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Diner Dash - Virtual Waitress

Diner Dash is a simple little computer game that is easy to catch on to. You take orders, deliver meals, and keep the customer satisfied.

I really tried to like this game. It seemed like a simple, fun concept. There are four main restaurant areas, and you go through several levels in each area. As you go you improve your restaurant's decor, gain new equipment, and get new types of customers.

There are several types of customers to keep an eye on. There are old men who are patient but slow. There are businesswomen who tip well but who are very impatient. These customers come in several different colors. If you seat the red customers on the red seats, you get extra bonusses.

You have a sequence of tasks to perform for each table. You have to take their order and bring it to the chef. When the dish is ready, you have to bring that to the table. When they're done eating, you drop off the check and then clear the table.

The game runs along pretty easily for the first half of the game - you can get through that half in maybe 2 hours. Then all of a sudden the difficulty ramps up. The game suddenly goes from being mildly fun to being really annoying.

Here's the problem. In the real world, you seat people as soon as you can, and you wait on people when they are ready. You get credit for prompt, efficient service. Not in this game, though. In this game you're supposed to torture people - make them all wait so that you can create "chains". You have the people all sitting at the table, fuming upset, until they all are ready to order so you can take all the orders at once. The same goes for serving and clearing. In the meantime, a line stacks up of people wanting to get in to the restaurant.

So you're running around like a madwoman, antagonizing all of your patrons, feeding them tons of drinks so they stay happy, sweet-talking the line so it doesn't stalk out, while your diners fume with anger. Honestly, this isn't my idea of a fun game. I like games where everybody is happy with my work and gives me praise - not games where angry businesswomen snap at me within seconds of sitting at a table.

I really did try to get into it. I tried several times. I like the idea of a female businesswoman starting her own restaurant, adding to it as she goes. That's the sort of sim-game that appeals to me. If it had a more positive message while you played, then I could have dealt with the relatively low quality graphics and sounds. It just wasn't fun for me, though. There are so many other games for me to play that *are* fun, that after a while I just couldn't force myself to keep playing this one.

I give these guys an A for effort - but somewhere in the game testing system, they should have given thought to positive reinforcement during gameplay, instead of populating the world with angry people.

Rating: 2/5

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