Title: Cooking Dash 3: Thrills & Spills
System(s): Windows and Mac
Release Date: September 30, 2010
Publisher (Developer): Big Fish Games (Playfirst and Aliasworlds)
ESRB Rating: N/A. I’d say it’s appropriate for players of all ages
Pros: Has voice acting, bright visuals and surroundings, has trophies to earn, built in strategy guide, can earn extras by playing (wallpapers/screensavers), animated story sequences and there’s an extra bonus content area. Flo seats people, takes orders, prepares food, serves food, collects money and clears tables. As usual, you can use earned money to upgrade restaurants. There are also cooking-related mini-games between some levels and the food earned there carries over to the next level.
Cons: Couldn’t play it in Windows mode on my computer and sometimes players may forget what order to proceed in to prepare certain kinds of food.
Overall Score: 90/100,
Flo is heading to Dinerland with her family and friends, and remembers what it was like when Dinerland first start out. The result is Cooking Dash 3: Thrills & Spills, a reminiscing game that looks back at how Flo was able to help the Dinerland amusement park such a rousing success with her cooking and serving skills. It’s a nice compliment to PlayFirst’s successful Diner Dash series and a wonderful option for time management game fans.
Saving an amusement park where each major ride has a restaurant inside.
Dinerland was a dilapidated theme park. There was nothing worth seeing and Mr. Big, the new owner, was stressed trying to figure out how to revitalize it and bring people in so he could repay the loan his dad gave him. He had 10 days to make Dinerland wonderful before his dad came by and saw what a disappointment it all was. Flo ran a food stand there, which happened to be the only thing in DinerLand that actually attracted customers.
Mr. Big decided to seize that opportunity. Coincidentally, most of the major rides in DinerLand also happened to have restaurants inside of them. He decided to shift the responsibility onto teenage Flo’s shoulders and put her in charge of each ride’s restaurant, starting at the Jelly Roger inside of the pirate ship ride, in the hopes that her positive attitude and business sense would attract customers and save the day.
A lot like DinerDash, only with a teenage version of Flo.
Cooking Dash 3: Thrills & Spills follows the DinerDash formula. You run a restaurant. When customers come in, you place them in color-coded seats. Well, you don’t have to, but you earn a bonus when you do. The customer will then say what they want. Some food will be prepared by a cook, but others will have to be collected and prepared by Flo. Once everything has been cooked, you deliver their food to them. When they’re done eating, you collect the money and clear the table.
It’s simple enough, but the real challenge comes once you have a busy restaurant with lots of customers to accomodate. Each type of customer will be different and some, like the impatient businesswomen, are more difficult to please. Plus, in order to get really high scores, you have to make sure you do things in certain orders to chain actions together for point bonuses.
It’s the little extra touches that make Cooking Dash 3 stand out. For example, some customers won’t just want an entree or salad, they’ll want a side order with their dish. Like at the Jelly Roger restaurant, a customer may want a fish and chips plate with grilled fish and french fries. Which means Flo will have to prepare the fries and fish at the same time. It made it feel more like running an actual restaurant. It’s a nice little detail that you don’t find in the main Diner Dash games.
Cooking Dash 3 is also, like almost other games in PlayFirst’s Dash line of games, bright and colorful. The characters have lots of personality, the environments are detailed, restaurants can be customized and it’s very easy to see where everything is so players know exactly where to click and send Flo. Everything is very crisp and clear, making for a game that looks good and is fun to play.
If you always wanted to manage restaurants AND work at a theme park, here’s your game!
Cooking Dash 3: Thrills & Spills has a silly premise, but it’s still lots of fun. And that silliness helps inject extra personality and humor into this lighthearted and vibrant game. If a player is familiar with PlayFirst’s Dash series of time management games and wants a new title with fresh restaurants to save from destruction and dilapidation, Cooking Dash 3 is definitely worth a try.