Diner Dash

New to XBLA this week is the 3-D remake of the lovable classic, Diner Dash. Brought to you originally for the PC and the Nintendo DS, Diner Dash has finally reached the Xbox 360.

For those who have never played Diner Dash, the game is very simple. You play the role of Flo, who wants to open her very own restaurant. As you progress through the game, your aim is to serve all the customers and to earn as much money to upgrade your restaurant and to open other stores. Now to make the game that little bit harder, the customers you serve are different colours. To make more money, what you need to do is get the same coloured customers to sit in the same coloured seats. Each group of customers has a heart meter above their head which indicates how happy they are. The happier they are, the bigger the tip the customer gives. If their heart meter gets too low, then you risk losing the customer and a cut of your profits. Ouch! You can also make extra cash by performing the same action, such as collecting multiple orders and cleaning tables.

As you become more successful and make more money, you are then able to open up more restaurants. With the new restaurants, you get more diverse and difficult customers with various quirks and demands. You can also get different upgrades such as being able to serve drinks and a podium to speak to your customers. Make sure you use these upgrades wisely, for they can be very useful for making your customers happy when they are waiting.

With single player having a career and an endless mode, there is also a multiplayer option. Designed for two players, you can either play head-to-head or in co-op mode. With head-to-head, you can either play Tip Wars, to see who can make the most money or Time Wars, where you can see who makes the most money in a set time.

The controls are very straight forward. The ‘A’ button is for action, used for collecting plates and seating customers. The other buttons, ‘B’ ‘X’ and ‘Y’ all allow Flo to get various locations of the restaurant. Press ‘Y’ to move Flo to the ticket stand, ‘X’ button is to get Flo to the counter and the ‘B’ button takes Flo to the dish rack. The right analogue stick rotates the customers before they are seated while the left analogue stick moves both Flo and the customers between the available tables. I found that rotating the customers before they are seated can be quite stiff and slow at times. Now this can be annoying especially when you are trying to move the customers as quickly as possible.

Diner Dash has always been one of those games that I try to play on all available platforms, so I was really excited that it was finally on XBLA. The game is exactly the same as it would be on the Nintendo DS, so I was able to get straight into it. Experiencing the game in 3-D did give it an edge, but I was half expecting something a little extra to make it more special for it being on XBLA. Diner Dash is a great purchase for those who have considered getting the game, but if you’ve already got it then you can save yourself the MS points.


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