In Dead Hungry Diner you play as either Gabe or Gabby, two orphaned kids who are forced to run a monster diner to keep their home of Ravenhood Village safe. As the player, you must seat, serve and satisfy a variety of monsters before they get impatient and leave and presumably go eat some random villager’s delicious brain.
The presentation is the best part of the game. The main reason I kept on playing was because the characters and the monsters were humorous and the overall story was enjoyable. Not to mention the presentation of the levels, music and cut scenes are fantastic for a casual game.
Dead Hungry Diner is pretty simple to play. Tutorials are given throughout the first few levels and any time new items and monsters appear. This makes the game fairly easy to get into. Each level has monsters walking into the diner and you have to serve them while others wait in line. The trick is to go as fast as possible to serve your current customers utilizing the various items.
There are twists, such as certain monsters (vampires and werewolves) are not allowed to be positioned beside each other or they will fight dust ball style. Another twist is keeping track of each monsters patience meter below them. If the meter runs out, the monsters leave without paying. As you go further through the game, each level gets more difficult but never to the point of “monitor throwing” frustration.
While I did have fun playing for a couple of hours, the game got repetitive and tedious once I got the right strategy going. I ended up playing for the story bits more so than the actual game. And while there are two modes to play, Story Mode and Endless Mode, once I finished playing Story Mode I had no desire to play endless mode. I did play a bit of Endless Mode and it was pretty much Story Mode without the story bits and endless swarms of monsters (much like Plants vs. Zombies Survival Mode). I suppose you could try and beat your high scores, but without a leadership board to compare with your friends, even that doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Its a real shame. This game has a lot of personality to it and there’s little wrong with the actual design of the game. But for me, it got boring after a while and didn’t have much to warrant a second play through. And for such a short game like this, that is a big sin.
Summary: Though the presentation is top notch and the story is both funny and enjoyable, the lack of staying power is what hurts Dead Hungry Diner. I played through the Story Mode once and didn’t feel like going back.
Platforms: PC, Mac OS X
Verdict: 6 out of 10
Reviewed by Tyler Klepsch