“Dead Hungry Diner” is a fun and fast paced action-puzzler with a fresh approach to restaurant management. Guide Gabe and Gabby, the orphan twins, and discover the secrets of Ravenwood village. Seat, serve and satisfy a variety of monsters but be quick before they get impatient and leave without paying. Call Frankie the bouncer to break up fights between feuding customers. Use a pinch of magic to perfect your customer service and build up big bucks. With a bulging bank balance visit the “Blackest Market” and purchase power ups. Revel in more than 50 levels and two game modes of a monster feeding frenzy and manage the most unusual restaurant you have ever seen.
What We Think
While the mechanics are nothing new, Dead Hungry Diner makes for a nice, light-hearted and cartoony undead romp.
What’s with the real world lately? It seems like every day, there’s a news story about another crazed zombie-like criminal are facing off against cops or devouring the flesh of the living. Horrors abound. Wise men mutter about the coming apocalypse as they learn to make pickled beets. Can’t someone please bring back the funny?
Fortunately, amidst a slew of highly gory zombie titles, Dead Hungry Diner keeps the subject matter nice and light. When a village’s sworn protector fails to hear her alarm clock, what is a set of hapless twins to do? Take control of Gabby or Gabriel and work to keep the shambling masses fed and happy. Why administer a “double tap” when you can dish up a steaming plate of brain berries (with the added potential of collecting lucrative tips)?
Brains Go Straight to My Hips
Players will use a point and click interface to control the action. Click on a monster or a pair of monsters at the front of the queue and then on an open table to seat him (or them) at an open table. Once they order, click the table to collect the brain berry bucket, and then run it over to the berry tree for filling. Bring the full buckets back to the hungry shufflers, and collect pay when they’re done. Clear the table and seat the next round of customers. Do this in a timely fashion, and there will be a tidy gratuity.
Of course, serving monsters is not that simple. Monsters will get antsy if they wait to long to be served, and will leave if they grow too impatient. Certain monsters will become extremely agitated if seated in the same room as other types of monsters. The town guardian, Vanda, will often drop in with a destructive spell designed to eradicate patrons. If these challenges aren’t dealt with quickly, it can really throw off the rhythm of a level. Too many broken chains or fed up customers will result in having to play a stage again.
Between levels, upgrades and magic spells can be purchased and upgraded. These will increase the speed of the player, sate hungry customers in the queue, or can even change a guest into a different type of creature (it turns out that werewolves are racist).
At its core, Dead Hungry Diner plays a lot like Diner Dash. While the Zombie theme doesn’t do much to alter the feel of the gameplay mechanics, the fast paced action and wealth of power-ups makes for an amusing and varied approach.
In a few levels within the story mode, the action gets broken up with expository dialogue. These bits can be skipped, so this is only a minor quibble.
Eet Ees Wahfah Theen
Depending on the player, Dead Hungry Diner can be a light, tasty mint for a snack, or the gut-busting end to a feeding frenzy. It’s easy-going enough that it can be taken a stage at a time, yet it will offer up a good deal of challenge for those who won’t be satisfied with anything less than top rank in all stages. For a zombie-based game, it also won’t have you waking from nightmares (unless you’re the type to play Tetris until you see blocks falling when you’re trying to sleep).