so overwhelming that she decides to quit and begin a new life by running her own diner. Due to its increasing popularity and the fact that it was suitable for gamers young and old, Playfirst decided in 2007 to bring it out on both the major handheld consoles (Nintendo DS and PSP) therefore increasing not only its audience but also its revenue.
As you begin the game you are introduced to the character of Flo via a comic book sequence, she is a stockbroker struggling with the constant inundation of work and decides to escape from it all physically by running away from her old workplace. This is where she stumbles across an old diner coupled with a "For Sale" sign and so her story truly begins...
Object of the Game
The game is predominantly a puzzle game, as a waitress in the diner it is up to you to serve the customers to visit. This involves placing them in the correct tables (too many seats for too few people and you will keep larger parties waiting) as well as serving their every need, be it food, drinks, dessert or cleaning up the mess their child has made. This might seem easy enough as you begin the tutorial but try doing all these things whilst juggling impatient and chatty customers and making sure everyone is a happy bunny!
The first few levels are just to get you used to the controls as well as what you should expect from certain customers, for example the business women tend to order and eat quite quickly which makes it great for seating new customers quickly. With every level you finish you will be able to customise a part of the diner/restaurant by either changing the colour of the walls, floor, adding tables and other bits and bobs which will really make your diner sparkle!
There are 3 game modes to choose from when beginning Diner Dash, the first is Career in which you basically follow Flo's story restaurant by restaurant. The second is Endless Shift and is basically where you play to your hearts content to rack up a mega high score, this is good if you want to practise as you are able to choose the difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard). The last option is Multiplayer and this requires a Wifi connection as well as someone who has another PSP, here you can play against an opponent to see who gets the highest score whilst serving their customers, who is the first to serve a given number of customers or Survival mode where the object of the game is to outlast your opponent in serving customers.
If you have ever played the PC version of this game you will probably agree that the graphics are cartoony and cutesy at best, it is a 2-D game so you won't get the kind of amazing graphics that you have seen on the PSP before like on Burnout for example. All of the colours are bright and eye catching and each object is well designed so you know exactly what it is, there's nothing amazing here to really brag about, they do the job required.
The music varies in each diner/restaurant you move to, for example in the first level you will get to hear a little jazzy number whilst the Indian restaurant has an authentic feel with what seem to sound like sitars. The music is quite repetitive but to be honest I rarely notice it when I am playing a particularly tough level.
Nothing was simpler than in the PC version where all you were required to do was click at each task you wanted finished, the PSP is slightly more complicated (for obvious reasons) but you do get the hang of them pretty easily. You cannot use the analog button here because it is simply too quick to respond, instead you use the arrow buttons and the X button which is pretty much used for everything. The L and R buttons are used for when you want to seat new customers or use the objects located in the right hand side of the screen (high chair for families, tannoy system to call for back-up, bin for dirty dishes, mop and bucket for cleaning up mess etc).
Having played this game before on the PC and knowing full well how addictive it was, I thought I would test it out on the PSP. I found it as addictive as ever and great fun for getting you thinking and a multiplayer option (which was not possible on the PC version) will make this game last for a bit anyway.
The box cover probably should have warned me off, any game that says it is for 3+ yrs is clearly aimed at children, the graphics did nothing for me and its 70 levels were completed within 2 days of playing. Surely such an addictive experience should perhaps provide you with more levels to unlock or tougher tasks to complete?
Also, pricewise this game set me back £29.99 which is far too much for a game that someone could finish in a few days time. Whilst I did enjoy it overall, I now wish I had bothered waiting for the price to come down or bought it second hand. I would advise anyone else interested into doing so to avoid being disappointed, especially parents who don't want to see their £30 present tossed under the bed within a week of it being bought.
This is a game I would recommend to younger gamers predominantly, however I do think the more mature gamer would also enjoy it, however at the price of £30 the only people enjoying this would be the publishers and retailers!
A free online version for the PC can be located at http://www.playfirst.com/game/dinerdash/play however you do have to register!
Diner Dash is the action-puzzle game that brings out the entrepreneur in all of us. Poor Flo! Sick and tired of pushing paper in the dreary, bleary-eyed world of finance, she ditched her desk job and now she's rolling up her sleeves and setting out to build her very own empire of high-class, five-star restaurants. It won't be easy, though! Flo's on her own now, and heading for the top! To get there she'll have to start on the ground floor-and she needs your help to build the best restaurant business possible. Serve your way from a two-table diner to the top of the restaurant ladder - starting with a run-of-the-mill greasy spoon and ending in a dream restaurant that will take your breath away.