If it’s the weekend and you’re stuck for something to do, here’s an idea: get a waiting job in a busy restaurant, where you’ll be constantly on your feet, rushing around, serving food and drinks, picking up cheques, seating customers and clearing tables. Sounds like the perfect recipe for fun pie, right?
Okay, maybe not. However, it is the premise for Diner Dash, and it’s actually enjoyable. In fact, it’s utterly compelling. You take the role of a young waitress, starting off in a relatively quiet café. As customers come in, you find them a seat (taking into account the size of the group, so they get a big enough table), and wait for them to order. Once they’ve done that, you put their order through to the kitchen, wait for it to be ready and take it over to their table. When they’re finished, you pick up the money and clear the table. Nothing unusual about that. However, you have to also be aware of new customers coming in, who don’t take too well to being made to wait.
Pretty soon, the place is full, and they have no choice but to stand in line. Each group of customers has a heart icon, which represents their happiness. If you leave them waiting, this goes down. When it’s completely empty, they leave your restaurant, taking their money with them. Fortunately, you can make them happier once they’re seated, by serving them quickly, and later on, when you’ve got the upgrade, by serving them drinks. There are other ways to please them, such as free snacks, but I won’t list them all here.
It’s not just the service the customers get angry about. Some of them also take a disliking to the other patrons in the restaurant. For example, crying babies or groups of mobile phone addicts will annoy other customers, who may leave if they’re sat next to these people. The babies can placated, but the mobile addicts have to be sat away from everyone else, other than families or headphone wearers, who don’t care.
Depending how you perform, you can get better tips, which are necessary to complete each level. If you don’t earn enough money, you have to start again. It’s a mixture of action, strategy and puzzling, and it’s highly addictive. Perhaps, it could do with a bit more bonus material, but even without it, it’s a fun little title. Sadly, in terms of longevity, it probably won’t last more than a few days.
On the plus side, if you get a difficult customer, you can always just turn it off.