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Avenue Flo: Special Delivery

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

Graphics & Sound:

Well, Flo of Diner Dash fame is stepping away from the restaurant once again to help make sure the next big DinerTown event goes off without any problems. Unfortunately, this time around Vicky, Mr. Big's daughter who was married in the previous game, is having a baby shower. Too bad all the decorations get wrecked and Vicky has disappeared.

Avenue Flo: Special Delivery keeps the previous game's feel with 2D background art and character models that seem to have a bit more depth to them. Of course, what makes the game feel like it belongs with the Dash games are the characters. Not only do we see characters like Flo and Quinn, Flo's roommate, who is featured in the Wedding Dash games, but a lot of the diner's patrons appear alongside several people from the original Avenue Flo game.

The voice actors from the last adventure game seem to return for Special Delivery as well, making the game's audio elements also add to the game feeling appropriately similar to the last title. I don't play many of the license's time-management games, those are typically Psibabe's speciality, so I can't speak to how the game's sounds and the actors compare to the rest of the games under this title, but to my ears, everything sounds fitting for the newest Avenue Flo game.


Avenue Flo: Special Delivery plays just like its predecessor. Instead of being a time-management game like the other Dash titles, the Avenue Flo series takes that world and puts it into a casual adventure setting with quite a number of mini-games.

When Vicky's baby shower is ruined just before the guests are set to arrive, Quinn calls Flo to run around town and get her everything she needs in order to get the show back on the road. This will involve Flo traveling to three different locations in DinerTown and talking to dozens of citizens in order to do everything from remaking cookies, to jarring tons of organic baby food, to getting clean tablecloths, and even to picking up a new outfit for Quinn.

The game is divided into three locations: Avenue Flo, Yum Yum Square and Bistro Bay. At each street, you will have a list of baby shower objectives to complete, but as you would expect with any adventure game, tasks like washing the tablecloths are never as easy as they sound. In this particular case, you have to get the dirty linens, help the laundromat's handyman fix the big washer and then convince some tourists to let you use the big dryer. You see, they are convinced it has eaten a bunch of their socks and wouldn't want anyone else's socks eaten either. This particular job also involves getting detergent, which of course, means changing money into tokens, another task that is more involved than it sounds.

At various points in your adventure, you will be asked to help a citizen of the town with some chore. This could be anything from unjumbling the letters on a fruit basket to determine what should go there, to organizing the same fruit in a baby food processor. These tasks also include going through Quinn's closet in order to find the exact right pieces of clothing or reading a set of instructions to know how to arrange pastries on a platter or which clothes to put on some babies for a photo shoot. Like the previous Avenue Flo, Special Delivery offers a wide variety of puzzles.

As you participate and beat these various mini-game challenges, they become unlocked and available outside of the game's Story Mode. While it was nice to go through and play these all again, it wasn't something I felt like I had to do all the time, especially since there isn't really any variety between playings.


Avenue Flo: Special Delivery's difficulty is an odd thing. I found most of the game's inventory-based puzzles to be easy to solve. These would be the types of obstacles most adventure gamers would be familiar with. The mini-games are a little different in that they all start off easy, but as you go through more rounds, they get tougher to do.

This increase in toughness can be anything from having to fit more cookie cutter shapes on some dough to putting the decoration on those same cookies as they sit on a conveyor belt and force you to tap the colored icing buttons at just the right time. In that particular case, the difficulty increases by not only adding more cookie shapes to the list (each with their own icing color combinations), but also speeding up the belt. While it never reaches Lucille Ball status, the speeds get quite daunting.

Oddly enough, the aspect of the game that slowed me down the most occurred after completing all of the tasks on a given street. In order to progress to the next location, you have to collect the 33 balloons that are hidden all over the street, and find enough drinking bottles laying around in order to trade in for a subway token to the next area. While there were similar goals in the previous Avenue Flo, I didn't find it quite as tough then as it is in Special Delivery.

Game Mechanics:

Avenue Flo: Special Delivery is a fun casual adventure game. The story experience will only last a few hours for any experienced adventure gamer, but those gamers out there more familiar with Flo fall into the more casual demographic and might find the puzzles tossed in the way to be a bit more challenging. While the game doesn't often resort to any kind of pixel hunting, there are a lot of times when players might have to resort to that in order to find all of the balloons in an area, or heck even batteries and kiwi slices when the time comes. As a result, these parts of the game might be a bit more frustrating to the casual gamer audience Avenue Flo: Special Delivery is geared towards.

While knowledge of the previous game isn't necessary to enjoy Avenue Flo: Special Delivery, having that back story knowledge definitely adds to the experience. As it is, Special Delivery is a good game for followers of the license that like to dabble in the adventure genre, but any hard core adventure player will probably find this game to be too low of a challenge to be worth more than the trial period.

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

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP/Vista, CPU: 1.2 GHz, RAM: 1024 MB, DirectX: 9.0, Hard Drive: 166 MB

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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