Version Reviewed: 2.0.7
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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SpongeBob Diner Dash Deluxe is a heck of a lot like Diner Dash, not that many (kids in particular) will care too much. The Diner Dash games have always had that knack of being extraordinarily addictive for casual gamers, despite offering very similar gameplay every time.
This time round, there's a SpongeBob SquarePants theme to things which adds to the cuteness. Gameplay is much the same. Players take the role of a waiter (SpongeBob himself) as he attempts to keep the many customers happy. The learning curve is gradual. At first, it's pretty easy with just the right number of customers to keep busy but not stressed. Points are gained through serving them efficiently and completing certain tasks all at once, such as clearing all the tables together. Multipliers are gained through placing customers on the seats that match the colored shirts they wear.
It's all very typical of the series of games with the nautical theme mostly shining through the characters involved more than anything else. Five restaurants in all can be completed, each with a SpongeBob theme such as the Krusty Krab and Dutchman's Inn. Such familiar gameplay does mean that the most annoying part of Diner Dash remains. It's still awkward to place a large group of diners on a table and line them up appropriately on the right colored chair.
New additions do shine through somewhere, however. Power-ups can be bought via the tips acquired in the game. These speed up things such as how fast SpongeBob walks or the speed in which meals are cooked. These bonuses, and other restaurants, can also be bought with real money. It gets a little expensive to go this route but it's not essential to progression. It just speeds things up. The additional restaurants are also far from vital, just handy for players that are particularly enjoying the game and want more.
It's a cliche but SpongeBob Diner Dash Deluxe won't appeal in any way to those who didn't enjoy Diner Dash before. It's extremely similar to past titles with only subtle additions included. For fans of the genre though, such as myself, it'll happily while away many, many hours.