When it comes to favorite American past-times, eating out is definitely on top of the list and playing video games is a close second. So what happens when you bring the two together? You get “Diner Dash DS- Sizzle and Serve”, the hot new game for Nintendo DS, released on May 23.
Now with the handheld capabilities you can really go with the Flo!
Man, my DS sure has been getting a lot of play lately! All of my free time has been spent playing the recently released “Cake Mania DS” (April 9), and now with “Diner Dash DS- Sizzle & Serve”, I may not look at my laptop for quite some time!
Strip down any good RTS restaurant style videogame, be it Cake Mania, Teddy Tavern, Burger Island, Cathy’s Caribbean Club and countless others, and basically what you're left with is Diner Dash -the ultra popular, super addictive, action packed strategy PC game! In fact it is one of the top-selling downloadable PC games of 2004.
It’s a simple and for the most part uncomplicated game that asks you to take on the role of an overworked waitress in an understaffed restaurant, a job nobody in their right mind aspires to.
Let’s face it you wouldn't want to be a waitress. The hours are long, the pay is crap, and the most fun you can have is spitting on the food of any diners who get nasty. Actually, that might be kinda fun, but not as much fun as being a waitress on your DS. So are you open for business? Well then, roll up your sleeves, because it’s time to play “Diner Dash” DS-style, a game that casts you as a humble waitress serving customers that visit an unremarkable restaurant!
There are over 2.2 million people employed as waitresses in the U.S alone.
That’s right, you once again play Flo, the dreary, bleary-eyed office worker who has traded her paperwork for paper napkins as she serves up orders with a smile in her humble new greasy spoon diner with dreams of one day being a restaurant entrepreneur. Most of us play videogames because they allow us to be people or do things that we’d never get the chance to be or even want to do real life.
Who wants to play a game working in a restaurant serving hungry, testy people for minimum wage in their spare time? Umm, ME! ME!
You handle all the action in true DS fashion with the stylus instead of the mouse, in order to take care of your customers. Who by the way, are all in a constant state of readiness: ready to be seated, ready to order, ready to eat, ready to pay, ready to leave! So I guess you should be ready to seat, take orders, deliver, take money, and clean tables.
I liked using the touch controls I found it to be an added bonus. I was a lot more accurate and faster with it as opposed to the mouse; it's really a whole different type of coordination. You would think that this would be a no-brainer, but play “Cake Mania” on the DS and you'll see what I mean. (better yet, read my review on it
The only minor problem I had and it is a little frustrating, was rotating the customers to match their seat colors (for extra bonus points) - a little awkward to do within such a small space.
Which leads me to my second gripe if you will, with the smaller screen size for example you will not be able to see all of the action at one time during your shift. You will have to scroll left with the stylus in order to see people waiting to be seated off your peripheral vision. It is not the worst thing however; it just takes some getting used to, and makes the game a little more challenging especially during a super crazy lunch shift.
You will have to juggle a lot while serving customers. And as we all know, customers don't like to wait for anything! You have to keep on eye out for their happiness (shown by heart indicators), and do everything humanly possible to maintain it while maximizing your tips, but more on this later.
As in previous Diner Dash games you will be doing do all the waiting work, at a much faster speed than it ever would be in real life- granted waitressing is a tough, feet numbing, often back-breaking job but never this tough!
Other tasks will soon follow as you progress in the game, such as pumping patrons with drinks. Providing highchairs for families with babies, immediately mopping up spills (a safe workplace is a happy workplace), color coding, as well as up-selling by providing snacks and desserts to your gluttonous clientele for bigger tips.
SideNote: It may seem a little odd that the game focuses so much on the action in the dining room while paying no attention whatsoever to what’s going on in the kitchen and completely ignoring the business side of running a business. I guess there are limits to how much you can do in one videogame without getting completely discombobulated and overwhelmed.
“Diner Dash DS” includes a whole bunch of new features, levels and un-lockable items that die-hard fans (such as myself) will love. Such as table reservations, 5 brand new outfits just waiting to be unlocked, a whopping 50 levels with a side order of over 20 extra un-lockable levels, and 6 new restaurants- seafood, Mexican, sushi, retro and goddess style.
But don’t worry the usual cast of characters are back- young girls, business women, elderly men, teenage boys, bookworms, cell phone addicts, joggers, families. And exclusively for the DS we are introduced to a brand new character- the food critic, who will come nosing around to each one your restaurant 3 times per location. Three times?! Sounds to me like someone just wants some free grub.
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The average waitress is only paid around $2.13 an hour, generally relying on tips!
So okay, giving them goodies keeps them happy, as well as buying you a little extra time. But still, giving out free food doesn't help you get the customers fed and out the door any faster you must still be quick on your feet if you want to successfully complete each level.
Even if you serve them a T-bone steak, if you make them wait, all the treats and beverages in the world will be forgotten and they will storm out. The Ingrates!
I've mentioned to you in the past, that I love Diner Dash in fact it is one of favorite games of all time. I enjoy the balance it has; while being action packed and challenging at times it never suffers from being frustratingly hard or too stressful.
The game serves up a heaping portion of challenge with a side order of fun. It does a really good job of recreating the charming look and feel of the PC game, much to my delight. They even used the same cute music as in the PC game, and the sound effects of the customers entering the restaurant were dead on! The graphics weren't too bad, nothing to write home about. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, since you have to really concentrate on keeping customers happy there's no time to appreciate any fancy graphics anyway. But you know, Diner Dash was never a visual masterpiece to begin with, but it had great style and personality.
“Diner Dash DS” is a winner. As a die hard fan of the game, I really hoped and prayed that it would successfully make the move to handheld-and guess what? It did!
It's always a good sign when I don't want to put down a game long enough to review it, and that's exactly what happened to me with “Diner Dash DS”. Umm, are we almost done here?!
While it may not simulate the most glamorous of occupations, it does provide a real rewarding experience. It is an addictive strategy game that requires fast thinking as much as well fast fingers. Sorta like being a good waitress in real life,
That having been said, “Diner Dash DS” won't blow you away or anything, (it is essentially the same game) but it is a good way to kill a few minutes or a few hours when you're looking for a fast take-out order of fun.
It was all that and a bag of chips!
Rules for Waiters/Waitresses
1.) A waiter's job is to serve and never to impose himself.
2.) The goal of waiting is inconspicuous service.
3.) Waiters must be clean and sharp and should never wear cologne or perfume.
4.) Under no circumstances should a waiter ever touch a diner.
5.) Beverage glasses should never be filled too full.
6.) Unasked for advice should never be offered.
7.) If diners are content to pour the wine themselves, let them.
8.) Unless asked, no plates should be removed until all have finished.
9.) Women diners should be treated with respect equal to men.
10.) The bill should be placed on the table without ceremony.
- Wilfred Gowers-English Writer-Round
Get Diner Dash DS Here