Hungry Hearts Diner is a charming mobile game where you play an old lady trying to run a restaurant after her husband has gotten ill.
This restaurant is your only means of income, and without your husband to look after it, there is a lot on your plate. It also doesn’t help that you’ve never needed to cook before and don’t know a lot of recipes, but that can be changed with a little practice.
At the start of this idle game, you begin with a few core dishes that you can cook – each of which takes some energy to prepare. As you are an old grandma, you do need to rest between cooking, slowly giving yourself more energy for more food. Still, you always need to make more than one dish to be on display, and customers will only order the dishes you have made, so you will have to balance work and rest to keep them happy.
Customers will eat more if you have a variety of different dishes out, though. They sometimes order a rice first, a main, some sides, and even a drink. Clicking on the characters forces them to eat faster, however, if you leave them to enjoy their food, they will eat more.
Hungry Hearts Diner‘s customers do have preferences too, which can be learned through interactions. From time to time, your customers will want to talk to you, sometimes chatting about their struggles, sometimes suggesting food, and other times just looking for a kind ear to listen. Once you know what dishes they’d like, and you know how to make them, you can have them in stock when they enter to increase their satisfaction and learn more about them. Happy customers love talking, it seems!
You will slowly level up dishes by cooking them, earn enough money to increase the amount of seats and room for food in your restaurant, and grow building itself. You also have a guide on the various customers you have met, showing the dishes they have mentioned liking and how satisfied they are, helping you please them more the next time they show up. When you turn off the app, customers still come and sit down at your restaurant, waiting for your return. May as well make them happy when you get back!
Through the various interactions and meals in Hungry Hearts Diner, you won’t just learn about the people you server, but you will also learn about yourself, finding out about how you ended up in this situation, why you are here, and about your family relationships.
Hungry Hearts Diner is free to play, with three in-app purchases of about a dollar each. These allow the rate of energy recovery to double, double XP gained when cooking, and allow customers to eat faster in Frenzy Mode. All of them are permanent. From time to time, grandma asks to watch tv – which allows you to watch an add. This ad can either give you a bonus amount of coins, or send your diner into Frenzy Mode, which gives you loads of customers.
This game is really lovely and enjoyable. I quite like the recipes, the variety of dishes, and the snippets of story, although sometimes they aren’t written quite as well as they could be. Learning about the people you are serving while keeping a good variety of food around makes for some enjoyable play.