Well, Diner Dash
on the PS3/PlayStation Network is 3D, as I mentioned earlier, so it plays slightly differently than standard Diner Dash
. Since its a download game, you don't have a handy manual to read and your controls are left to be discovered either via a competent and helpful tutorial or by pausing the game and checking them out in the Options Menu. Sadly, the tutorial area is severely lacking and while it runs you through the barest of basics, it doesn't tell you about any of the shortcuts the game offers, which I will discuss in greater detail in the Game Mechanics section. The reason this becomes a problem is that without knowing these hotkeys exist, you will progress through the game, learning to play it a certain way. At some point, you will find that you are unable to progress and you'll start rooting around in the Options Menu, discover all of these tricks and find it difficult to completely rethink the way you have been playing all through the game. Are you going to start from the beginning and relearn? I think not.
But, for you, I will start from the beginning, explaining the game anyway. You are Flo and your goal is to serve your customers, make some cash and expand and improve your restaurant, moving on to bigger and better locations. In past iterations of Diner Dash, you earned money to purchase upgrades like additional tables, speed upgrades and decor changes, but here you are relegated to what the game bestows on you. Poor form! Now, late in the game (when I went rooting around in the Options Menu), I did discover an Upgrades button, but that only works in the Endless Shift Mode and Multiplayer (Local) Mode. I was never able to test out the Online Mode because I could never find anyone to play with.
When playing the single player Career Mode, customers will enter the restaurant and you must seat them, take their orders, bus their tables and keep them happy all the while. If you take too long in any of these tasks, they will lose patience in the form of hearts which will lower the amount they tip you. Your monetary Goal is listed at the outset and you will be "open" for a set period of time. If you don't meet your Goal, then you must redo the level. Since your ultimate goal is to make money, you want to keep from losing hearts and lowering your bottom line. As people have to wait in line for a table, they will lose patience. Eventually, you will get a podium that Flo can stand next to and doing so for a set amount of time will increase the hearts/patience of everyone in line. However, doing so shoots you in the foot because while you are standing there, all of your seated guests are requiring things and getting angrier all the time. So it really doesn't help you at all.
You'll also get a drink station (and other upgrades that will make themselves available to you) which you can use to give drinks to your guests and help fill their waning hearts. Again, just keeping up the few tables of impatient patrons is hard enough and I barely had time to snag drinks for people. Since there are no upgrades that you can select and acquire, you'll be given new tables when the game deems it necessary, but it's never enough to be very helpful.
There is also the Endless Shift Mode where you simply serve as many people as you can and last as long as you can, but I didn't find this mode nearly as much fun on the PS3 as I do on the PC. It seemed over all too quickly and I just think a big part of that is the translation to 3D. Further, you can only play in the locations you have already unlocked, so if you are looking for a glimpse at the future, forget it.
Finally, there is a Multiplayer Mode where you can play against a friend on the same PS3 or you can try matches online. However, no one was ever playing the times I tried to get a match going, so I could not test how the online aspect works. Playing locally is an okay experience and you get to choose where you want to play from the five locations available in the game. You can choose to play as co-op or against your local player. While it was a little more fun to play with someone else, it still did little to add to my good impression of the game.