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Avenue Flo

Score: 88%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: PlayFirst
Developer: Playfirst
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Avenue Flo is a surprisingly great attempt at an adventure game designed by developers who know their audience. Instead of putting together a solid, hard-core point-and-click adventure with a Diner Dash skin to it, the end result is a casual-game that just happens to fit in the adventure genre, something I haven't really seen before.

Fitting with the Diner Dash setting, the game looks like it could have been developed in flash. Flo, Quinn (from the Wedding Dash spin-off series) and even lovable Cookie all play prominent parts in this game and they look exactly like the series' followers would expect. The various streets around the town fit the style established in the other games, and in the game's cut-scenes (which we get close-up views of the characters), the backgrounds look as if they were hand-drawn and colored in with crayons, an interesting style indeed.

Sound-wise, Avenue Flo gets the job done. The characters are voiced appropriately, and while the dialogue is a bit over-the-top at times, it's not in an offensive way. The background music is okay, but ultimately unnoticeable and forgetful in the grand scheme of things.


Avenue Flo has everyone's favorite dashing diner owner stepping outside of her restaurant in order to help her friend and roommate, Quinn, in a crisis for the biggest wedding the town has ever seen... the wedding of Ms. Big, actually. It seems that several disasters have happened and if the lady is to get hitched without a hitch, Flo will have to not only collect the 99 butterflies that have escaped, but also help the baker make the cake, get the wedding dress repaired, find Ms. Big's poodle and even do some flower arranging. The biggest problem Flo faces is finding out who is trying to ruin the wedding and who stole the wedding rings.

Avenue Flo is split up into three neighborhoods, and each one has a set of shops and people involved in the wedding. Once Flo completes all of the tasks in a particular area, she takes the subway to the next one and starts off on a new set of puzzles to solve. What is interesting is that the game's puzzles aren't all inventory-based. Instead, there are quite a few mini-game styled puzzles that block Flo's path, and it is these mini-games that add a lot of value (including replay value) to the overall product.

One of the puzzles has Flo working a beading machine for Ms. Big's dress. The beads are fed into the machine in a specific order and you need to find the right path along the pattern to lay those beads. Another puzzle has you arranging pet supply products in boxes so that everything fits together nicely, while another has you rearranging clothes on a rack so that no two of the same type or color are next to each other (e.g. pants are not next to pants and a red clothing is not next to another piece of red clothing). There are quite a few of these puzzles, and while I found them all enjoyable, there were a couple that got a little annoying before I was able to finish them off (most notably, the aerobic rhythm game). Unfortunately, only six of these games become available to play outside of Avenue Flo's Adventure Mode.

These six include Bead Machine, Clothing Display, Pet Supply Puzzle, as well as one where you have to find the right chicken (based on colors and shape) in a flock, one where you have to perform a Simon-styled sequence by clicking on the found chickens in the order that they cluck. This last unlockable activity, Dough Ball Rolling, has Flo having to guide a giant pizza dough ball around the cruise ship the wedding is taking place on. In Activity Mode (where these unlocked activities can be found), not only are more levels available than what were played in the game's story, but there is an increased pressure of time that determines your final score.


Avenue Flo's difficulty is dead on. The game doesn't pose any challenging puzzles that cannot be overcome by the average casual gamer who would be drawn in by Flo and her friends' presence. Instead, the more difficult activities come in the form of its frequent mini-game activities like using the bead machine or rolling the dough ball around the deck of the cruise ship. While all of these activities rely heavily on logic and fit nicely into an adventure game, they aren't so difficult as to put off anyone who might find the game interesting. Of course, more experienced gamers who break out of the casual mold will find the game less challenging, but still fun.

Game Mechanics:

Avenue Flo's various activities really are the core of this game. While it is an adventure game at heart, the various mini-games/puzzles that the player has to complete in order to help Quinn and Flo save the Big wedding is one of the aspects that will appeal to the game's target audience. Most of the activities would make okay, but short-lived games on their own, but by putting them all together in this manner, the developers have not only posed a series of interesting and various problems for the player wanting to advance the story to have to get past, but also provided a solid setting for the seemingly unconnected and random mini-games (at least that's how they would feel if it weren't for the game's story). While the other elements of Avenue Flo (like standard inventory-based problems) definitely set the game squarely in the adventure genre, the overall product ends up being a fairly good blend.

While adventure gamers will definitely find Avenue Flo a strong title that will have plenty of intriguing logic puzzles, the short gameplay time and $20.00 price tag might not be all that appealing to that particular audience. On the other hand, those most familiar with Flo's other games should not only find this game right up their alley, but the breaking away from some of the more standard casual-game genres (e.g. puzzle or time management) should make this game even more appealing and can possibly whet their appetite for other adventure games. For those players, the fact that they can go into Activity Mode and replay any of the unlocked games there in the hopes of getting a better score means that the short story doesn't matter as much, and so the price tag isn't as steep as it might seem.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows Vista, XP SP1 & 2, Pentium IV 1.2 Ghz Processor or Faster, 256 MB RAM, 800 x 600 Minimum Screen Resolution, 60MB Available Hard Drive Space

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core 2.20 GHz, 4 GB Ram, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

Related Links:

Nintendo Wii Bakugan: Battle Brawlers Nintendo DS Bakugan: Battle Brawlers

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated