I decided that my girlfriend and I needed to find something to play together. Since we aren’t really on the same level of “Vida Gaem” mastery (Not to brag, but I HAVE beaten the original Super Mario Bros. That’s what’s up.) I decided to go looking for an asymmetrical co-op game since these tend to require actual diverse cooperation between players. What I found was a couple of games; one I’ll review in a couple days and the other is this: The Diner Duo. Is it worth $14.99 on Steam? I don’t know and I’m not going to quantify your value of a dollar. Is it “Fun”? That I might be able to assist you with.
Well, like several indie style games, especially VR titles, it’s not so much the polish of the product but the attention and charm that they put into it. Did they make the assets themselves? It appears that way. I didn’t see anything that looked like blatant store-bought assets, though maybe some of the diner objects were, it’s really irrelevant because the aesthetic across the board fits and works together, nothing looked jarringly out of place. It’s colorful, the GUI is cartoony but clean and readable. Everything has a nice simplicity to it and color contrastment that works well and allows for easily recognizable items that need interacting with which gets important the farther you get into the game.
It’s simple, straight forward, inoffensive and gets the job done. Nothing remarkable or cringeworthy. It just fits the theme and tone of the game set by the cutesy graphics and gameplay style. Really don’t even need this little note here talking about it but I’m a stickler for checkboxes and I had to mark one saying “talked about audio.”
Anyway… how are you diggin’ this review so far? How’s the wife and kids?
Oh God, I’m sorry.. I… I forgot she got everything in the divorce. Umm, anywho.
Here is where the meat and potatoes of this review is actually going to be because it’s the most important aspect. Is it any damn fun? Yeah, it’s pretty cool and it especially shines with two players.
Basics: One player is the chef and they are wearing the VR headset. They will be seeing everything from a first person point of view while cooking the burgers. Player 2, on the other hand, with see everything on the PC the VR headset is hooked into and they will be seeing everything from a 3rd person, slightly overhead perspective. They will be physically telling you the orders that need made because the cook cannot see what the patrons are ordering from the HMD. They will also be in charge of getting the drinks for the customers as well and taking their meal to them. Early levels are easy, requiring only a bun, patty or two, and another bun. But it gradually ramps up in difficulty, requiring you to cut pickles, apply ketchup and mustard, cheese and lettuce in every possible combination, sometimes three plates at a time. This gets hectic and out of control; burgers will overcook and you’ll have to start over, customers will leave due to taking too long and your friend/significant other will begin to realize why you shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen.
It’s another simple VR game in which everyday simple actions that used to be handled by mundane, and almost entirely automated button presses are replaced by full-blown body movements and it works well. A nice little feature of the game which I hope more VR titles take on is the ability to adjust your work area. You can change your size, the standing location of the counters and their height. Super useful and a great touch of customizability.
Another little bit of flair is unlockable hats for the chef to wear. I mean, a second player is the only one that is going to see it, but it’s nice and I hope they add in more items like this along the way for the waiter-bot.
“So, this thing worth $14.99 on Steam or what?”
I told you I’m not going to get into the value of a dollar with you, alright? Chill out.
But I did find it to be really fun and a pretty good example of how asymmetrical games can be light-hearted, general audience approved, but at the same time insanely difficult in the later stages which creates a desire to continue and “#GitGud” without being artificially difficult by simply creating more tedious and time consuming things that have to be done in order to finish a level. That is a gameplay mechanic that can go bad very quickly and I’ll talk about that with the other Asym-coop VR game I’ll be reviewing later in the week. But for now, this is a nice little VR game that is definitely a showpiece for getting a friend or loved-ones feet wet when it comes to virtual reality multiplayer.