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Review: Garfields Diner — Facebook’s Restaurant City?

Available On: Android, iOS

Price: Free, in-App Purchases

Download: Google Play | iTunes

If you’re like me, you probably enjoyed or even loved the old Garfield cartoons when you were a kid, or maybe you still enjoy them. Either way, that’s great to hear! If you’re also a huge fan of apps and games on Facebook, Garfields Diner may just grab your attention. Facebook’s Restaurant City was a hit game on the social network and now, their is something similar to it on both Android and iOS devices. If you liked Restaurant City but hated the time management features and just the time in general that it took to play the game, you may also really enjoy Garfields Diner.

No longer do you have to wait 24hrs for a bowl of beef stew to finish cooking. Developer, Web Prancer, has made Garfield’s Diner a time management free game allowing you to play whenever you want. That way, you aren’t constrained or feel obligated to get on in time for your food for your restaurant to finish cooking. Aside from that, Garfields Diner is available at the touch of your finger, no need to go searching for a computer with flash enabled on it! Players who enjoy casual games will love this game, especially if they are a huge fan of the Garfield cartoons.

Garfield’s Diner offers the old cartoon style of graphics. For it’s theme and for what it’s based off of, these graphics are excellent and really fit the title very well. Not only that, but depending on what phone you’re using, Garfield’s Diner will detect whether to use High Definition graphics or not. There isn’t a huge difference between the two. Either way, the graphics still look great on whichever setting you so choose to use. If your phone is capable of running HD graphics, but gets really hot, it may be best to lower the graphics to the standard and since there isn’t a huge difference, you’ll still be able to experience the game even if you had HD graphics on or not.

If you play Garfield’s Diner daily, your going to find that, like Restaurant City, there is daily rewards. This of course, will require you to have a data connection so the servers are able to sync with the daily rewards. If you don’t though, you’re not missing out on a whole lot. It’s usually just a few extra coins to add to your total sales, in some cases, that is really helpful though.

Garfield’s Diner also comes with some excellent music. Something that you would expect from a Garfield game. It’s very enjoyable to listen too, it’s unique and it’s also not blasting in your face with annoyance like some other games that I’ve reviewed. Obviously, as always, if you don’t like the music or the sounds even, or are generally just trying to keep things quiet while playing, there are options to turn both off and on respectively. Also, Garfield’s Diner comes in a variety of different languages to choose from. Unfortunately there isn’t an “American” one, but there is a “English” one. Other languages include German, Japanese, Chinese and more.

You may find yourself in a position where you’re wanting to purchase Garfield points to upgrade your diner faster. Web Prancer offers a safe and easy way to purchase these points through Google Play unlike other companies requesting your credit card. Doing these transactions also are easier through Google Play because you can just choose to bill your AT&T account or whatever carrier you use instead of entering in all of your credit card information. This makes for a fast and easy transaction that you don’t have to hassle with.

Don’t want to purchase Garfield points, but still really want them? You’re able to also earn Garfield points by completing offers. Some of these offers include signing up for newsletters or just installing other companies apps off of Google Play. If you don’t like the idea of having apps on your phone that you don’t really want, it’s very easy to install them, get your reward and then uninstall them. I honestly don’t care about a game like Slotomania, but it’ll offer me 150 Garfield Points if I download it. After downloading it, I would just go into Garfields Diner’s, make sure my points are there and then proceed to uninstall that app.

Garfield’s Diner also allows you to create profiles. That way, if you have a child or friend that would like to try it out, it’s easy to create them a new profile and they won’t have to mess around with all of your stuff. It makes for an easy way to share the experience around without screwing up everything you’ve ever done in the game. Upon installing the game, you start with a profile called “Player 1” by default. If you don’t want a profile anymore, it’s easy to either delete it or rename it if you don’t like the name.

Upon completing the introduction tutorial to Garfield’s Diner, you’ll be able to hire employee’s to work for you at your diner. These employee’s cost either the in-game currency or at other times will cost you Garfield Points. Again, you can earn Garfield Points by completing special offers to install apps or by purchasing those points by billing your phone’s carrier’s account or just by putting in your credit card. Garfield Points are not needed to play the game but are a fun addition to have while playing. You won’t be able to hire people like Garfield without those points. Points usually only range around $1 at the very minimum, so if you just wanted to grab Garfield as a employee, that may be something fun to do. I for one, haven’t spent any money on it, but have just completed the offers that are smaller in size.

Every level, you’ll be able to hire a new employee or upgrade a employee so there serving and walking speed is faster therefore making the customer happier. In the end you’ll receive a larger bonus in cash and your end of level score. I love the idea of hiring new employee’s simply because you get to see most of the characters that were in the old Garfield cartoons. The animations that were done for them are simply amazing. Aside from that, there really isn’t much to the employee system aside from the faster serving and walking speed upgrades.

There isn’t much more to say about Garfield’s Diner as is is essentially your standard Restaurant City Facebook game without all of the time management schemes included. The game isn’t really my type of game, but the way it was designed is extraordinary. After playing it for a few hours I hadn’t come across a bug that was notable. If I did come across a bug, it was either a misunderstanding or I just had to restart the app and it was completely fixed. There’s really isn’t much of anything “bad” to say about this game.

The performance was great, especially on my Atrix 2 that carriers a Tegra 2 chip. The HD graphics made everything look a bit cleaner and sharper but really, it wasn’t enough to notice a huge difference between the standard and high definition options. I played in High Definition but I noticed that it was beginning to make the Atrix 2 start getting kind of hot, so I switched it back down to standard and it was fine. Aside from that, it ran great.

This game will cater mostly to the casual player. I enjoy a few casual games, but this wasn’t one of them. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s great, well designed, awesome sound effects, nice graphics, it’s just not my style of game while it might be someone else’s style. Again, great design, people who like casual games will love Garfield’s Diner.

Now onto the final verdict of Garfield’s Diner by Web Prancer…

GRAPHICS:

Wonderful graphics. I love that Web Prancer decided to go this route with them. The older cartoon style was a wonderful way to go with Garfields Diner, and really it’s the way to go with any Garfield game unless your making a cheesy clone/ripoff of the game. Garfield’s Diner overall has some great graphics and fir the style and theme they seemed to be going for. Some things could of used a bit more work, but those things were hardly noticeable for the average user looking to play a good casual game.

SOUND:

The sound was wonderful. While it was very casual, it’s something that wasn’t really expected, but at the same time was something amazing to come across in the game. It has a nice beat to it and really was a great addition to the overall experience of the game. It’s definitely not something that would fit all types of games though. Like in some other games I reviewed and I said this earlier, the music isn’t up in your face and all annoying. It’s in the background, but also very noticeable. It has a great tune and I think the developers did a great job on this area of the game.

I guess you could say its very subtle. It’s nice. Definitely fits the style Web Prancer was going for, it didn’t clash with the theme of the game at all. There is a moment where game silences for a moment because it seems like its restarting the track, but aside from that, there were no interruptions either and the sound effects of the employee’s and customers didn’t drown it out. It was very well balanced. Whether their other game, “Garfield’s Defense” is like that or not, I don’t know.

GAMEPLAY:

The gameplay is really your standard Facebook game. The only plus to this is that you won’t find any time management issues to run into. It’s all done in real-time, that way, you won’t feel obligated to come back to the game every so often to check on the items you put on the stove to cook for the day. The only thing that may ask you to come back is for the daily rewards it gives you. It’s not obligatory though, its there every day and will always be there unless Web Prancer decides to take that feature out for some reason. I really love how passive they are about players playing their game, it’s not driving you to come back every hour of the day. It’s a you play when you want to play, not when Facebook or your phone wants you to play.

As someone who’s not very fond of casual games, I do have to admit that I did have a bit of fun with this. Not for very long, mind you, but it does have a measure of fun that I think casual players will love. It’s a gameplay was definitely designed for casual players, you can tell even during the introduction or “tutorial”. This game is also great for those who are just trying to pass the time. There’s a lot to do in the game by playing through the levels and trying to complete all the different challenges that the game wants you to try and do.

The in-game transactions are also very nice. They aren’t in your face trying to mess with your brain to buy their Garfield Points. Obviously, purchasing these are going to help the developers out financially, but it’s not like they’re trying to play a clever trick on you by saying that you literally need these Garfield Points to get anywhere at all in the game. I like that they are in the background and are more of a if you want them and they are there, kind of thing.

Other than that, everything is nice and polished. I didn’t experience any issues with anything at all in the game. They did agreatjob making sure it was ready to release. I’m seriously hoping that Garfield’s Defense is the same way, as I will also be reviewing that fairly soon. I should also mention that there is a lot of substance to this game, so you won’t get bored very fast if you like casual games. Things keep you intrigued and makes you want to keep playing. Honestly, the gameplay is probably the best part of the entire game, the graphics were great, so was the sound, but Web Prancer did a great job making sure the gameplay had some substance and that it was solid and fun.

I think players will really enjoy this aspect of the game.

REPLAY VALUE:

The replay value in the game is strong. Especially with the daily rewards that the game gives you along with the challenges that were put into the game. Both features add to the fun of the game and make it have some solid replay value. How long the replay value will last though? I can’t say, as it’s not the type of game that I feel would have a permanent place on people’s phones or tablets. I know that children especially will enjoy this game and want to play it while adults may like it for a couple days and then eventually drop it. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just more of where the games target audience is I guess. It feels like they were really going for children though.

Overall:

The game was great. It was simply great. The design was flawless and well developed, I am very grateful that Web Prancer, the developer of Garfield’s Diner, was willing to actually put some quality time into this game. The graphics are very nice, and the Standard and High definition options will help keep the game sharper while also giving you the option to save your battery levels as this game can take up a lot of battery. That may just be on my Atrix 2 though as it does not have a more advanced battery like the Samsung Galaxy S III or or some other devices.

Sound quality was great, well developed. It wasn’t annoying, in fact, it was a very nice addition to have to the game. It really fit the style that Web Prancer was going for, and I hope if they make another Garfield game that they would somehow go for that sort of style again. I really liked it and almost wish I could download it to my computer! That may just be a exaggeration.

Everything else was well designed. Overall, it was a great game, Web Prancer did a great job and I hope they continue going down this path. I’d hope they’d try and make something with some more action in it though!

Obviously, there are some things we can all work to improve on, and hopefully they’ll update the game with some new features in the coming future. Some optimization for saving battery life would be awesome to have too.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who loves casual games and if you don’t, I at least say give it a try.

FINAL SCORE: 7/10