In Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue, Flo the waitress returns to help her friends save their restaurants. A greedy tycoon named Mr. Big threatens to demolish four quaint, mom and pop style eateries to build a mall. Fresh off her success in Diner Dash 1, Flo is recruited to help out her friends. It’s up to her to provide excellent service and raise enough money for her friends to keep their restaurants in business and keep the greedy tycoon out of the neighborhood.
The setup of the game is almost disappointingly similar to the original Diner Dash. In each level Flo must earn enough money to reach a set quota. If successful, she moves on to the next level. By moving on to higher levels, players can earn money to buy equipment and d¨cor, which will attract more customers. These can consist of new tables, a new countertop, new wallpaper, decorative plants, etc. With each new level the quota is set higher, there are more tables to serve and the patrons come in larger numbers. The challenge is this game is being able to multi-task at a quick pace.
The new features of Diner Dash 2 are new types of customers, who bring an array of complications with them:
- The “Family” consists of Mom, dad, child and baby, which will require a high chair and will make a mess that you need to mop up. If the baby does not have a highchair or waits too long for food or service, it will cry and annoy other patrons.
- The “Cell Phone Addicts” yap on their phone even while they’re eating, and the noise upsets patrons sitting near them
- The “Joggers” come in with headphones on and thus are oblivious to any noise. This makes them the perfect patrons to sit next to cell phone addicts or a crying baby.
- The “Bookworms” are very slow, yet very patient. They like their quiet and so become extremely annoyed if there is noise.
You will also see the business women, girls and seniors from the first game. Each type of patron varies in their likes and dislikes, patience and how well they tip. Becoming familiar with these quirks is very helpful, as you can prioritize your tasks when things become hectic.
In addition to new types of patrons, there are also several new items that make your job easier. You can add a bench to your line, which will keep customers happier when they have to wait for a table. The baby chair and mop help keep the families happy. There is dessert now, which will lead to a bigger tip if the delivery is timely. The most important new item is a phone, which allows you to call one of four staff members to help you out during a rush of patrons. The staff members are; a busboy, who clears the table, a bartender, who serves drinks, a hostess, to talk to people waiting in line and a performer, to lift the moods of the patrons. This can significantly impact the amount of money you make, as you can tend to more than one table at a time, and in this game, speed is everything.
It was good to see this feature; it almost boggles the mind that the first game had no such option of calling in backup. One person cannot cut it with more than six tables.
There are many new sound effects and music, too. Each restaurant is themed differently, from a coffee shop to a pizza parlor, to a Mexican cantina. Each restaurant has a unique d©cor, music and atmosphere, and you can help choose how to improve the restaurant’s aesthetics.
When I first saw the original Diner Dash, I thought it would be more like Rollercoaster or Monopoly Tycoon, where you had to use your wits and strategy skills to actually build and run the business. Another low-budget game, Restaurant Empire, is modeled exactly like that. I was somewhat disappointed to find that the game consisted mostly of taking orders and serving food, with an occasional opportunity to add new decorations. Like its predecessor, Diner Dash 2 tends to be very simple and repetitive, and may be more appealing to a younger audience. For what it is, the game is great mindless fun and the fast pace keeps you on your toes, but the repetitiveness can quickly become boring.