Diner Dash – Grilling Green in Review: Fun For A Cause

Time management (TM) games are synonymous with the PC Dash series – fun, well-crafted and highly polished casual games that serve as a great introduction to the genre. Many of us have followed Flo’s footsteps in her quest to serve gastronomic delights the fastest and most efficient ways she can. Dash games have set the standard of what a good TM game should be. In fact, one of my all-time favorite games for the iPhone/iPod Touch is Cooking Dash, which, in my opinion is better than the original.

The iPad is the latest computing platform to transform into a TM addict’s dream – with a much bigger screen real estate, more inviting possibilities mean a breath of fresh air to the genre. Instead of making a blown up version of their beloved series, Playfirst has come up with an iPad-exclusive game that explores the potentials of the device. Diner Dash – Grilling Green takes Flo and her grandma on a new adventure as they race to beat the odds and make their diner compliant with environmental regulations. Diner Dash – Grilling Green is familiar to anyone who’s played the previous games in the series. As Flo, your job is to manage a variety of customers, take their orders, serve their food, pick up the check and move on to bigger and better places. There are many challenges that await – matching the customers to colored chairs to score bonus points.

There are fresh twists to Diner Dash – Grilling Green, the most notable being the option to assist Grandma in her cooking through the Touchcooker 3000. You can chop, stir, skewer, slice and roll a variety of ingredients. If you enter in two-player mode, a friend can take care of the cooking while you manage the customers, take and serve their orders. On top of that, you can combine identical orders to speed up your cooking time and deliver the food faster and more efficiently. The graphics are gorgeous – Diner Dash: Grilling Green is the perfect game to show off to friends and onlookers, with its crisp graphics and vibrant colors. The music is pleasant and non-intrusive while the sound effects are pretty realistic and just as crisp and clear as the graphics. A nifty trick is automatic rotation on the iPad so you can play in landscape or portrait mode without missing beat.

The controls are another story, however. Despite the version update, the controls still need some refinement. Certain cooking functions work fine, but others require additional effort for the game to be more responsive. I particularly noticed some lags in the preparation of udon in the higher levels, with respect to chopping and stirring. There are 20 levels on this game, so if you’re looking for the usual 50 levels a la Dash then you’re going to be in for a big disappointment. The game can easily be finished in a few hours. The ramped up difficulty scale (especially in Cooking Dash) is what makes the franchise so addictive, and sadly, after getting a taste of how Diner Dash works on the iPad, it’s already over. You also don’t get to purchase new equipment and upgrades (already provided after completing a few levels) which is another letdown.

The iPad-exclusive extras are nice, though for the casual gamer these new changes don’t quite justify the higher price tag. I even tried playing the blown up version of Cooking Dash and found it to be just as enjoyable (if not more) at a lower price and with more levels and things to do. While Diner Dash: Grilling Green comes with a soft spot for the environment, a truly worthy endeavor, it doesn’t quite strike a chord even with this Dash enthusiast. Still, it’s a promising beginning and if you love Flo, you won’t want to miss out on this very solid and beloved TM on your shiny new iPad. Meanwhile, I am holding my breath for an iPad-exclusive edition of Cooking Dash. grab

App Summary
Title: Diner Dash: Grilling Green Developer: PlayFirst, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req:
Price: $4.99 App Size: 28.5 MB
  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Nice new iPad features
  • Option to play simultaneously with a friend
  • Only 20 levels
  • Responsiveness of multitouch controls still needs tweaking.
  • No upgrades or equipment to purchase.
  • Could use more game modes


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