Diner Dash Rush feels too rushed and light on the variety.
Diner Dash Rush takes PlayFirst’s iconic time management franchise in a whole new direction. Rather than focusing on a down-on-their-luck business owner that needs Flo’s help to save their restaurant, Diner Dash Rush simply throws players into a daily grind as they’re challenged with earning as many points as possible using Flo’s new tools (and new look). Unfortunately, this is one experience that quickly turns from fun into one that has you asking “now what?”
Diner Dash Rush contains no story, and offers almost no gameplay variety. The game simply asks you to earn as many points as possible by serving guests throughout a normal shift and a Happy Hour period at the end of that shift. Color-matching and action-chain bonuses are back from the original Diner Dash games, but there’s also a huge element of luck in each stage as customers come in a wide variety of colors, greatly limiting the points you can earn from actually color-matching.
Most actions in Diner Dash Rush are completed much more quickly than in the franchise’s “normal” games. Guests order and eat much faster, the chef prepares dishes at lightning speed, and you can turn around tables much faster than ever before. This creates a true feeling of being rushed, as the queue line quickly fills with more hungry guests than you have tables to seat.
Players that are familiar with the gameplay will have little trouble keeping everyone happy, but power-ups are available all the same. These may allow you to instantly clear all of the tables in the restaurant without losing profits; make Flo move faster; or be able to carry four things at once. Unfortunately, these power-ups cost coins and only last for one use. Once your coins run out, you’re encouraged to purchase some more, or continue through the daily grind without them until you’ve refilled your bank.
Diner Dash Rush is unfortunately incredibly simple. Even with the new Happy Hour mechanic (which sees all guests turned purple, never losing their happiness and therefore providing great rewards), the experience lacks variety and doesn’t push players forward to see what happens next. Instead, you’re expected to keep playing the same level over and over again to climb up your friends’ leaderboard (via the help of Facebook connectivity). Once you’ve passed all of your friends, then what? Why should players continue to play the same game, with no additions or penalties for under-performing, time and time again?
Furthermore, while the Happy Hour period and action-speed increases are awesome, the game’s new angled perspective isn’t. This perspective makes it hard to tap on the dish tray with empty dishes, as customer heads often block half of it, and the most important aspects of the restaurant (the order ticket wheel and kitchen), are quite small and hard to tap on accurately.
In addition, Diner Dash Rush suffers from some crashing issues in this first release, and tap recognition issues that may see you tapping on a table to deliver food or pick up dirty dishes, only to see Flo stand still as though you’ve done nothing.
Unfortunately, the new additions to Diner Dash Rush can’t save the game from being so overly redundant and sometimes boring. Franchise fans expect more from these games, like restaurant customization, storylines, different varieties of customers, and upgrades that actually matter, like coffee machines. Here, we get none of that, and Diner Dash Rush is unfortunately a disappointment as a result.