Dead Hungry Diner
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

As far as casual games go, Dead Hungry Diner is one of the most polished and playable examples of the genre. The game provides a solid challenge without frustrating players and the addictive gameplay will have you chasing a three star rating on every level.

Gameplay: Frantic and very addictive.

Graphics: Detailed and polished.

Sound: Can sound chaotic at times but overall very good

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Dead Hungry Diner

Developer: Black Market Games | Publisher: Black Market Games | Release Date: 2012 | Genre: Casual / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Zombies are an almost obligatory inclusion for games released these days but Dead Hungry Diner from Black Market Games does things a little differently. Instead of slaying the unrelenting undead, you have to feed them instead. This unenviable task falls into the hands of Gabriel & Gabriella, orphaned twins from the village of Ravenwood. With your help these two have to keep the zombies (and other creatures of the night) fed to prevent them from snacking on the good people of Ravenwood.

I have tried a few time management games in the past but none of them ever sucked me in like Dead Hungry Diner. Right off the bat, it is clear to see that a lot of time and effort went into this title. The graphics are polished to 2D perfection and the various creatures that you have to deal with are as detailed as they are humorous. The game is set across five different locations with ten levels each and your mission is to earn at least one star in order to progress to the next level. Stars are tied to monetary milestones so you have to do everything you can to keep the customers happy and fed.

As the creatures queue outside your “eating establishment”, it is your job to seat them, take their order, deliver the berries, grab the cash and clear the table before repeating the process. Performing the same action multiple times will build up a combo so seating six customers in a row will net you more cash than seating one and taking their order before moving on to the next ones. This means that sometimes you really have to weigh your options for the most coins. Do you serve a customer right away and make sure they are happy or risk losing them by waiting a bit and doing it as part of a combo. It sounds very simple but when you deal with creatures that do not like each other, seating arrangements play a very big role as well. Your diner can only accommodate so many creatures at a time so ideally you want to send everyone on their way as quickly as possible in order to make room for the next batch impatiently shuffling around on the doorstep.

Take too long and they will leave costing you valuable money in the process. Rush things however and you might just seat a werewolf and a vampire next to each other which is a recipe for disaster. If a fight breaks out you can call upon the trusty bouncer, Frankie, to give the offenders the boot but if you want to earn the big bucks, you must prevent these kinds of altercations in the first place by perfecting your seating arrangements. Watching the creatures fly right at your screen after Frankie tosses them out is brilliant to see however.

Running around and catering to everyone will get you far but fortunately there are some skills and spells to help you out in a pinch as well. These can be purchased from a shady character called… Shady, at the start of each level, provided you have enough cash of course. Skills that range from increasing your walking speed to the reaction time of Frankie can be bought but the spells are even better. Teleportation, table swapping and zombification are all spells that you will become very familiar with over the course of the game. If the customers are getting too impatient, you can cast a happiness spell to placate them for a while longer or even a rain check to get them out of your hair while you deal with more pressing matters. The spells all have a cool down period however so do not expect to rely on them too much.

If you did not already have enough on your plate (so to speak) the former town protector, Vanda Hellsing will also occasionally make an appearance in order to interfere with your business. Unless you shield your customers from her attacks, you will lose them so keep a wary eye on your doorstep to prevent that from happening. Red zombies are another nuisance as they have much less patience than their green brethren do. When these guys show up you had better give them priority treatment which often involves shuffling around the queue in order to get them seated first before they ran raise a stink. Each world introduces new creatures to deal with and while it becomes frantic, it never becomes so overwhelming that it is no longer fun. BMG definitely did a good job in keeping everything very balanced.

The soundtrack will keep you on your toes with some catchy tunes that really gets the adrenaline flowing. Each creature also has their own noises that they make so when you have a diner full of them it can sound a bit chaotic. Controlling the action is a breeze and everything is handled with the mouse. The frantic clicking that this game requires is actually good practice for the upcoming Diablo 3! I would have liked to be able to cancel an action by pressing the right mouse button but the absence of this feature is not too big an inconvenience. The controls definitely feel a lot tighter than they did in the first demo. Apart from the Story mode there is also an “All-you-can-eat” mode which allows you to pick any of the worlds that you have previously unlocked and play without any time restrictions. Monsters will continue to show up until you cannot keep up any more so it is basically like an endless survival mode to keep you going after you have completed the story.

Dead Hungry Diner is a fantastic game and definitely one of the best I have played in the casual genre. Having three stars to aim for per level provides a challenge for both newcomers and veterans. Attaining one star should be within reach of anyone but for that lucrative third star, you had better be busting out some mean combos and seating your customers like a pro. It might not last for much longer than five hours (if you are good) but that is five hours of solid gameplay with no filler.

*Review originally published May 2012.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:1.2Ghz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:128MB of video memory, 16-bit or 32-bit color quality
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:80 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX-compatible sound

Related posts

Always Remember Me

Always Remember Me

Always Remember Me has the distinction of being the first Otome Game on Steam, so how much you enjoy it will depend very much on whether you like the genre or not. The story is interesting, but the focus is more on training stats which can result in repetition, especially after multiple playthroughs. For an older game, Always Remember Me still holds up well and it is quite a relaxing experience, so if you are in the mood for something different it is worth seeking out. Gameplay: The focus is more on juggling stats than interacting with the characters. Graphics: The artwork still holds up well. Sound: The soundtrack is decent, but the speech snippets can start to become repetitive.

The Room

The Room

Don't let the fact that The Room was originally an iOS title scare you away from this great puzzle adventure. The developers have gone the extra mile to enhance the visuals and tighten the controls for this PC release all while keeping the price very reasonable. The game looks and sounds fantastic and it is only the short time it takes to complete holding it back from a better score. Still, there is very little padding here and the game offers a compelling experience from start to finish. Gameplay: Engrossing puzzle solving from start to finish. Graphics: Superbly detailed. Sound: Atmospheric and fitting.

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Clockwork Tales lacks a compelling plot, but makes up for it with a unique steam-punk setting and some lovely hand-drawn visuals. It also veers a little too close to being short and easy for our taste, but it is certainly entertaining while it lasts. Anyone looking for a change of pace from all the supernatural themed hidden object games will definitely enjoy this game. Clockwork Tales is also very newcomers friendly, so if you are unfamiliar with the genre, it is a great place to start. Gameplay: A nice gentle introduction to the genre with relatively easy puzzles and mini-games. Graphics: The same high quality hand-drawn artwork that we have come to expect from Artifex Mundi. Sound: The voice acting is decent enough and the music is rather good.

Dear Esther

Dear Esther

Dear Esther is definitely more of an "experience" than a game which makes it very hard to review it objectively. Some people are going to love the thought provoking subject matter, while others will wander around aimlessly looking for something to do. One thing is for sure, you cannot enter this experience expecting everything is going to be laid out for you in an easy to understand manner. The visuals are beautiful, but they are just part of the narrative. Definitely destined to be a love/hate title. Gameplay: Pretty much a two hour stroll on a beautiful island. Graphics: Gorgeous and dripping with atmosphere. Sound: The voice acting is good and the music is hauntingly beautiful.

American Pickers: The Road Less Traveled

American Pickers: The Road Less Traveled

Considering the license, American Pickers: The Road Less Traveled could have been so much more than just another straightforward hidden object game. Newcomers and young fans might enjoy the simple gameplay, but if you are familiar with the genre, there is nothing new here to shake things up a bit. Enjoyable but disappointing all things considered. Gameplay: Find hidden objects and buy them. Graphics: Not bad, but nothing that stands out either. Sound: The voice clips are all taken from the show and sound a bit random.

Submerged

Submerged

Submerged provides a relaxing and compelling experience without requiring quick reflexes or lateral thinking. Some players will find this boring and repetitive, while others will revel in the tranquil atmosphere and beautiful environments. Despite the climbing and exploration Submerged is closer to titles such as Dear Esther instead of Assassins Creed, but it is definitely something fans of the genre will enjoy. Gameplay: Submerged offers a stress-free and tranquil experience that is devoid of combat or puzzles. Graphics: The water and lighting effects are great, and the environments look downright beautiful at times. Sound: The haunting soundtrack is a great match for the atmosphere of the game.

Leave a comment

three × one =