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

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is one of those games that start off great but the longer you play it the more the faults become apparent. There are plenty of challenges and races but in the end you are just repeating the same things over and over. The online aspect is nice and overall the game is good but it is certainly not going to appeal to everyone. Gameplay: A huge gameworld with plenty to see and do but very repetitive. Graphics: Lots of rough edges but the scale is admirable. Sound: Terrible radio stations and annoying voice overs.

Runespell: Overture

Runespell: Overture

Runespell: Overture shares many similarities with the Puzzle Quest series, but never quite manages to be as great. It is undeniably addictive and has some great ideas, but can become repetitive and the whole thing ends rather abruptly. Considering the low price tag it is well worth checking out however. Gameplay: Addictive but can become repetitive. Graphics: Nice considering the limitations. Sound: Orchestral soundtrack and great sound effects.

Terrian Saga: KR-17

Terrian Saga: KR-17

If you enjoy classic platforming action where some exploration and puzzle solving is required you will love KR-17. The developers have managed to perfectly capture the audio and visual style of a 90s era title, but made the gameplay accessible enough for modern players. The game still packs a challenge, but keeps things varied to prevent repetition. It is also priced very low, so there is no excuse to not try it out. Gameplay: A great mixture of platforming, puzzle solving and enemy blasting. Graphics: The game looks like it was ripped straight out of the 90s. Sound: A great soundtrack with some nice sound effects thrown in too.

Tiny Barbarian DX

Tiny Barbarian DX

Tiny Barbarian DX does not set out to revolutionize the genre but instead offers a solid and enjoyable platform romp that is steeped in 8-bit nostalgia. The game is a joy to play, especially if you can remember the heyday of the NES platform era. It also packs quite a challenge but remains fun throughout. The best part is this is only the first episode with three more to follow. Gameplay: Platform action with a hefty dose of nostalgia. Graphics: Straight out of the 8-bit era. Sound: A rocking chiptune soundtrack.

Pulstar

Pulstar

Pulstar is a very straightforward arcade shooter so depending on your taste you will either find it a refreshing blast from the past or become frustrated after only a few minutes. It definitely packs quite a challenge and the difficulty ramps up very quickly, so quick reflexes and a bit of luck is required to make the most of it. If you enjoyed games like Geometry Wars and Beat Hazard you will have fun with Pulstar. Gameplay: Straightforward and challenging arcade shooter. Graphics: Nice, but it can be hard to distinguish the enemies from the background at times. Sound: The sound effects lack punch, but the music is very catchy.

Zombie Bowl-o-Rama

Zombie Bowl-o-Rama

Zombie Bowl-o-Rama doesn't look like much and to be honest it is going to be too short and easy for most peoples taste but if you enjoy casual games this one has its moments. The whole thing is based around wacky power-ups and the two-player mode is actually quite fun. You might want to wait until it is at a lower price tag however. Gameplay: More of an arcade game than anything resembling real bowling but has its moments. Graphics: Simple enough to run on virtually any PC. Sound: You'll be hearing the phrase "brains" a lot.

Leave a comment

twelve − four =