Hotel Dash 2: Lost Luxuries

Hotel Dash Suite Success must have been a big enough success to warrant Hotel Dash 2: Lost Luxuries. I’ve lost count how many games Flo appears in, but PlayFirst has a winning character in its hands and it’s smart to take advantage. Even after playing many games starring Flo, I never tire of her. She’s just one of those likable people. I’m talking about her like she’s real, aren’t I?

Restore five nature-themed hotels in Hotel Dash 2: Lost Luxuries, a fun and exciting Time Management game! Help Flo excavate themed hotels and turn them into exotic resorts in hopes of hosting the International French Fry Festival! Glide down zip lines to prep rooms, cater to guests’ requests, and renovate hotels with unique accents. Will DinerTown finally win the honors of hosting the festival? Find out in Hotel Dash 2: Lost Luxuries!

Alien Hallway

Talk about a strange name. “Hallway” evokes images of walking down many a bland hallway. Some felt sterile with all white walls, lighting and floors. Some felt heartwarming with family photos and color on the walls. So I’m seeing aliens fighting in a white hallway. The reality is you defend the planet from alien invaders. Wait. Men in Black? Independence Day? Scores of other alien invading movies?

Control the entirety of Earth’s army and defend the planet from the green invaders in Alien Hallway, a fun Action and Strategy game! The fate of all mankind is in your hands as you try to destroy the evil aliens before they demolish Earth! Upgrade your base and units to improve your troops and give humanity a fighting chance! Blast your way through countless enemies and save the day in Alien Hallway!


World’s Greatest Places Mahjong

How I miss playing mah jongg every Wednesday morning with a rocking group of gals. Occasionally, I’ll see announcements for mah jongg games or tournaments (that don’t occur on a weekly basis), but I never join them because I’m not fast. My Wednesday group has taught me a lot about the game, but I have a lot more playing to do before I can play in tourneys.

These games are nothing like solitaire mah jongg, which I played many times before the kids came along. I had one edition that came with a zillion tile themes ranging from sports and flags to cartoon characters and cars. World’s Greatest Places Mahjong (yes, different spellings) combines the Seven Wonders with the tiles. Not original, but still enjoyable when you add power ups.

Dive into a world of Mahjong and learn about the new Seven Wonders of the World in World’s Greatest Places Mahjong! 100 million people have voted, and seven new locations have been chosen. Use your Mahjong talents to clear the boards and discover which locations were picked by people all over the world!


Farm Frenzy: Ancient Rome

The Farm Frenzy franchise is out of control, but entertains and the themes change the pace. Many games use Ancient Rome as a theme and it’s no surprise because it was a fascinating time in history. Pair the backdrop of Ancient Rome with the wild ride that’s Farm Frenzy, and you’ve got a match that has fans fiddling in excitement.

A long time ago, a courageous young woman named Scarlett farmed her land in an effort to feed her country’s soldiers and ensure the return of her beloved from the battlefield. Join her as she races to grow crops, raise animals and produce essential goods before time runs out. Be her guiding hand as she sends her products to market on a galley, dispatch her chariot to fetch the supplies she needs, and protect her farm against barbarian bears in Farm Frenzy: Ancient Rome!

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Download and try Farm Frenzy: Ancient Rome.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans


Wedding Dash 4-Ever PC Game Review

The fourth Wedding Dash game opens with Quinn’s Mom coming home to help her wedding business and preparing for Quinn’s wedding to Joe. Uh oh. Mom doesn’t know that Quinn and Joe called off the wedding. Talk about a twist as most people probably expected this one to cover their wedding. Aside from a couple of tweaks — one of which affects strategy — the fun series remains entertaining albeit a couple of disappointments.

The premise remains the same. As Quinn and Flo, you seat the guests, serve them and prevent disasters earning enough points to beat the goal score to go on to the next level. For those who like the extra challenge, they can aim to beat the expert goal score. It doesn’t lead to bonuses or anything. Just motivates those who want to go the distance.

Another way to further challenge yourself is to change the game setting from Normal to Firecracker. You may play through the entire game in Normal and then switch to Firecracker. This ups the game’s replayability, but there’s no second game mode to be had. That’s neither a good nor bad thing. Other game modes don’t always attract players.

Wedding Dash 4-EverYou replay a level when you miss the goal score or you don’t find all of the hidden items. If you don’t get all the hidden items, you don’t get a gift to play Quinn’s Big Day. You must collect all 50 gifts from 50 levels to play the Big Day, which turns out to be a disappointment.

On one hand, it’s a good thing it’s just one game as some people may struggle to find all the hidden items or prefer not to play that part of the game. On the other, when the game is called Level 6-1, you’re thinking you have 10 levels of game play left. You don’t. It just ends. I’m not the only one thinking this because I searched the Internet thinking something broke in my game. It didn’t.

Wedding Dash 4-EverOne improvement is that you no longer have to read about the couple and their preferences, and then answer questions to get points. Instead, you look for items on the scene such as silverware, rings, tickets. When you find all the items, the newlyweds thank you with a gift of something to use in Quinn’s called-off wedding. It could be flowers, seating, decorations.

Another cool twist — and the one that changes strategy — is the bride and groom will ask to sit at a certain table or next to a guest. Once you seat them and feed them, you can send them back to the altar and ta-da! Room again for guests. It doesn’t sound like much, but it affects how you handle the game play.

Plus, when they ask to be seated again a second and third time, you’ll need to feed them the entree and cake. So it could mess with your chaining bonus. (A chaining bonus comes in when you do the same thing in a row and points increase. For example, feeding guests appetizers.)

Wedding Dash 4-EverNew in Wedding Dash 4-Ever is guest requests for photos with the wedding couple. The request comes after the guest finishes eating cake and prior to going out on the dance floor.

Also new are two mini-games. (See both in last two screen shots.) One mini-game involves seating guests at the wedding ceremony based on their preferences. The other is trying to get all the guests to join in the conga line. In leading the conga line, the next guest must be in a straight line from the current one and you must figure out the direction to go that gets you through all the guests to the newlyweds.

Upgrades to speed Flo and Quinn, have more servings of food available and more are also present. You earn the money in playing previous levels and mini-games. Quinn also has to deal with disasters such as the aunt who cries when she loses her dog, giving the microphone to a guest who wants to make a speech and so on. They keep you hopping.

Much of the game play remains the same save for a couple of twists. You also may not feel the need to read much about the couple since there’s no questions being asked. The story was average, but an unexpected one. Wedding Dash 4-Ever reeled me in like the previous ones, but did become tedious at times especially in the later levels when my hand was cramping from doing so much at once.

FTC disclosure  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Meryl Evanssecured by Digiprove © 2010 Meryl Evans


Can you guess what happens in Diner Dash 5: Boom!? Diner Dash Flo indeed sees her diner go ka-boom! in Flo decides to provide a health conscious menu, so she posts a sign that says, “Fat-Free Breakfast.” Someone removes the “Fat-” on the the sign to show “Free Breakfast.” Naturally, when her diner opens, the whole town rushes in and destroys the diner. The nasty Mr. Big comes in and announces he has a standing contract with the city that any lot that goes unused for a week becomes his.

Hal, a contractor and huge Flo diner fan, offers to help her rebuild her diner within one week. While he gets to work, Flo goes from neighborhood to neighborhood running outdoor diners to help Hal with the rebuilding. As he progresses, he’ll ask you what design and color you want for the diner. The diner you customize will appear near the end of the game.

The game play remains the same in that you fill in as Flo. You’ll take orders, deliver the dishes, clean up, fulfill customer requests for special snacks and fix problems that pop up. You’ll met new customer types as well as some from past Diner Dashes. As usual, customer personalities can drive your strategy. Lawyers and working women have little patience, so you probably want to serve them first in a chain. One customer type takes his time. Librarians and bookworms like the quiet while the working men make a lot of noise talking on their cell phones.

Gain bonus points by matching customers’ colors with the seats and doing a bunch of the same activity in a row (chaining). For example, deliver the check to as many customers as possible ready to check out. The more you chain the same task, the higher your bonus.

For each level, you need to earn a minimum amount to advance. Those who like to challenge themselves can work toward the expert scores. After all, the more money you earn, the more you have for shopping for power ups before starting the next level. Power ups let you speed up activities whether it’s Flo getting around or Cookie cooking faster. But there’s one new type of power up — the kind that’s only good for one level, if you can afford it. You can hire Quinn of Wedding Dash to fill up the salad bar, get another set of hands for carrying things or a hostess to keep the people in line happy.

Oh, that’s right, we have the salad bar element. Sometimes diners choose to go to the salad bar instead of ordering from the menu. You need to drag the salad folks to the salad bar while ensuring the salad bar remains full. If one column of food is empty, the diners can’t move on.

Another new feature is Facebook. Diner Dash 5 can send your game updates to your Facebook page. You don’t have to use the Facebook feature. You can also win virtual gifts that you can give to a Facebook friend. While a cool feature, I didn’t know anyone who is a Diner Dash fan. If you send it to someone who doesn’t have Diner Dash 5, it’s useless.

One big improvement in Diner Dash 5 is that it’s easier. I could never get far in past games because they were very (yes, I am using this modifier) hard. This one, I did. Diner Dash pros — don’t fret… believe me, there are challenges in the game. This game does a great job of easing the challenge while retaining it for advanced players.

I still have problems with chaining at times. I’d be running all over, click, click, click only to find something failed and that failure can mean the difference between standard score and expert score. Plus, snacks break the chain. I don’t think that’s fair.

You get a lot of game value for the time. Once you play through the game, you can replay levels to reach expert scores. As of this time, only the Collector’s Edition is available and it requires a Big Fish Games Club Membership. The regular one — read: cheaper and no extras — will be available later. Extras include:

  • Advanced levels: Extra game play for those who love a good challenge.
  • Strategy guide: Walkthroughs to help you conquer levels and reach Expert scores.
  • Story comics: Review the story, which is divided into scenes. I wish it came with fast forward, previous and pause. The game plays the whole scene and repeats.
  • Wallpapers: Six screens for your background.
  • Screensaver: One animated screensaver, but it doesn’t let you preview how it looks.
  • “Flo Over Time”: Looks back to the history of Diner Dash.

The extras may or may not be worth it. You can get walkthroughs from forums around the web. You can review the story by going back to previous levels. I rarely change screensavers and wallpapers, so these had no value to me.

FTC disclosure: Review based on expired review copy received from publisher.

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New Release: Diner Dash 5: Boom

Diner Dash 5: Boom Collector’s Edition blows up today, that is, it’s available for downloading for club members. Diner Dash‘s Flo’s Diner is smashed to bits. Flo needs cash to renovate her restaurant within a week or deal with some serious repercussions. So help Flo seat, serve and save the day in the time management game that involves dealing with weird weather conditions in outdoor settings. You can also build a unique diner with 1000 combinations.

Can you believe Flo first captured customers’ stomachs five years ago? “Since the debut of the franchise in 2004, the Diner Dash series has been downloaded more than 550 million times,” says PlayFirst.

Diner Dash 5: Boom Collector’s Edition includes:

  • Five advanced levels of exclusive game play.
  • Strategy guide and walk-through to reach expert level.
  • Behind-the-scenes concept art book.
  • Animated screen saver and wallpapers.
  • “Flo Over Time” historical retrospective.

Not much information about the game is out there yet as people could not download it until today.

Kenny Shea Dinkin, PlayFirst’s Chief Creative Officer, says the company wanted to ensure the latest edition remains fresh and innovative without feeling like “the same ol’.” So what does PlayFirst do? Blow up the dinner and give players 50 levels of outdoor dining around DinerTown’s neighborhoods. Since her debut five years ago, Flo has found her way on iPhones, Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendeo DS, PlayStation Network and WiiWare. Wowii! Here are some of the Diner Dash games available on Amazon.

If you’d rather save the dough, a standard $6.99 version will come along later.

FYI: Big Fish Game Club is a monthly membership that lets you get the daily deal game for $2.99, credit every month to redeem for most games on the site and play “Tomorrow’s Game” today. The club costs $6.99 on a monthly basis and you can cancel membership anytime. I had no trouble canceling membership.

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Hotel Dash Suite SuccessPlayfirst adds another dash game incorporating both Flo of Cooking Dash (and many, many others) and Quinn of Wedding Dash. Quinn sees going into the hotel business as a natural extension of her wedding planning business. Newlyweds need a honeymoon spot, so she finds a run down hotel and works to revamp it with Flo’s help.

Like a typical dash game, Hotel Dash: Suite Success includes five hotels with ten levels each in its story mode. Lots of upgrades, of course, are available so you can renovate the hotels and the rooms raising their star level from zero to three stars. You collect stars when customers leave the room happy. If the room has two stars, you get two stars every time a customer leaves. In other words, if occupy a two-star room twice, you’ll earn four stars that go toward decorating the VIP rooms that exist in every hotel. The opportunity to redecorate the VIP rooms comes at the end of a level.

Hotel Dash Suite SuccessTo pass a level, you need to reach the money goal for that level. If you reach the next higher score, you can earn expert. The game also rewards you with trophies, which you can upload to Playfirst to add to your account. A standard round consists of Flo delivering the baggage to the rooms, providing room service, dropping off extra towels or pillows, taking food to dogs and setting out the newspaper in the sitting area for impatient customers.

Guests come with single-color outfits. If you match them with the color on the door, you get bonus bucks.  To reach the guests rooms, everyone takes the elevators and Flo is first in line. She starts out carrying the suitcases herself, but she can upgrade to carts so she could eventually carry up to six bags in one set. It gets frenzied when you have Flo riding the elevator to get where she needs to go and sometimes she has to take two elevators. After a while, you become used to it and figure out the different customer preferences.

Hotel Dash: Suite Success customers have unique traits. One brings a dog, another brings six bags (!!), the honeymooners ask for pillows, the lumberjack-looking dudes always request room service twice, the celebrity whose bodyguards block the hallway and so on. Their tolerance for patience also varies. The professional woman has little patience while the bookworm has more patience. Clowns are very clumsy that Flo needs to be ready to come after them with a mop.

Hotel Dash Suite SuccessIn the midst of the frenzy, Quinn needs to put out fires just like she did in Wedding Dash. Someone tries to sabotage the hotel by turning off the electricity. Quinn has little to in the game, it would be nice if she could help more. We know she’s an strong gal who can handle herself.

Some people won’t feel challenged in Hotel Dash: Suite Success as it’s one of the easier games in the dash series. You can’t help but want to complete the story mode. Those who like endless mode will be challenged plenty. I never play those as they don’t sit well with my stomach, but expert players will appreciate the challenge.

The biggest irritation was the game crashing. I have a newish laptop with a good graphics card. Nonetheless, the graphics are worth it as they’re the same high quality cartoon style most of us love in Playfirst games. And of course, the story has humor and comes together nicely, for the most part.

Free Download

Download and try the game.

FCC Discalimer: Copy received from publisher. It has no bearing on the review.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Meryl Evans


Despite the “3” in the name, Farm Frenzy 3 is the fourth game in the Farm Frenzy series. Farm Frenzy Pizza Party wasn’t worthy of a number despite its success. Anyhoo, Farm Frenzy 3 brings more of the same while adding international locations and heavy-duty graphics that slow down the game’s performance.

In the latest incarnation, you take care of animals, store the goods, produce other goods and sell them. Cows, chickens and ostriches make it back in this one as do the bears and dogs. This one adds llamas, yaks, penguins and walruses. The international part comes in when Scarlett travels to Africa and other faraway locations to help with the farms as a step toward her goal of becoming president of the farmers union.

Scarlett has different goals to meet for every level. The goal could be earning a set amount of cash, collecting X amount of products or making X amount of products. Sometimes you have one goal and sometimes four. Anything goes.

Farm Frenzy 3She also has to buy and upgrade equipment for managing her farm including transportation, product making machines and defenses like cages to trap the bears. Many of the levels require you have certain upgrades before you can play them, so you’ll have to play other levels or replay them until you collect enough cash to upgrade.

The strategy and planning aspect of Farm Frenzy 3 remains one of its strengths. You can’t always play the next level and you’ll have to experiment with different strategies to earn the gold or silver star. This approach prevents boredom and predictability while boosting replayability.

One of the flaws in the game is the graphics. Oh, they’re gorgeous, but too much for the game’s performance. When clicking bears to cage them, the game jerks and the graphics flake. This happens too often. I’ll take performance over graphics every time.

Farm Frenzy 3Farm Frenzy 3 has a couple of strange features. For one, the dogs that keep the bears away from the animals now roll off the screen with the bears. I like that the bear gets out of my way instead of just stands there while the dog barks. But the way the dog rolls off freaks you out. The other problem is the African farmer who looks like an inappropriate stereotype. I appreciate the developers try to reflect the African culture — but it’s not the best representation of Africans.

Despite the performance issues, Farm Frenzy 3 keeps you hopping and never bores. The game comes with 95 levels, 30 animals of which 5 are the enemies, and 33 products to produce. Because of its diversity in game play, animals and scenes, you’re more willing to try reaching for the gold though it means replaying levels many times.

Free DownloadDownload and try the game.


Cooking Dash: DinerTown StudiosTrouble on the set! Flo’s friend Gilda needs help feeding the cast and crew of her TV show. You prepare, cook, assemble and serve the delicious menu items from each TV-themed restaurant. Watch for celebrities, but beware of the short-tempered director who will make sure everyone gets back to work quickly! Can you successfully feed the egos and stomachs of the cast and crew before they walk off the set?

Sounds like Food Network’s “Who will be the next Food Network Star” Diner Dash style. I look forward to trying this out as I’ve been on a Food Network and Travel Network kick lately. Plus, I loved the original Cooking Dash.

Download Cooking Dash – DinerTown Studios to give it a try.


Wedding DashLove. Quirky family members. Wedding crashers. Beautiful brides. Bridezillas. Groom kongs. Who doesn’t love a wedding even with all of its craziness? Quinn returns in Wedding Dash: Ready, Aim, Love! for a third helping as a wedding planner who happily serves her clients in this blissful (most of the time) time management series.

She is planning the biggest wedding of her life — her own to Joe, the photographer. One hitch: he doesn’t know about it! An opening came up in a hot spot and it was either grab it in six weeks or wait years. She asks cupid for help, but he has a backlog of his own. If she helps him through his backlog, he’ll help her with her situation.

Like the previous games, your job is to seat guests and keep them happy or else face Bridezilla and Groom Kong. Of course, Quinn has a few tricks for managing manage guests when the food doesn’t get to them fast enough. She has cocktail tables and bells that bring out the cherubs.

She holds weddings in interesting locales beginning with an aquarium followed by a barn and two others. The game receives a few new features to make it the best one in the series. The cherubs can add one or two hands in helping Flo carry food and gifts, but they’re upgrades.

Wedding DashBefore you start the reception, you have to figure out what the couple wants. In the past, you picked the three things that best meets their requests. in Wedding Dash: Ready, Aim, Love!, you also have to watch the budget and it’s possible to have several right answers. This is more enjoyable although it turns challenging in the later levels.

Guests may request champagne, the microphone to share a special message to the new couple, a song request or seating change. These give you bonus opportunities as well as chaining (doing the same actions in a row). Of course, Quinn has to deal with disasters ranging from over-celebrating bridesmaids and birds at the table to falling gifts and a missing dog.

The guests have personality traits to vary the pace. Some eat fast, others eat slow, one eats two of every course and one forgets to eat. While all of this sounds overwhelming, the game introduces new guests and features over time rather than all at once. The challenge level also slowly works from easy to tough.

Every venue comes with one cupid mini-game. Cute, but kind of pointless except to earn more coin. Cupid needs to shoot one man and one woman to match the given couple. Not only do you control the location of the arrow, but the strength of the shot.

Wedding DashAs expected of Dash games, the game tells a great and fun story without overloading or confusing you. Two modes come in this one: adventure and endless. Wedding Dash: Ready, Aim, Love! has the honor of being my favorite of the Dash series. Diner Dash is simply too hard and the customers are bland compared to Wedding Dash’s.

PlayFirst knows how to put on a great wedding and succeeds again with Wedding Dash: Ready, Aim, Love!

Download Wedding Dash: Ready, Aim, Love!.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Meryl Evans


Fitness DashBefore digging in Fitness Dash, beware that playing the game does not substitute for exercise! Maybe it’ll motivate you to exercise when you take a break as you’re Jo, who is friends with Flo of Diner Dash and Quinn of Wedding Dash. So Dash fans will recognize a few characters including Uncle Ernie, brides and Aunt Ethel.

Fitness Dash is exactly what you expect if you’ve played any Dash game. Except replace the theme with the gym. Jo frantically runs around passing out towels, handing out water bottles, putting the lazy folks on machines instead of them walking over themselves and dragging them into the shower (I suppose they’re too pooped to do it alone).

The machines change up from treadmills and bench presses to rowing machines and ellipticals. Machines provide cardio (treadmill), strength training (ab cruncher) or both (skiing machine). Clients let you know what kind of exercise they want and how much. For instance, the body builder wants three rounds of strength training and the career woman usually wants both types.

Fitness DashJo works with her clients for 10 rounds to help them prepare for a game of tug-o-war, the only original part of the game and a creative one at that. It’s a match three-style game except you must match at least FOUR connecting tiles and you can click the tiles to change the color. The bigger the match, the more your team pulls the rope. Too slow and your opponents will have the stronger pull. The whole war takes place below the matching grid, but who has time to watch it when you’re working to get those matches made?

Story and endless modes are available — no surprise. However, endless mode provides two options: gym and tug-o-war. In gym mode, you simply just keep the customers happy for as long as you can without losing five of them. Tug-o-war is one endless stream of matching where you level up every time you clear the screen. Endless mode comes with easy, medium and hard levels.

Disasters also appear in Fitness Dash where Jo needs to fix the TV, shoo away the ice cream truck guy or fix broken machines. Healthy muffins and water bottles earn you happiness points — these are the kind of things you give to customers without them asking for it. It’s possible to play a few different locations without using the water machine and still reach expert status. But the game does get harder and frantic by the fourth locale.

Shopping for upgrades is still there even for endless mode. You can stop to shop whenever you want (and have enough cash) in endless. The game doesn’t stop for you.

The game went a little berserk when things were happening fast. Picking up a client to carry to the shower didn’t go as smoothly. Selecting water and towels on their machines didn’t always take.

Fitness DashThough the Fitness Dash sticks to the reliable Dash formula, it has enough going on with its theme that it can addict fans (me, included — even my surgery-healed thumb hurt from playing the fast levels). Playfirst has an unbeatable formula in its Dash games and produces a decent spin-off. Playing the free trial will give you an idea of the game play to see if you like the theme enough to make the buy.

Download the game from Big Fish Games.

Check out other Dashes