PlayFirst and the Diner town franchise want to pump you up! Fitness Dash is a time management episode in the Diner town saga of games. With a peppy, upbeat, 80's style soundtrack and the standard, fun, playful Diner town graphics, this new edition promises hours of entertainment. Sadly, however, Fitness Dash does not promise rock-hard abs, buns-of-steel, or a better love life -- after all, it is just a game!
When the residents in Donutville beat the Diner town citizens in a tug-of-war match, Jogger Jo is embarrassed beyond belief. She decides that it is time for her town to shape up. Let's face it with the amount of food we have been stuffing down the residents faces it is about time they went to the gym! Great food, good cooking, fast service may be fabulous for normal townies, but not so for the would-be athletes of Diner town's tug-of-war team. No matter, Flo encourages Jo to open up her own gym. In no time, Jo is kicking backsides into gear and revving up her team for a big win against the Donutville team in an inevitable rematch.
There are two main modes of play in Fitness Dash. The Endless mode has two modes within itself, Tug-of-War and Fitness mode. Fitness Mode is similar to pervious Dash games in that players will continue to play one level until they lose too many customers. In Tug-of-War Mode, gamers participate in the ultimate struggle for power until they have wiped all of their competitors off the board. Both modes offer three levels of difficulty, predictably; easy, medium, and hard. Gamers can use the easy level to familiarize themselves with the game before jumping into the Story Mode, if they wish.
Story Mode takes Jo and her team through five different neighbourhoods, each neighbourhood spans ten levels that must be completed before moving on to the next stage. Jo will face a different goal each day, and if she reaches her goal she may use her money to buy upgrades for her gym. Upgrades range from making Jo faster to expanding equipment to increase efficiency. In addition, if Jo meets her goal, she will have an expert goal to reach.
Keeping customers happy is crucial, and this is indicated by a chain of hearts above each customer. When they are red, they are filled, when they are white they are empty, and the customer is well on their way to being unhappy. One quick fix for an unhappy guest is a bottle of water. While never requested, water always boosts the mood of the guests and recycling the used bottles gives the player a boost.
Some guests are much more patient than others. Jo must know her clientele and be aware that the senior citizens, brides and celebrities are much less patient than the teenage boys or moms. Paying attention to the impatient guests usually pays off in the form of large tips, so Jo must be sure to accommodate them first and let the patient clients wait a little longer.
In order to earn her keep, Jo has a string of tasks she must perform. When customers enter, they will have an indication of what they want to do in the form of a small circle next to their head. Jo must place the guest at the machine or station that they require. All guests will also request a towel when they begin working out. Once the towel is used, they will toss it on the floor, which Jo will need to pick up and take back to the towel station to be washed for the next guests. Guests will discard towels but continue to work out; therefore, you need to get them new towels before they become unhappy. After the workout, the guests will want to take a shower before they head back out into the real world. A few levels in, a drinks machine is introduced. Once a guest requests a drink, Jo can pick it up and take it over to them. In addition, a snack machine will also appear. Snacks make the guest finish their work out immediately. While this can speed up the process, the snack machine is terribly slow; therefore, if you plan to use the snack machine, make sure you order a new one regardless of if you need it at that point or not. Each location ends in a “Tug-of-War” mini-game that takes the form of a tile matching game. When you complete the game, you will be able to move on to the next neighbourhood.
As with other Dash games, chaining bonuses come in two forms. Colour chains can be attained when, for example, Jo places a man in a blue outfit on a blue workout bench instead of the red one. While this may not always seem like a convenient action (because the blue workout bench may be in use), it is better to use colour chains because it is the easiest way to gain additional points. Bonuses are indicated by an “x” followed by the number of times the station has been used for that colour. The other bonus for chains is caused with consecutive actions being performed. If Jo can bring water bottles to all her guests before moving any of them on to the next task, she will rack up a bonus that is multiplied by the number of guests served in that chain.
As with all Diner town ventures, Jo will face a few problems that she needs to overcome. The showers, TV, and air conditioning units will all break down at different times and distractions such as an ice cream truck will threaten the focus of her clients. If she can take it all in stride, she will earn a cool $250 for each crisis averted.
If Jo can keep her pace and her sanity, she is sure to succeed in getting the town in tip-top shape in no time. A true time-management game in all aspects, Fitness Dash will challenge and entertain for hours on end with the result of a sore finger in the end.