Diner Dash

While I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an avid game player, I have done my fair share of gaming. Growing up with a younger brother forced me to play pretty much every Nintendo game created along with a few Xbox and Play Station games as well. There is one game that I have noticed has been around for quite some time. That game is Diner Dash. Initially developed by GameLab and now owned by PlayFirst, Diner Dash is one of the best-selling downloadable games of all time. I have played almost every version, as it is available on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, consoles and mobile. For some reason, the game never gets old.

The basic plot of the game is centered on a young waitress named Flo. She purchases a diner, which she has to fix up and wait at. Through the many versions of the game, Flo continues to open more and more restaurants, each one becoming progressively nicer as the game increases in difficulty.

Playing Diner Dash involves seating customers and guiding Flo around her restaurant to serve its patrons. If she makes enough money at the end of each round, the player progresses to the next level. To place customers in their seats, players must drag and drop them (controls vary due to whichever medium they are playing the game on). Then the player moves Flo around, first to the table to take the order, then to the chef to place it and finally back to the table to bring the food. After waiting for the customers to finish eating, Flo must return to the table, clear it, and collect the check. With each action, the player receives points and bonuses are awarded for speed or repetition. In order to prevent point losses, the player must watch the hearts floating over customer heads. If something is taking too long or is considered poor service, the hearts fade. When no more hearts remain, customers leave the restaurant. Here, the player looses the most points. Once the time runs out, points are added and if the player earned enough the move on to the next level. With each level, table sizes grow and players are introduced to customers with varying personalities. Some customers don’t mind the extra wait while others are constantly in a rush. Mastering the personalities is definitely beneficial when playing the game.

In my opinion, the games basic format is what keeps me coming back each time. Graphics are simple and straightforward, which always seems slightly refreshing with the overly complicated games out there right now. I think that this is definitely one of those games that people return to because of familiarity.

From a marketing perspective, I believe that the company has done an excellent job staying relevant. Game updates, new versions and expanding platforms all contribute to why Diner Dash is still talked about 9 years after its creation. Today, the game is on Facebook where players can now interact with friends throughout game play.

In my opinion, this is a great game and has really set a standard for time management games as a whole. What do you guys think? Has anyone else played Diner Dash?

Below is a video clip showing one of the Diner Dash versions…

  1. khausoul said:

    It’s interesting to note that in the youtube video, they introduce Flo as looking “better than ever.” I’ve never played the game, so I don’t know if that contributes to anything, but the fact that it is a girl character and they emphasize that she looks better seems like a gender stereotype. I am under the impression that if it was a male character that the marketing strategy would not be advertising that he is looking better than ever and follow it with a snapshot of him. It’s interesting that even something as simple as that can send a subtle message to the audience about gender norms. I additionally clicked on some of the other links that advertise the game and you can dress her up in different things. It all makes me wonder if the same mode would be available if it were a male character.

  2. lpsmit said:

    I played and loved this game. It, for some reason, it very addictive. I must also add that over the years, based on the youtube video, the games visual appeal has gotten much better, but the game’s concept has stayed the same. Before it was a little dull in color and very flat, literally. Now, the colors pop out at you and it looks to be 3D.

    I think that by placing the game on Facebook, the creators have opened up the door for people to continue talking about it. When the game first came out, the only way a person could play is by downloading it from a gaming site, which for many people at my age weren’t allowed to do at the time. By placing it on a social network, and making the game a multiplayer game, the creators and advertisers open their audience to a much broader audience.

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