Betty Boop's Double Shift Review


As Nintendo continues to court the "non-traditional" gamer with its systems, the appearance of more and more casual games on the DS is inevitable. While this has the benefit of bringing DS gamers a more diverse selection of games, it also means that we're now getting a lot of really thin games masquerading as full titles. Betty Boop: Double Shift is a case in point of this.

In Double Shift, Betty Boop must work at a nightclub to earn enough money to go to Hollywood to pursue her dreams of stardom. To earn the money more quickly, she works a "double shift" of waiting tables and performing as a singer. These two shifts are each the basis of a separate mini game, neither of which is really that captivating or enjoyable.

If you've ever seen the Flash-based internet game Diner Dash or one of its imitators, then you'll have a pretty good idea of how the waitress game in Double Shift is played. You have a number of tables to manage and as customers arrive they will sit at the tables and begin to read menus. When they've made a selection they'll call for your attention and you'll need to move to their tables by tapping on them with the stylus. You then need to take their orders to a table at the bottom of the screen and a short time later the orders will be placed on the table for you to take back to the customers. The goal of the game is to ensure that all customers are served quickly enough that they don't get mad and storm out of the restaurant since only satisfied customers will leave you a tip. This game is based on a popular internet game, so you'd think that sticking pretty closely to an established formula would be enough to make it at least mildly enjoyable. However the game does a terrible job of responding to the taps of your stylus. Sometimes you need to tap several times for the game to register your tap and at others your tap will register for the wrong location. In a game so dependent on timing and precision, this control issue pretty much sinks the whole thing straight to the bottom.

The other mini game is a rhythm-based timing game. Betty sits on the upper screen as a cursor moves along a line of music. Your job is to tap the corresponding note on the touch screen when the cursor passes the note on the upper screen. Yes, it's about as exciting as it sounds and is completely devoid of challenge. You really have to make a concerted effort to fail at this game ... and to stay awake while playing it.

The entire game consists of 25 levels of the waitress mini game followed by the singing one. The game will save your progress as you go along, but there's no way to replay a level that you've already cleared unless you start a new game and start from the beginning all over again. I'm guessing that this won't be a problem to anyone, though, because one time through will be more than enough for almost anyone.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 25%. Betty Boop is better off in the unemployment line than she is working this double shift.