Flo, the hardest working waitress in gaming, is back in the all-new sequel to the outstanding and original Diner Dash restaurant game. In Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue, Flo must save four variously styled restaurants from the clutches of the evil Mr. Big, a money-loving CEO out to turn them into a massive multiplex food plaza. As Flo, your quest is to take the reins of each restaurant in turn, transforming it into the crowd-pleasing four star establishment that it was always meant to be.
In order to rescue each restaurant, you must satisfy a variety of demanding customers, from the patient yet easily bothered bookreaders to the annoying self-absorbed cellphone talkers. Each type of customer requires a different level of care and attention that must be balanced as you provide their dinner service. This service consists of several steps, including seating them at an appropriate table, taking their order and dropping it off at the kitchen, serving the actual meals themselves, and finally picking up their payment (and tip!) and dirty dishes at the end.
Each step can also be strung together in combinations which will add bonuses to your score. And believe me, those bonuses are entirely necessary in order to get through the harder levels as you progress. Each restaurant also provides an increasing number of optional services that can be performed, including serving dessert for highly satisifed customers, dropping off a highchair for the families that arrive with a baby in tow, and dropping off appetizers for any patrons that happen to be in the mood for them. And as always, try not to let a table of customers get too unhappy because they’ll storm out, leaving you with a negative score for that table!
Besides adding several new customer types and extra content in the gameplay, Diner Dash 2 lets you customize each restaurant in artistic ways after each successful level. Depending on whether or not you achieved the “expert” score, you’ll have a choice between 2 or 3 decorative options that can be upgraded. These upgrades are strictly cosmetic but help give you the feeling that you’re really helping the restaurant develop as you play along.
In addition to the main story mode, the game also features the “Endless Shift.” This mode is also very addictive, as you choose one of the restaurants as the setting for what is essentially one very long night of waiting tables. As you satisfy more and more tables, you’ll earn money that can be spent on various upgrades for the restaurant and Flo herself. From adding a drink station to help placate upset guests to improving Flo’s running speed, the variety of improvements makes for a fun and challenging change of pace from the main game.
Overall, Diner Dash 2 is an excellent sequel to the original game and well worth playing. A demo version can be downloaded from different sites that will give you a taste of what restaurant serving, Diner Dash-style, is all about. The gameplay is very addictive and is only enhanced by hand-drawn graphics that are very pleasing to the eye. I’d highly recommend trying out the demo to anyone between the ages of 9 and 99.