Review Date: December 29, 2010
Developer: Mobilitz, Inc.
Publisher: Mobilitz, Inc.
Genre: Time Management
Restaurant themed time management games are nothing new, but on Facebook the genre is woefully underrepresented. So thank the heavens for Heaven's Diner. The game brings the same core gameplay that has made games like Diner Dash so successful, only it's playable on Facebook, with all the expected features. There's even an iPhone app that lets you bring real world food into the game.
In short, it's heavenly.
Serving the Gods
The basic set-up will feel familiar to anyone who's played a time management game before. Customers come into your restaurant, in this case you'll be serving cute little angels and powerful gods, and you'll need to serve them. This means choosing the right dish, preparing it properly, and serving it quickly. Customers will ask for different dishes and some will want a particular garnish like salt or honey. Occasionally they'll also ask for a glass of water before they eat. The faster you can do all that, the happier your customers will be, and the better your score will be.
The main difference between Heaven's Diner and a game like Diner Dash is speed. Heaven's Diner is much faster, with shorter levels and quicker preparation times. This makes the game a perfect fit for a social network, as you can play for just a minute or two and still complete a couple of levels.
And there's also all of the expected Facebook trimmings as well. You can visit your friends to get bonuses, you'll gain experience as you play giving you access to more options, and you'll earn money that can be used to improve your heavenly restaurant by buying new tables, chairs, and decorations. There's even multiple locations that you'll unlock as you play, each themed after a different god. So you'll start off in a traditional clouds-and-rainbows heaven, before moving underwater to serve Poseidon or to the lovely home of Venus.
Food to Go
Heaven's Diner looks great, with bright and colorful cartoon visuals that have some nice variety thanks to all of the different locations. You'll see chubby little angel babies, a giant pink octopus, and maybe even a dead celebrity or two. Though the visuals are fairly simple they're smooth and clean and possess a good amount of charm. The only real problem is that the play area is simply too large and doesn't fit on the screen. You'll have to scroll quite often in order to access all of the menus and other aspects of the game, which gets pretty annoying.
Complimenting the Facebook game is a free iPhone app. This allows you to take pictures of meals, rate them, and even send them to the main game so you can serve your favorite local dish to the creator himself. There's some quests to complete that will have you playing simple mini-games located on a real-world map. And the app utilizes location-based technology to find restaurants in your area, and you can also add new ones to the list. Like with the main game, as you complete quests and review food you'll earn both cash and experience. You can also "visit" local restaurants and earn money by selling them ingredients.
The app is surprisingly full featured, and helps extend the reach of the game, but also adds a personal touch since your own meals and restaurants become a part of the experience.
The Bottom Line
Heaven's Diner might just be the definitive social time management game. With solid core gameplay, a charming look and style, great social features, and even an iPhone app, there's a lot to like. Heaven's Diner is much more than just Diner Dash on Facebook, and it's a game that every time management fan should play.