Diner Dash is one of the latest classics to hit XBox Live Arcade and it is one of those titles that is still fun today. For those unfamiliar with Diner Dash you are the host of your own restaurant and you have to make sure your customers are happy so that they will come back. You start out with a small restauarant with a small number of tables, however, as you meet certain goals your restaurant will expand along with your customer base. When you earn enough money you will even get to start serving drinks such as coffee to customers to help keep them happy or if they seem to be annoyed with you the drinks can help smooth things over. There is a single player campaign that you can go through, however, there is also a multiplayer option as well.
Multiplayer features a couple of different game types and features both local multiplayer as well as over XBox Live. You can either go head to head against someone or you can play a “Team Dash” game where you play as a team with friends against other teams. Once you determine the type of game that you want you then have a couple of options of the game mode you want to participate in. There is “Time Wars” where you must score before the clock runs out or “Tip Wars” where the first person to reach the target amount wins. You can also change variables such as how long the match will last, the difficulty, which restaurant the match takes place along with the type of control scheme that everyone will use. It can be a lot of fun to play with or against your friends to see who can run the best restaurant.
As I mentioned above there is a single player campaign as well. The campaign has you assume the role of Flo, a woman who isn’t happy with her current career so she decides to open up a restaurant. When you start out things are pretty simple as you will only have a few tables to wait on and you won’t have that many customers. It’s a good way of easing players into it, although, the gameplay in this title isn’t exactly complex to begin with. Your basic responsibilities include seating your customers, taking their orders, bringing them food and then taking their dishes away when they are done so some new customers can use the table. There is a bit of strategy involved as you will get bonuses dependent on how you run the restaurant. There might be a table with a red flag attached to it so if you seat customers that are dressed in red at that table you will get a bonus. If you seat customers that are wearing blue at that red table nothing bad will happen, you just won’t get the bonus points. You will also want to be careful where you sit your customers. If you sit two customers at a table that is meant for four then you could run in to problems if a four person group arrives and you have nowhere to put them. As you progress through the various levels you will earn enough money to open up different restaurants, each with a different theme. Throughout the game you will have a diner, a seafood restaurant, a garden cafe and more.
Diner Dash is a classic title and a great addition to XBox Live Arcade. It’s great if you just want to pick up and play for a few minutes and it is the type of game that could become addictive as you try to progress through the campaign and want to play “just one more level”. The multiplayer aspect is fun and should make for some good times if you are playing with people you know. Be sure to download the free demo and check this game out.