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

Xenocide

Xenocide

Apart from an interesting gameplay gimmick on each of each five levels, Xenocide is a fairly basic and generic top down shooter. It only has five levels, a very limited selection of guns and a paltry amount of power-ups. Shooting waves of enemies while trying to stay alive is still fun for a short while, but it won't take long to experience everything on offer and then grow bored of the repetition. While the basis for a good game is definitely there, Xenocide just never does anything to elevate it above the competition, which is a real pity as it had potential. Gameplay: Running and shooting will always be fun, but the lack of weapons and variety results in repetition way too soon. Graphics: The visuals are competent enough, but a little too bland. Sound: Unimpressive sound effects, but the soundtrack at least sounds good.

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a great story-driven adventure with plenty of puzzles and beautiful visuals. The game also incorporates some action elements, such as evading enemies and hiding from a big bad wolf. However, its stand-out feature is how each area of the game can be completed in different ways, each with its own unique puzzles. This boosts the replay value considerably and provides extra incentive to unlock the different endings. It's not the most challenging game on the market, but it is a lot of fun and we enjoyed it from start to finish. Gameplay: An interesting combination of point & click adventure, visual novel, and side scroller. Graphics: Beautiful hand-illustrated visuals with vibrant colors and detailed backgrounds. Sound: The soundtrack is good, but only the cut-scenes feature voice-overs.

Cat Quest II

Cat Quest II

Cat Quest 2 takes all of the elements that made the original game such a hit and polishes everything to a fine sheen. It's not the most challenging 2D action-RPG on the market, but it's got a lot of charm, and it is still incredibly addictive. The main story is a bit brief, but there are tons of side quests and optional dungeons that can keep players busy for ages. Although Cat Quest 2 is not perfect, it's a lot of fun and will appeal to fans of the first game as well as newcomers looking for an accessible title. Gameplay: Not very challenging, but a lot of fun. Graphics: The 2D visuals are beautiful and stylish. Sound: Decent soundtrack and sound effects.

Wasteland Angel

Wasteland Angel

Top-down shooters such as Wasteland Angel offer a nice quick burst of arcade action but tend to suffer from being repetitive. The idea behind this game is nice enough, but the small arenas that force you to stick close to the towns you have to protect all feel too similar. The lack of enemy variety doesn’t do this game any favors, either. Gameplay: Mindless fun but soon becomes repetitive. Graphics: The overhead visuals are not too bad, but they don’t hold up well in first person. Sound: The voice acting is decent enough, but the rest is nothing special

Fort Meow

Fort Meow

Adorable cats and addictive physics-based puzzle adventuring is a winning combination and ensures that Fort Meow will keep players hooked to the end. Building pillow forts out of all kinds of odds and ends is a blast, and the physics-based gameplay keeps things interesting. While initially a little short for our liking, the free Challenge Mode added after release offers a great excuse to keep playing after completing the campaign. Gameplay: Very addictive and features enough items to keep the fort building interesting. Graphics: The adorable children's book style visuals look great. Sound: Some very catchy tunes to accompany the wacky action.

Iris.Fall

Iris.Fall

Iris.Fall is a puzzle adventure featuring eye-catching monochrome-style visuals and gameplay based on light and shadows. It features a few interesting puzzles, but with only eight rather small areas to explore there’s not much to keep players hooked. In addition, the inclusion of a few tedious puzzles and a story that is not very memorable makes the game a bit harder to recommend. Nevertheless, while the game doesn't excel in any particular aspect, it is a competent title that has its moments. Gameplay: Iris.Fall features plenty of puzzles involving the manipulation of light and shadows along with a few other brain teasers that shouldn’t stump puzzle veterans for too long. Graphics: The visual style looks really good and while the game does not have a lot of locations they are all very detailed and unique. Sound: The soundtrack is rather subdued and the game lacks any type of voice-overs, but the ambient sounds do a great job of maintaining the atmosphere.

Leave a comment

two × three =