Monster Munch: Dead Hungry Diner Demo

If only Buffy would have tried this.

If you were attempting to find casual gaming gold, you might well think about trying to create a game at the midpoint of Plants Vs. Zombies and Diner Dash. That’s pretty much what Black Market Games (created by a group formerly from Dark Water Games, they of Dogfighter) have done, with Dead Hungry Diner. A game in which two canny orphan twins realise the best way to thwart the zombie apocalypse is to feed them. In a restaurant. In a graveyard. You can check out the first eleven levels to see if that works for you via the demo.

After zombies come vampires, angry zombies, and giant hulking Frankenstein-made monsters. And along the way you can purchase more magical items, in a very PvZ way, to manage the huge numbers of customers coming your way – perhaps a raincheck ticket, or giving them a little more patience with their wait.

I’ve never much enjoyed Diner Dash, firstly because it’s so humourless, and secondly because, screw the customers! Here there’s a bit more logic. If we don’t serve these monsters in time, they’ll leave and eat the villagers. It makes some sense, in a world of nonsense.

It gets ever more complicated, with werewolves appearing, and refusing to be sat near vampires, demon hunters cursing your monstrous customers, and so on. And the demo is extremely well paced, introducing new features at just the right rate to ensure you feel on top of things, but still with that sense of frantic rush, and eventual relief of completion. I’ve only played the first ten or so levels, but this really does seem to have the polish of a PopCap game, which is high praise indeed.

You can get the demo directly from here.


  1. mentor07825 says:

    I wonder if a Michael Jackson zombie will feature in this one too?

    • Kefren says:

      It will, until someone who isn’t Michael Jackson threatens to sue because it looks like Michael Jackson as a zombie and might be thought to mean that he really did look like a zombie, which would be true because Michael Jackson did dress as a zombie, but truth never did stand in the way of legal threats, and thus we see the perils of auto-updating software.

    • mentor07825 says:

      Booo, that sucks! I refuse to get Plants versus Zombies mostly because they got rid of the Michael Jackson zombie. A bit silly, I admit.

  2. Kefren says:

    The video reminds me a bit of Mikie.

  3. Cryptoshrimp says:

    What is this? Clone five hundred out of a million? I’ll pass.

  4. Chris D says:

    Played it a bit. I’m never keen to use reductive descriptions of games because it seems like you could describe any game played with a mouse as “just clicking on things” but in this case I’m struggling to see what else there is.

    Gaming’s been described as making meaningful choices but I don’t feel like there are any choices at all, only execution. Which might be fine if the execution was fun in itself but it’s “just clicking”

    I stopped halfway through the level in which you get magic for the first time in story mode. It’s possible that it gets better as more elements are added to it but I’m having a hard time seeing it and I don’t think I can face playing more to find out.

  5. armaankhan says:

    I liked Dogfighter a lot, so I gave it a whirl. It’s entertaining enough if you like this sort of thing, but the mouse sensitivity is incredibly low in-game. It feels like I’m dragging the cursor through molasses, and there’s no way to bump it back up.

  6. Dentist says:

    Very glad that Multiplay could host the demo for these guys. Good friends of ours and looks like a good upcoming demo :)

  7. Jam says:

    I came here because of the title, but now I’m disappointed as it’s nothing to do with the crisps. :(

  8. bglamb says:

    Well this is one game where I just cannot tolerate the sluggish mouse!

  9. Mr Wendal says:

    Installing now, better be good: it didn’t let me choose an install location and is making me install something called openAL …

    *edit* don’t bother, it seemed to not register mouse clicks sometimes, it’s not widescreen, it had the wrong res for my screen in fullscreen mode so was in a tiny box with a giant black border, you can’t even change the resolution, and even when I switched to windowed the bottom of my screen was cut off so I could only read half the dialogue.

    • adonf says:

      I thought that it was weird they released the demo before the game (two reasons: if the game’s not ready then the savegames might not be compatible between demo and final version, and by the time the came comes out anyone who liked the demo might have moved on) but if the game has technical problems then the demo might be a hidden way to make a public beta test. Just a wild guess.

  10. Dr Danno says:

    This reminds me a lot of Death Row Diner on adult swim.

  11. Hatsworth says:

    Lol @ their RPS steam quote…

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yeah, it’s quite ridiculous, they took “casual gaming gold”, completely out of context, like if it was describing their game directly.

  12. Ricc says:

    I love how the Steam page of Hungry Diner quotes just a select quote from this very article.

    “…casual gaming gold…”
    – Rock Paper Shotgun

    Had to dig this up so see what was on the other side of those two ellipses. :)

    edit: Silly me, that’s what the post above said.