Cooking Dash: DinerTown Studios PC review

Casual game joy as Lucy checks out the latest Cooking Dash...

Poor Flo just never gets a break! It seems all of her friends and family are constantly calling on her excellent waitressing and management skills in order to help them out of a tight spot.

This time it’s her friend Gilda, who works at DinerTown Studios. She needs help feeding the cast and crew of her TV show. So it’s up to you to prepare, cook, assemble and serve various meals and snacks quickly and efficiently, before the customers walk out on you.

Similarly to the previous Cooking Dash titles, and all the other Dash titles, you have different customer types, and remembering them and their quirks is often the key to success. Some are more patient than others, some tip better and some can’t stand a lot of noise. So swap and change them around to make sure they’re seated comfortably and you’ll find the remainder of your tasks simpler!

In Cooking Dash, you’re not only serving food, you must cook it first. So you’ll be grabbing raw ingredients (some of which must be prepped first), slapping them on the grill or in the fryer, waiting until they’re done – and voila!

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It sounds easy, but when you’ve got several different customers crying out for dinner and you’re trying to cook and serve it all without setting your kitchen on fire, it can become difficult. Luckily, help is at hand.

Grandma helps with the cold foods, like salads and so on. Then, when you’ve collected enough points to fill a meter, you can use the telephone to call Cookie, who will do all your prep – so all you’ve got to worry about is taking full plates to your patrons.

Feed their faces, clear their plates, collect your tips and power-ups, and be on your way.

It’s a good idea to be shrewd with your power-ups. For example, one of the celebrities leaves behind a power-up that will fill other seated customers’ patience hearts when clicked. This is best left there until every other seat is full, then clicked. Because if you’re clicking and there’s no-one else sitting at the counter, then those hearts are going to waste.

Little tricks like this are absolutely vital in some of the tougher levels. Despite being a seasoned Dash player, there were several levels which I had to replay. Some of them several times. To be honest, though, this is what makes this game so great. There’s still a challenge. Who wants to play a game they can breeze through from start to finish without even getting a sweaty mouse hand?

Between levels, you have the option to purchase upgrades if you have enough cash available. Again, choose wisely as they’re not all superficial. Some will genuinely help your kitchen run more smoothly, and therefore maximise profits.

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So don’t be tempted to swindle all your cash on pretty d├ęcor when you could be purchasing a better coffee machine or a hot plate.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this second outing in the Cooking Dash series. The graphics were fun and not overly complex, and the sound was unobtrusive and pleasant.

Time management game fans will enjoy meandering their way through the five available restaurants. But beware, Cooking Dash: DinerTown Studios has that vital casual gaming element: ‘just one more go’.

It won’t take you long to finish it, but that’s more because you won’t want to turn it off.

Rating:

4 out of 5