Pokémon Go may be sweeping the country at mania-like speeds, but there's another app out there worthy of (reasonably) feverish devotion. And it has burgers.
Gordon Ramsay DASH comes from Glu Mobile (of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Britney Spears: American Dream fame) and is like the lovechild of Diner Dash and Hell's Kitchen, but heavier on the former and with much less deprecation and screaming than the latter.
Here's the set-up: You're cast as a the sous chef of a new reality series called Rising Star Chefs, heading, at first, a burger joint. The goal is to progress through the different services and restaurants, serving an allotted number of customers before time runs out by cooking burgers, assembling turkey BLTs, grabbing sodas, frying onion rings and French fries, and handing out ice cream cones.
I played through the first level: tapping to get the burger to the bun, to add turkey to bread, to collect tips from happy customers. It was addictive and incredibly satisfying. All I wanted was Ramsay's approval. I thrived on the tense pauses, wondering if my sous chef skills were up to avatar Ramsay's standards. And, if I do say so myself, I did a bang-up job.
After completing the first "season," here are my 14 favorite things about DASH (seriously, who needs pokémen when you have the even more elusive Gordon Ramsay?):
1. Gordon Ramsay's voice/narration. Even the way he says "burger." He's also an adorable cartoon (look at that hair for crying out loud).
2. The way, at the end of level 1, the Gordon Ramsay bobble head tells me my service was "stunning." And all I did was grab some chuck, throw it on the grill, and serve it to a customer (and, of course, collect said customer's money because nothing is free, not even in DASH land).
3. The knife-against-honing-steel sound that begins every level. It's music to my ears.
4. Again, to circle back to point 1, how British Ramsay sounds. I'm considering setting my phone alarm to Ramsay saying "burger" just so I can hear it intermittently throughout the day. God, I love a good British accent.
5. When Ramsay tells you, "Trust me, you've got talent," you really believe you have talent.
6. The bread for the turkey sandwich looks a lot like cinnamon raisin swirl bread—or maybe it's rye? Regardless, extra points for the possible salty-sweet combo. Love that.
7. "Absolutely f*cking stunning" is an actual thing Ramsay says throughout the game. It would be majorly disappointing if he didn't swear.
8. Ramsay didn't even yell at me when I accidentally picked up an extra burger patty and didn't use it. I doubt you'd get the same reaction from real life Ramsay.
9. Once you earn enough "Frenzy Points" Gordon turns into Super Gordon, a.k.a. a fire-like blur who sweeps through the restaurant and serves all the customers for you!
10. After you complete season 1, you can change your avatar's appearance, including your hair and chef's jacket. You can model your avatar after yourself (I gave mine an oh-so-chic ponytail) to your heart's—and coin's—content. It's like you're actually working in a restaurant, but without any of the hard work of actually working in a restaurant.
11. The chef always holds a cleaver in her hand. It's super badass, considering she's just frying burgers.
12. By making burgers and turkey sandwiches, I am humbled, as a Ramsay protégé, and feel as if it's only a matter of time before I start cooking things like foie gras with kumquat-burnt honey sauce.
13. The chefs get progressively angrier looking throughout the seasons. Should I be scared? Maybe, if this is anything like Hell's Kitchen, but that fear is one heck of a driving force.
14. The game asked me to buy coins to upgrade my condiment section, which I was not about. However, I knew it would hinder my ability to slather burgers with ketchup and mustard in good speed. DASH is teaching you about the dilemma of having to make sacrifices to build a better business. Life skills, yo.