A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Diner Dash: Grilling Green is a strategy game for people who don't like violence. While many strategy titles are set on the battlefield, this one takes place in a humble diner -- one that's in the process of becoming more eco-friendly, no less. The food served in the game is fairly healthy (with courses including sushi and salad), but there's also standard diner fare, such as burgers and fried food. The game's multiplayer mode is local -- not online -- which not only lets parent and child enjoy the game together, but it prevents children from interacting with strangers.
What's it about?
Players must seat customers at tables by swiping them from the line to the table itself. By navigating the restaurant through screen touches, they then take orders, serve food, present the bill, then clear away the dishes so they can repeat the process with other waiting diners. Customers who have to wait get angry and leave smaller tips (if they don't walk out), though you can curry favor with them by providing free drinks. To speed up the cook time of dishes, players can press the upper right corner of the screen, though this adds to the chaos on screen.
Is it any good?
The Diner Dash franchise has been a hit among casual gamers for years - and for good reason. It's an upbeat, enjoyable strategy game that makes you smile. Diner Dash: Grilling Green follows in those footsteps, keeping you on your toes, but never overwhelming you completely. The game, which was developed specifically for the iPad, takes advantage of the hardware's capabilities, with a real focus on multitouch. As you enter the middle and later stages of the game, you'll need to use both hands to keep up with demanding customers and help cook the food. A multiplayer mode lets you share the workload with a friend, though -- one seating the customers and handling orders, while the other assists with food preparation. It's something that wouldn't be possible on the iPhone, but that works wonderfully on the iPad. The only disappointment is the game's length -- 20 levels instead of the 50 that came with Diner Dash on the iPhone -- but they're all masterfully done.
For kids who love simulation games
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