Who would have thought, after playing this game and the dozens following it on the PC, that I would want to play it again on the Nintendo DS? Nevertheless, I have and it was ace!
You would think that the original Diner Dash on DS, particularly after playing newer ones on PC, would feel old. But, to be honest, playing it on a new medium in a completely different way gives it a new lease of life. In fact, I think it works even better on the DS, despite the smaller screen. It’s much easier to manage with the stylus and just feels more natural somehow.
Anyway, for those who don’t know the series, I shall explain. In Diner Dash, you play as the character Flo. Bored and stressed with her job juggling spreadsheets, she decides on a career change. I’m not sure how waitressing would be less stressful, but who are we to question?
In this time management game, you start a level with a bunch of empty tables. It’s then up to you to seat the customers, take their orders, deliver their meals, take their money and clear the tables, all in a timely fashion. The more quickly you execute these moves, the happier the customers will be, and the more they’ll tip you. This is essential, as you’ll have a monetary goal every level which you must achieve to pass.
Of course, it’s not all plain sailing. The learning curve is smooth, and more elements are introduced as you play. For example, some customers are more patient than others, and you’ll also be expected to deliver starters, drinks and desserts, amongst other things as the game progresses.
One main difference with this Diner Dash title against the PC is the upgrades. On PC you’d be given the choice of upgrades between levels, if you had enough cash. This time, you get upgrades most levels and you simply get a choice between different variations of an item. For example, different floor tiles, doors, counter tops and so on. As this is a minimal part of gameplay, I didn’t miss it.
The graphics, of course, are a little dated, but it doesn’t affect enjoyment at all, and with the screen being that much smaller, it doesn’t really stand out much anyway.
Overall, I enjoyed experiencing Diner Dash on a different medium. The DS just made it seem so much more fluid, and as a result, fun.
If you’ve never played one of these games before, might I suggest trying it on the Nintendo DS and then perhaps move onto PC if you can’t get enough of Flo!
Diner Dash is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.