Where I got mine: RealArcade.com
To own: $14.95 for GamePass members, $19.95 standard (free trial for 60 mins available)
Score: 8 foamy lattes out of 10
Hi and welcome to another Gamer Mom Casual Game Video Review.
The first Delicious Deluxe was one of the prettiest restaurant games of its time. So although it was a clone of Diner Dash with fancier graphics, it garnered quite a bit of praise from a largely female audience mainly because of its cutesy graphics. However, Delicious Deluxe offered more than just looks. It had the few features Diner Dash and games like Snowy’s Lunch Rush did not – like the ordering of different types of food, the making of the foods like the banana and strawberry shakes and it also had customers who wanted takeaway, which brought a slightly different gameplay to the table, so to speak.
So what does Delicious 2 Deluxe have to offer that’s new and improved over the old Delicious Deluxe? Let’s see.
You play Emily once more, who’s trying to save her uncle’s chain of restaurants from a certain mafia-type guy. Simple enough. As with these games, the storyline isn’t really important. You start with a lemonade/ice cream store at the park and go through five types of different restaurants, ten levels each. Along the way, you earn money to make cosmetic improvements to the store.
Now what’s new and improved with Delicious 2 Deluxe is first and foremost, the graphics. As with the first game, they really have put a lot of effort into making the game as pretty and, I hate to say it, as girlish and cute as possible, and it works. I mean, this is truly a game that sets out to attract its target audience: women, young and old, and perhaps even a young child or two. The graphics are very well drawn, the colours well coordinated and the game looks very polished from this standpoint.
Also new in Delicious 2 Deluxe is an expert score, which the old version did not have, as well as some well placed fixes. For example, customers don’t just walk out anymore especially when you’ve just finished cleaning a table in time. They actually circle around and then if on the way out, find an empty table of appropriate number seating, will seat themselves.
Now instead of chocolates to placate waiting customers, Delicious 2 Deluxe now offers entertainment to keep your table customers happy. This is nice, but the chocolates worked better since they can be used on takeaway customers as well, which the entertainers in this version cannot.
One nice improvement to the game is that now you can make food items ahead of time. In the old DD, items that were not ordered could not be made. Now, if you make a mistake and click on, say, mushroom soup, you can keep it for later, and if tray space is a problem, you simply delete it by clicking on it.
Talking about tray space, Delicious 2 Deluxe is surprisingly stingy with the five or six slot trays. I managed to reach a five slot tray only at the end of the Bistro (second restaurant), and then it went back to four at the start of the Italian restaurant (third).
There are a greater variety of different characters that walk into Emily’s eateries. Besides the usual impatient business woman and nondescript man and sweet old granny, Delicious 2 Deluxe now features skaterboy sans skateboard with girlfriend(s), nondescript man with girlfriend(s), and sweet old grannies with creepy old fogies. Very charming.
And now I come to two most interesting observations about the games, one good and one bad. The good is that the decorations you buy, although serving a cosmetic purpose to the game at the initial stages, when combined properly at the later stages, yield bigger tips. This is pretty innovative.
And now we come to the bad: where are all the tasty little chain bonuses we casual gamers so love to rack up which were in the first version of Delicious Deluxe? Gone is the chain bonus for making the same type of food in a row, gone is the chain bonus for serving two or more customers consecutively from the same tray. The only bonuses remaining are the speed bonus and the pay-together bonus. Of course, this makes making the goals at the end of the day more challenging. I say bring back those sweet bonuses and hike up the goals!
One thing I have to make a note of to those new to Delicious Deluxe: this is NOT Diner Dash in that the game pace is MUCH slower. However, things do pick up and I guarantee you a few retries before you get to the third restaurant. And that, my friends, is good level development.
Delicious 2 Deluxe comes in two game modes, with the second one, called The Happy Customer, playable only if you go through the story mode, thus unlocking the restaurants.
All in all, I would have to give Delicious 2 Deluxe an eight out of ten. I deduct two points as protest to all the bonuses that have been so heartlessly struck out. Otherwise, a beautifully crafted, well put together casual game well worth $20.
Delicious 2 Deluxe is downloadable from RealArcade for $14.95 for GamePass members, and $19.95 at Gamehouse.com, although Zylom itself charges $29.95 for it, so don’t go there.
Next up, Miss Management – a game about managing an office? Is this a cry for help from Game Lab? Stay tuned.
Addendum: I forgot to mention the very authentic sounds the game had, from the gentle clink of dishes when they were bussed to the tables to the beep beep of the pizza ovens to the choo-choo whistle of angry customers to the hiss of the espresso machine. The different tunes that go along with the different restaurant formats are also a nice touch. Kudos, Zylom!
Why my five-year old daughter prefers Delicious 2 Deluxe to Diner Dash: “Because the customers can pick tables by themselves!”
Tips and tricks:
- Always try to pay together
- Use the entertainers on seated customers constantly to keep customer satisfaction on the high because takeaway customers can’t be placated. ‘Catch’ them at the end of their performances and click them on the desired table to save a trip back to the counter.
- Make two batches of pizzas. You can stack them to a max of eight.
- There are no tray bonuses but using up all the slots can mean saving serving time.
- You can clear tables even before the customers leave. When you have the services of Francois, the gay bus boy-cum decorator, make sure to use him to the max.
- I find saving your money and buying the more expensive items that ‘fit’ the format of the restaurant usually works. For example, the convertible and jukebox for the diner, and so on.
- Other than the pizzas, you can try to anticipate what comes next to make them ahead of time since they don’t cost anything to delete and saves you some time. The beverages are usually quite popular so try to stick with those. This works best if you bigger trays since you need the space to ‘keep’ these pre-cooked food.
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