If you looked up an example for the word “addictive” in a dictionary, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found an image of Flo’s smiling face. Who is Flo? She’s the plucky heroine in the highly successful Diner Dash series.
Flo is a business executive who decided that she’d had it with the rat race and decides to open a diner. Flo doesn’t realize that she’s in for a challenge!
The Diner Dash series are strategy games with an assembly line format. As Flo, players seat customers, take their orders, bring them their food, give them their checks, and buss tables. Flo must perform these tasks as quickly as possible or risk losing customers.
Players earn bonus points by “chaining” – performing the same task multiple times. Players can also earn extra points by matching the color of the customers’ outfits to the same colored chairs.
Customers have little hearts over their heads, which decrease the longer they wait for a service. The rate of decrease depends on the customer. For example, impatient business women’s hearts decrease rapidly, while senior citizens are able to wait longer.
On higher levels, Flo has access to some additions to the restaurant. For example, serving snacks increases your points, while the podium allows Flo to chat with waiting customers to fill up their hearts. All three Diner Dash games share this basic game play.
The two sequels continue the storyline. In Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue, Flo must help four restaurant owning friends save their establishments from being torn down. And in Diner Dash 3: Flo On the Go, our favorite busy waitress goes on vacation, but somehow keeps finding herself working.
Naturally, the sequels are little more challenging, featuring new customer types, interruptions, and dining situations. Restaurant Rescue introduced some difficult customers such as the Cellphone Addicts, who decrease nearby customers’ hearts by irritating them with their incessant yapping. The latest sequel, called Flo On the Go, features flashlight levels where Flo has to work in darkness, guided only by a flashlight.
The full versions of the Diner Dash games are available for online purchase, and you can download a trial version or play an online demo. However, I can assure you that when your trial ends, you’ll be begging for more.
These frentic, fast-paced games are extremely addictive. You’ll want to acheive Expert scores, see the new customers on the next level, or unlock cool decorations for your restaurant. I had purchased Restaurant Rescue two weeks ago and finished the game in a couple of days. But after trying out Flo on the Go, I broke down after resisting for a week and bought it as well.
Although all three Diner Dash games are fun, addictive, and rather inexpensive, I personally recommend either of the sequels because of the improved game play and graphics, and additional challenges.
The Diner Dash games are rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Alcohol Reference. Diner Dash is also available on Mac.