OverviewPeter Pepper has taken up a job at a local diner. Unfortunately, the Rotten Food has followed him there, and is scattering meals all over the place. Peter must navigate the diner and kick all the balls of food back onto their respective plates, while avoiding being tackled by the Rotten Food.
HistoryDiner was created from a prototype of a Masters of the Universe game. This reworking was influenced by game sales, as BurgerTime was selling far better than the original Masters of the Universe cartridge. While Diner was billed as the sequel to BurgerTime, and used the BurgerTime name and characters under license from Data East, it is considered an unofficial sequel at best, and has not seen the light of day since its initial release on the Intellivision in 1987.
GameplayIn a game of Diner, Peter Pepper starts with six lives, or turns. Players run around the series of ladders, stairs, and platforms with Peter, kicking food balls so that they roll towards the plate at the bottom of the screen. If a food ball is currently rolling, it must stop before Peter can kick another food ball. In addition, Peter freezes for a second while kicking, so it's advisable not to be too close to a pursuing Rotten while doing this.
If a Rotten Food tackles Peter, he loses a turn. since the playing field is pseudo-3D, there is some leeway to dodging nearby Rottens by running around them, but this can be risky due to questionable hit detection.
In the event Peter is cornered or otherwise needs to escape, he can use dashes of pepper, much like in BurgerTime, to freeze nearby enemies for a few seconds. Extra dashes of pepper can be earned by grabbing bonus side orders that appear once in a while in a set spot in each room.
Some levels will have holes which open and close at set intervals; if Peter is above a hole as it opens, he loses a turn. Other levels will have rising and falling platforms, which can be used by enemies as well as Peter.
Once a plate is complete, Peter Pepper pauses to celebrate, and then the screen scrolls right to the next room. After the completion of every fourth room, instead of celebration, all the Rottens disappear and a bonus round begins. Bonus food balls will roll straight down the platforms, and points are scored for each ball grabbed. However, grabbing a flashing ball will immediately end the bonus round and cost a turn. The amount of balls in the bonus round is determined by how many side orders Peter Pepper grabbed in the last four rooms.
EnemiesWhile the hot dogs return as part of the Rotten Food gang, every other enemy is brand new for Diner. This includes bananas, cherries, and Mugsy, a mug of root beer considered to be the leader of the Rotten Food at the diner.
TriviaThe diner, called Ray's, is named after Ray Kaestner, who programmed Burgertime and Diner for the Intellivision.