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Publisher: PlayFirst    Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: 10.3    CPU: G4 @ 800 MHz    Graphics: 800x600

Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue
November 1, 2006 | Franklin Pride

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Ah, my humble beginning
I've always wondered what it would be like to work in a restaurant. Hurrying from place to place as the customers yelled about their lack of service. Diner Dash 2 doesn't completely satisfy my curiosity, but it does provide an entertaining simulation of the restaurant industry.

In Diner Dash 2, you are Flo, a hard-working restaurant waitress whose past success has her friends begging her for help. The villain of the game is rather cheesy, but he seems to be that way for comic effect. After you save one of the four restaurants, a short comic will be revealed. The comic always follows these lines: the restaurant owner says, "help, Mr. Big is going to bulldoze my store if I can't pay!" then Flo says, "I'll save you!" and the next restaurant is unlocked for your use.

Gameplay: You Got Served!
Diner Dash 2 is very entertaining. In each level, you are given simple objectives that get extremely complex as the game progresses. The main objective is to get each group seated and fed as fast as possible. This changes throughout the game as some wrinkles are added. Are your customers angry? If so, give them a tequila. Too many people to handle? If so, call in reinforcements. Not enough score to pass the level? If so, try your hardest to keep them happy and feed them dessert. By the fifteenth level, you'll find yourself losing quite often.

Planning plays a large part in Diner Dash 2's gameplay. It isn't enough to just seat people wherever you'd like, you need to take noise tolerance and impatience into consideration. For example, when feeding a businesswoman, you need to realize that she doesn't have time to stick around. She'll order fast, be hungry fast, and want to leave fast. As such, you should always place her closest to the food counter. Another example would be the bookworm. He likes to take his time and can wait almost forever, but he absolutely hates noise. If you place him next to a cell-phone user, he'll be out the door in no time. If you don't plan in advance where everyone is going to sit, you'll most likely fail the later levels.

There are also various helpful wrinkles to gameplay. The first helpful item is the tequila tray. After you load up your customers with booze (kids don't drink), they're willing to wait a little longer, and that usually is all the help you need. You also get a phone that can be used once per level. Whenever you're in deep trouble, you should always call up the tequila server as he makes everyone really happy. Another helpful tool is the dessert tray. It can save your life if you need extra points.

Of course, there is one problem with the gameplay, and it is central to games of this type. Everything is taken care of by pointing and clicking. This can be annoying, as you can sometimes click on the wrong item and have to wait as Flo rushes over to interact with it. Also, when doing a long level, it's quite easy to get bogged down and you usually end up clicking all over the place to try and catch up. Thankfully, you never need to click too frenetically, as Flo doesn't move very fast.

Overall, the gameplay is quite fun and it adds more than enough wrinkles to keep it interesting. From the many varieties of customers to the management of your limited tequila supply, Diner Dash 2 always keeps you playing, and you enjoy every minute of it.

Graphics: Three orders of the lumpy yellow stuff, please!
Diner Dash 2 is quite elegant in its own way. The customers look quite close to what I've seen in real life. The businessmen talking on their cell phones, the joggers in for a quick bite, the bookworms curling up for a long wait, and even the waitress herself all look well made. The nasty expressions that cross their faces when you leave them alone are quite entertaining to watch, as well.

The diner's of Diner Dash 2 are equally well made. As you start with each one, it is in a state of disrepair. With cracked walls, messy floor, poorly maintained counter, and damaged posts, each restaurant starts out ready for the dumpster. After each level, however, you get to choose an addon for the restaurant. You may never get the choice of what type of addon, but you can choose the coloring scheme. After a few levels of this, the restaurants become a thing of beauty. Of course, that could also be because you were the one picking the color scheme.

There are really no gripes about the graphics. Everything matches well with the theme of the game. I may have wanted to figure out what was being served to my poor customers, but I'm sure their mashed banana and pureed spinich won't bother them too much.


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