Having never played the original Avenue Flo PC game, I honestly was under the assumption that I would be playing another game similar to Cooking Dash, Diner Dash, and Wedding Dash. It took less than 30 seconds for the game to show me that what I was playing focused more on the characters in the DinerTown universe, and that I was in for a lot of mini-game fun.
In Avenue Flo: Special Delivery, Flo travels through DinerTown in an adventure that is a welcome departure from DASH time-management games. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love the DASH franchise, however it was really nice to play something different. Flo’s cousin, Quinn, has branched out from her wedding planning business and is now into baby showers. While putting the finishing touches on a shower for Vicky, Mr. Big’s daughter who’s about to pop any second, things to terribly wrong when a bunch of dogs crash into the room, destroying everything Quinn worked so hard on. Knowing that Flo is there to save the day Quinn calls upon her for help hoping she can fix things quickly.
Unlike other games I’ve played that take place in the DinerTown universe, I actually got to roam around and explore, but it was a part of the story and not like a sandbox game. More cookies had to be baked, special bunny-shaped napkins were needed, the table cloths had to be laundered, and so much more. With each task that Quinn gives you, there is a process, but it never felt tedious. To launder the table linens, I had to fix a washing machine, rummage through my purse for money to get tokens for the machines, and find a lucky striped sock so that I could convince a lady to let me use the dryer. It might sound like a lot when reading it, but oddly enough it really all made sense.
In addition to going through and saving the shower from being a complete disaster, there are balloons to find as well as plastic bottles. The plastic bottles serve a purpose as you must collect 20 of them in each “district” so that you can recycle them and get a subway token. Kudos to PlayFirst for including something like recycling in a game, and having it play an integral part rather than some random thing. In fact, I think the recycling for subway token idea is genius, and hopefully we see something like that one day in major metropolitan cities. As for the balloons, Mr. Big wants his darling Vicky to be greeted with 100 of the latex giants as soon as she enters her surprise shower. Fortunately you only have to find 99 of them throughout the game since Quinn managed to save 1.
The obvious stars of the show are the mini-games. I absolutely loved almost all of them, but the one at the end where you have to stack the shower gifts into a tower was a little frustrating. I won’t tell you why it must be done, but the controls were very sensitive. It’s a combination of reverse Jenga and Tetris, but there was one instance where I had everything stacked up properly yet the game didn’t recognize it. In order to get past it, I had to skip that level of the mini-game. I loved how they included an option to skip past levels, although I only did it that one time at the end, but some players might use it more than I did and will really utilize that feature.
Aside from the crazy present tower, there were ridiculously fun mini-games like where you had to sort books in the town library, do a word scramble using tiles to spell out fruits and vegetables at the local market, and create baby shower themed cookies. If I had to choose my favorite, it was the mini-game in the Dessert Oasis shop where I had to arrange various pastries on platters. There were clues from Quinn on how the order they should go in, so I really had a blast with something a little more logic based.
I did experience a bit of a glitch in the game, but it isn’t anything terrible like one might think when they hear the word glitch. During some of the first cutscenes in the game, it would replay the cutscene when it was actually supposed to end and go back to Flo. The opening conversation between Quinn and Flo is when it first started, and then it did again a couple more times in the other conversations they had as the game progressed. All I had to do was press the button to skip it and everything was fine. After having that happen those few times, I never ran into that problem again, and it really wasn’t anything in the first place. The only reason why I feel it should be brought up is so that others don’t think the issue is exclusive to them, or that the game is corrupt.
Upon completing the main story, there is another mode you can play and all of the main mini-games are available without having to do a second full playthrough of the actual game itself. I thought it was a fantastic addition to the game, it certainly adds to the replay value, and there are leaderboards included just in case you live with somebody else who will play the game. There’s nothing like competing for that high score! Each mini-game section has 16 levels to play through, so on top of the 4-6 hours one spends playing through the “campaign”, I can easily see somebody spending several additional hours tinkering away and arranging baked goods.
For only $6.99, Avenue Flo: Special Delivery is definitely worth the price, and it’s something I would play again and again. To download a copy now, check out the official PlayFirst site and enjoy!