Cooking Dash 3: Thrills and Spills Game Review

Flo and the rest of the DinerToons return in the Cooking Dash sequel Cooking Dash 3: Thrills and Spills. Go back in time a decade or so when Flo was still running a lemonade stand in Mr. Big’s run-down theme park. Help the pair revitalize the park by properly managing its many restaurants and bringing in the customers and money by the time Mr. Big’s dad comes to inspect. It will be a roller coaster ride in this fast and hectic time management game!

Cooking Dash 3: Thrills and Spills is the latest incarnation of not only the hit Cooking Dash time management game series, but of the Dash franchise which consist of other great games such as Diner Dash and Wedding Dash. Series star Flo returns in this game, but this time as a young teenage waitress as the game takes you back in time to when she was still starting out. You will also get to meet the other DinerToons such as Gran and Mr. Big in this blast from the past!

In Cooking Dash 3, Mr. Big has borrowed money from his dad to build a theme park. Unfortunately it isn’t a success, and everything in the park is falling apart and the customers aren’t turning up. Worse yet, Mr. Big’s dad is about to come inspect the park! Desperate, Mr. Big turns to Flo, whose stand is the only thing in the theme park that is actually making money. Mr. Big convinces Flo (that’s you, by the way) to help run the various restaurants in the park and transform them from run-down flops into popular and successful money-making businesses.

You will get to see younger versions of your favorite DinerToons from the Dash games, from Mr. Big and Flo to the ever-helpful Gran. You will also be running half a dozen themed restaurants based on the various attractions and rides in the park. You’ll be serving salads and seafood dishes in the Pirate Ship restaurant, and cooking up clam chowder and steaks in the Log Jam cafe. And all this while the roller coaster rides are happening in the background!

The gameplay follows the same format as the other hit Dash time management games. You have to sit your customers (with increasing bonus points if the seat colors match the customers’ colors) and guide Flo in taking orders, preparing the meals, clearing dishes and collecting payment. The game starts you off with just one customer type, but it quickly becomes more complicated when you have businesswomen (in a theme park?!) wanting a quick drink, to college seniors who take their time ordering and eating, and even celebrities who will cause other customers to want to take photos with them! You will also have customers coming in via a “drive-thru”, stopping by on a roller coaster carriage with their order. Though I wouldn’t want to see what happens when a customer drinks his milkshake then goes on a ride…

Preparing the meals will depend on which restaurant you are in, as the menu and preparation steps are different in each restaurant. In the Pirate Ship venue for example, you will need to get fries and dump them in the fryer, get fish and batter them then fry them, get the sauce to go with the dish, fill a glass with soda then drop some ice in etc. Gran is always there to help though. If a customer orders side dishes (like salads in the Pirate Ship venue), just give the order to Gran and she will toss it up for you. You will have to worry about serving desserts as well, and as you can imagine, the game can get really complicated and hectic very quickly!

The faster you serve your customers and get them fed, the more points you earn. Before each new level begins, you can trade these points in for upgrades. You can get upgrades such as machinery that cooks faster, an extra spigot to prepare more drinks at the same, and a side-stand to hold unused dishes for later. Many more upgrades, plus cosmetic ones, are available to make your job easier and more palatable.

In case you get bored of managing the restaurants and serving the customers, there are also minigames that you can play between levels in order to score free meals for your future customers. There’s the matching game where you have to click the right meal when a bunch of meals pop up, the ingredients game where you have to select the correct ingredients for a particular meal, and a hidden object game where you need to find the listed meals and utensils. And since this is a time management game, all these minigames also have short time limits to keep you on your toes!

Cooking Dash 3 is a great time management game and is a worthy successor in a franchise full of best-selling hits. The theme, gameplay, atmosphere and art all work together beautifully to create a great entertainment package. The basic version of the PC game is not out yet, but you can get the Collector’s Edition which includes exclusive extras such as a special Gold Rush venue, strategy guide, wallpapers and more.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

You can read more about Cooking Dash 3: Thrills and Spills at http://www.game-tycoon.com/cooking-dash-3.html


About the Author:
Steven maintains the time management game review website at http://www.game-tycoon.com/ – a website devoted to strategy, simulation and time management games for the PC and Mac. You can read game reviews, download games and play them online.
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