Diner Dash Rush is my first experience with Flo, the fast on her toes entrepreneur who was the main star in several previous Dash titles. This installment has our intrepid worker trying to please as many hungry customers as possible within a 90 second time span. It's a furiously paced game that will have you feverishly tapping your device as Flo works her magic. But does its frenetic style ruin the actual game play experience?

The answer is absolutely not. Diner Dash Rush is a title that's aimed to completely jack you up and enervate your gaming soul, at least on a purely visceral level. As customers roll in wearing different colored clothing, it's your job to match their outfits with the actual color of the tables. When there's not a straight match, you must decide whether to seat them or have them leave in an angry tiff.

Once they're seated, take their orders and immediately bring them to the short order cook. Then bring the meals to their tables and watch them chow down. Since this is a time based title, eating takes a split second and your customers exit once you pick up their plates from the table. Your scores increase with the more customers you properly and expediently serve during your 90 seconds, so being able to multitask in a quicksilver fashion is paramount.

To control Flo, just tap the screen to whichever part of the restaurant you want her to go. Every command is tap based, so there's no elaborate swiping or the need to use two fingers for a certain action. Playfirst decided to make the franchise as easy to maneuver as possible. The only hard part, of course, is all the dashing you'll need to do during the challenge.

No matter how good you get with the customers, power-ups are the only way to rack up a gargantuan score and get your name on the Game Center leaderboards. The granddaddy of all power ups is the Clean Sweep, which should be used when a ton of patrons overflow the diner. Once you use this power, everyone will disappear and your establishment will be fresh and clean for new customers. Your score will also take a huge leap forward.

Since power ups cost a ton of gold coins, they also come in the form of in-game app purchases. Thankfully, Diner Dash Rush, which is a free to play title, doesn't force you into spending money to keep Flo from doing her job. With every finished shift, Flo will earn money that can be added to your cash reserves. If you run out of coins and don't want to spend the dough, just play the game without the boosts. You'll still have fun, even if you won't get to see Flo in a cute little cape (for that privilege, you need to purchase the Fast Flo boost).

Don't expect to just dish out grub for the 9-to-5 crew, since this diner is also open for some nighttime business. If you rack up a big score during Flo's work shift, the diner gets transformed into happy hour mode, which gives you an extra 30 seconds to serve your customers. Since most of these people have just left work, they're mood is one of happiness and possible inebriation.

Diner Dash Rush is easy to pick up and put down. There's absolutely nothing complicated about its game play, but for some reason, in the middle of all this customer madness, one's adrenaline is bound to spike. Handling three to four tables at a time is a totally stressful yet fun task, especially if you love to tap things to your heart's content. Though I don't have fond memories of my service industry years, I wouldn't mind taking a shift or two with Flo by my side.


App Store Link: Diner Dash Rush for iPhone & iPad | PlayFirst, Inc. | Price: Free | Version: 1.4.34 | 35.8 MB | Rating: 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating