The iOS hit Diner Dash is back, only this time, you’re dealing with the lunch rush. Rather than coming off as a special edition of the original, a la Street Fighter II Turbo, Diner Dash Rush leans a little closer to being a sequel.
Those familiar with the original game should feel right at home, though it doesn’t take a particularly keen eye to notice that “home” has been redecorated. In addition to sporting a new isometric view of the restaurant, Flo and the rest of the establishment have a new art style to go with it. This could be good or bad, depending on your point of view, as Flo looks sleeker and more streamlined, but some may see her as looking a little more generic than before as well.
Just as in the original game, your job is to seat customers (ideally matching their attire to the furnishings for extra points/customer satisfaction), take their order, take the order to the kitchen, pick up their food, bring it to their table, take their money, and clean up their dishes. Along the way, you may find it beneficial to deliver coffee to the tables or menus to those waiting to be seated in order to extend their patience, and the more you can chain repeat actions together, the higher your score will go.
Besides the look of the game, the point where one really notices a difference from its predecessor is in the pacing. Everything feels much faster than in the original, and in a way, more like a puzzle game such as Tetris or some Match-3 types. And whereas the original’s goal was to clear away all the customers waiting to be served, Rush seems to be more about simply serving as many as you can before the clock runs out.
Along the way to this goal are further additions to the game to help augment it. For instance, there is Happy Hour, during which time a disco ball drops with appropriate music. All the customers now match their seats, and it’s just a matter of seating and serving as many as possible within the time limit for a big payout at the end.
And as before, you have the opportunity to purchase power-ups to help improve your performance. Though the action already feels faster than the original, winged sneakers help Flo really zip around the restaurant. Pour on some extra charm and the ability to handle twice as many items at once, and Flo becomes a veritable superwaitress, with corresponding attire to boot. One other power-up turns her into a whirling dervish of table-waiting, letting her care of everyone in the restaurant in one super-fast tornado of service.
The downsides to this game are few, and somewhat subjective. As noted before, the new art style might not appeal to everyone, and similarly, there may be some players who prefer a slower pace. Additionally, I noticed that the ability to tap multiple objectives in sequence to allow Flo to perform the tasks in rapid succession at her own pace seems to be missing; rather, it feels more like you have to finish doing one thing before you can start the next, which some might find frustrating.
Overall, Diner Dash Rush is a worthwhile addition to the franchise which may divide some people who do or don’t like some of the changes. But in the end, it’s definitely worth a try for fans of the franchise, especially with a free price tag in the App Store.