Diner Dash: Sizzle & Serve

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2007-06-12


Developer: Climax Studios Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: May 22, 2007 Also On: DS & PSP

The PSP is capable of some really good games. Just look at Burnout Legends, Grand Theft Auto, LocoRoco and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops for proof. When developers for the PSP try to do what has made the Nintendo DS a more popular handheld, they usually fail. In the case of Diner Dash, this is no different. A casual game whose controls are better suited for a touch-screen than a d-pad should have remained exclusive to the Nintendo DS. Instead, Eidos brought it to both the PSP and DS. PSP owners are the ones that suffer.

Diner Dash: Sizzle & Serve is a restaurant simulator. You play as Flo, a happy-go-lucky teenage server. You seat patrons, take orders, bring the food to the table, bus tables and give customers their bills. Yes, Flo lives quite the life. If you dream of playing a video game version of your local Steak & Shake, then be my guest, this game is for you. It just doesn't make for very interesting entertainment in my book.

The game starts off with a tutorial to give you the basic idea of how to use the controls and whatnot. Basically all you do is navigate using the d-pad between various parts of the restaurant. First, you will need to select a customer with the L trigger, move them to a table with the d-pad, arranging them at the correct seat and then seating them with X. It sounds simple enough, but once you get multiple things going at once, the challenge packs on. While you're taking someone's order and delivering another, some new guests will come in the restaurant and need seated, all while another want their check.

Each level is played out as a day on the job. You will need to earn a certain amount of money each day or else you will have to replay that day. You do this obviously by doing every necessary task: seating, serving, etc. If you can string tasks together, you are rewarded with a bonus. As the game gets progressively more challenging, stringing the tasks to earn the bonus will become part of the challenge. There is also a seat bonus multiplier where you get a bonus for each time you seat someone at a seat color that matches their hair and shirt.

There are only three different game modes to choose from. Both the PSP and Nintendo DS versions have the same number of levels in single-player that are exactly the same. In the Career mode you work your way through five different individually themed restaurants. You can also unlock a sixth bonus restaurant depending on how well you score. Endless Shift is an infinite number of customers that keeps getting harder the longer you last. Finally, you can play in multi-player against a friend.

As you can already imagine, all of this would be made infinitely easier with the use of a stylus. If you are reading this review and own a Nintendo DS, just add a point to the final score. This game should never have been released on the PSP. As it is, you have a challenging restaurant simulator that is probably more appealing to an audience of gamers (namely female) that likely do not even own a PSP. This is a decent, if not very simplistic looking and sounding game, which I can not recommend.

Graphics: 3
Sound: 3
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 5.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide

Reviewed by Kyle Bell