Ready to add more to your couch gaming nights with friends and family of all gaming experience levels? JAYFL Games may have another addition to your Saturday night library. Drawing inspiration from the WarioWare formula, Diner Bros Inc is a minigame adrenaline rush. The blood will get pumping and the swear words will fly out unintentionally as you try to keep up your pace. While it’s pleasant to see a different genre being replicated, sudden difficulty spikes and untied ideas may keep this from being a Steam standout.
Diner Bros Inc, as previously mentioned follows a familiar formula to some niche players. You trudge through a gauntlet of easy-to-learn minigames and try to get through them all. Only a finite amount of mistakes are allowed, in this case 3, and at certain points the tempo will increase. After playing through roughly 10 randomized challenges, completed in ten seconds or less, the player will go through them again. This time in a different order and with a faster speed and less time to finish. Falling short of completing the challenge may be enough to convince the player to try again. The games aren’t too hard to learn, so correcting mistakes isn’t a difficult task. That is until time becomes a factor..
Diner Bros Inc has quite a variety of minigames to learn and complete. You may be herding a bunch of cheep into a circle for one game. Then immediately after you’ll be in a kitchen clicking on the appropriate ingredients for a custom cheeseburger order. After that, you’ll be a character in a karate gi kicking at a car until it breaks before the timer ends. It’s easy to note the videogame, and pop culture references in this mini games. However, nothing really helps to tie them all together thematically. It’s like looking into a giant unorganized Lego box. Some of the games are quite fun, but many are either uninspired, or lacking intuition. Also the tempo increase mechanic allows for unwieldy difficulty spikes, which may create stopping points.
You are accompanied by jovial drawn cartoon characters that congratulate your progress, or cry in your defeat. This is the games attempt to create timbre, or identity, but it just doesn’t work. The childish cheers and “uh-ohs” don’t really work in regards to helping make this game more kid-friendly. It’s just kind of creepy. Of course there has to be a way to tie all of these already noncomplimentary minigames together, but the cartoon aesthetic just doesn’t do it for me. It almost does the opposite by not allowing the randomness of the games to admit that they have little relations to each other.
It’s hard to dictate whether players will want to keep playing after some time, or simply lose interest. An easily seen scenario is where someone blasts through all the minigames, then shelves this one away in immediate search for a new challenge. It may also be possible that players may find the small games challenging enough and fun for a reflex workout. It may depend entirely upon the player individually, rather than reading reviews and not seeing for oneself.
We seem to be at an era of videogames, where the reviving old niche titles is still in full swing. It’s like a deviation from the retro revival that is ongoing still. But the question is whether developers are genuinely invested into their ideas, or simply looking for something new enough they can churn out for some quick sales. I’m led to believe that this may be the latter case for Diner Bros Inc, especially since JAYFL Games already has had success with Diner Bros.
Despite some flaws, the first few plays of Diner Bros Inc were enjoyable and engaging. Though there isn’t much to tie the nonregulated aesthetics of each individual minigame together, there is still some fun to be had. A console release would definitely make this title more accessible. Most PC gamers don’t have many couch multiplayer titles in their library. Diner Bros Inc is a relatively average title. The weird title characters just add an element of awkwardness to the overall experience that I could do without in all honesty.