Another day, another Dash. And this time it’s… babies! I’m not really one for the real kind, but thought I’d be able to handle the video game sort – at least you can turn the sound off if necessary.
In Diaper Dash, you’re transported back to DinerTown and this time you’re helping out Wilson, a computer geek who’s landed himself with the job of resident daycare owner. All the ‘adorable’ babies of the town are dropped off for you to look after until their parents finish work. You’ll be expected to do all the things you’d do with a real baby – that is: feed them, play with them, put them to sleep and change their nappies. On top of all that the kids are incredibly messy so you have to clean up after them!
Luckily, as a geek, Wilson is pretty hot with inventions. So as the game progresses you’ll be helped out by the Cleanatron, a cleaning robot, the Distraction Phone, which pops out a clown, fairy or similar to cheer up the grumpy kids, Lightning Sneakers, to make Wilson move faster, and so on. Also, similar to the other Dash titles, you can buy upgrades. So the more money and tips you earn in each level, the more you’ll have to put towards things in the shop. Some of them appear to be purely cosmetic upgrades, but others are far more useful. Choose carefully, you’ll soon come to work out which upgrades are the best.
If you’re a Dash veteran, you’ll be right at home here. As well as seeing some familiar faces, the game mechanism is the same; you simply click. Click to pick up a baby, click again to put it in the high chair, crib or wherever and carry on. You can earn extra points by ‘swapping’ babies, that is, if you’re carrying a baby which needs a nappy change and there’s already one on the changing table, just click the second one, and they’ll swap. If you can swap girls for girls and boys for boys wherever possible – you’ll score even higher! The flag system is the same too – i.e. put only the same sex children on certain equipment and you’ll get more points.
Fifty levels later and I was still quite happy. The game isn’t too difficult, and I only failed a couple of levels a couple of times. I did, however, find these customers the most annoying. In Diner Dash, for example, if a customer gets annoyed, they’ll just disappear and you’ll lose points. In Diaper Dash, however, the baby will scream its head off – particularly infuriating if more than one is crying – and then they’ll demand to be given back to their parent, giving you no points. The noise only serves to distract you more, so once one child is crying, it can be a very slippery slope to failure. There are two ways to avoid this – keep them happy, or turn the sound off. Both work, though, of course, the first is preferable.
Diaper Dash can get really frantic at times, and it’s addictive enough that you’ll happily waste hours of your time playing it. It’s not overly difficult, but just challenging enough so it’s not boring. The production values are what you’ve come to expect from games of this ilk, so it’s no high definition awe-fest but it’s plenty good enough for a casual game.
Dashers – get this if you haven’t already. Other casual gamers – unless babies bring you out in a rash, give this one a go, it’s good fun!