Avenue Flo PC review
Lucy puts another PC casual game release to the test...
Welcome to Avenue Flo, the first adventure-style game in the DinerTown series. We’ve had numerous ‘Dash-es’ and even a Detective Agency, but this is quite the departure from what Playfirst have been doing with the brand thus far. And I have to say, it’s not a bad thing.
The plot of this game centres around weddings. Miss Big (yes, that’s right – Mr. Big’s daughter) is getting married, and everyone in DinerTown is invited. But before they can enjoy the frivolities, there are arrangements to be made: dresses to be created, suits to be cleaned, poodles to be pampered, cakes to be baked… you get the picture. However, Flo’s roommate Quinn – star of the Wedding Dash games – has a problem. She’s the one coordinating the wedding, and nothing is going to plan.
The cake is all wrong, the rings have gone missing and the groom has been noticed acting suspiciously. And it’s up to you, playing as Flo, to get to the bottom of it, and ensure the happy couple’s day goes without a hitch.
The intro scene is a fun lead-in, and shows perfectly how different Playfirst have tried to make this title. For example, they’ve made a big fuss about Avenue Flo being the first time Flo’s voice is ever heard. I was almost nervous, hoping that my favourite waitress’ voice didn’t come out as an annoying high-pitched squeak or something equally terrible. But no, Flo’s spoken voice is exactly how I imagined it and completely fits her persona.
That over with, you’ll hop right into the action. You’re given a tutorial to give you a nudge in the right direction, and then it’s up to you. Don’t panic, though. The game is pretty generous on hints so it’s unlikely you’ll ever get stuck. You’ll begin by wandering the neighbourhood and getting a feel for how things work. You have a napkin on which to scribble notes to help you out, so if you get so engrossed in exploring that you forget what your task is, you’ve always got a reminder.
You’ll have to keep your eye out for objects which you must collect – the game’s only reference to the immensely popular hidden object genre. If you’re not a hidden object fan, though, don’t let this put you off, because they’re not hidden very well!
Once you’re done finding your feet, you must get on with saving the wedding! You’ll have to solve mini-games in order to help you locate missing items, bake cakes, fix things and basically run yourself ragged to help Quinn out.
As you progress through the game, you’ll meet a multitude of characters, the vast majority of whom you’ll have met before. Yes, they’re residents of DinerTown, and they’ve been featured in a Dash game at some point.
There is an awful lot going on in this game, but if you keep referring to your trusty map then you’ll know where you’ve been, and which locations you’ve yet to complete. It’s an invaluable tool, particularly if your memory is poor or if you don’t play the game for a long period of time. As with each successive game from Flo’s world, the graphics are improved and the music is fun and funky without being overbearing.
Despite being a departure from the rest of the games in the franchise, Avenue Flo will still appeal to the same people. The characters are well-known and loved, but the new style of gameplay makes things fresh and exciting.
I played this game in just a few sittings which is its only downside, and I expect adventure game buffs will whizz through it much quicker than I did. For this reason, I knocked off one star for brevity. Otherwise, it’s a fun, fresh and funky look at DinerTown. Get on down to Avenue Flo!