Diner Dash: Hometown Hero

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Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
Diner Dash: Hometown Hero logo

Developer(s) PlayFirst
Publisher(s) PlayFirst
Series Diner Dash
Engine Playground SDK™
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS X
Release date(s) November 8, 2007[1]
Genre(s) Strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer (online)
Distribution Download, CD-ROM

Diner Dash: Hometown Hero is the fourth installment in the Diner Dash series of casual games. It was developed and published by PlayFirst. it was launched on September 25, 2007.


Flo returns to her hometown to visit her Grandma, Florence, only to find that the place has become a run-down ghost town. Flo decides to use her culinary skills to rejuvenate the town by improving the restaurants at all the formerly popular hangouts.

Starting with the Zoo, Flo & Grandma return to discover the zoo is now desolate. They head to the restaurant but are appalled at the service. The waiter tells them that the reason for the zoo's poor state is recent funding cuts by the city. Flo & Grandma rejuvenate the zoo and it becomes successful again.

Flo & Grandma then head to the Baseball Stadium to watch the game, but attendance is poor and the baseball diner is lackluster. A customer got a cold hot dog in 30 minutes. They revive the Baseball Stadium and leave for the Museum.

Flo & Grandma discover the museum to be in a state of depression. The janitor, alone, is the curator, cook and waiter! They then revive the museum with the help of the customers and the museum celebrates its grand reopening.

Flo & Grandma then head to the Boardwalk Beach. Before arriving, Grandma Florence tells Flo about her old disco when she was younger. When Flo notices the building that used to be the disco Grandma mentioned, Grandma says that she was unable to keep it afloat because she couldn't keep up. Flo & Grandma head to a shack at the park for a funnel cake but decide to help the poorly managed waiters when they see how bad the park is getting. They successfully restore the amusement park. Flo then rides the rollercoaster before deciding to leave and ends up warping back in time. Flo discovers the aforementioned disco and runs inside where she meets a young Grandma Florence. Flo then resolves to help Florence keep her restaurant afloat by helping her.

After helping Florence, Flo says goodbye, runs back to the rollercoaster, and warps back to the present time. When Flo encounters Grandma Florence in the present, she tells her about the disco and discovers that Florence's Groovy Disco is up and running. Grandma tells Flo that a woman who looks very familiar to her had helped her. Flo & Grandma Florence enter the disco and celebrate its anniversary.

Game Play[edit]

Gameplay involves seating customers as they enter the restaurant. One must drag and drop each group of customers to a table appropriate for their group size. Extra points are given for seating a customer in a chair that is the same color as the customer's clothing. Then, Flo must take their orders, send the order to the kitchen, deliver the food, give the group the check, and clean the table for new customers. There is hardly ever only one group of customers at a time, so the player must use time management in order to keep all of the customers happy. Each group of customers has a row of hearts at their table in order to show their mood. If the mood drops low enough, the customers will leave and you lose money. However, if the customers remain happy, they will stay and tip well. Each level has a money goal that one must reach in order to continue on to the next level. As the player moves from level to level, they are able to select new upgrades for the restaurant. New elements are also added such as spills or desert in different levels in order to make the game more challenging and interesting. The player also has the option of playing a "continuous shift" where there are no levels or story. You just continue to play to see how much money you can earn.

Secret Levels[edit]

Returning to Hometown Hero are secret levels, special unlockable levels that can only be accessed when you complete the entire restaurant with all expert scores. Expert levels are notoriously difficult and serve to heighten the player's skills.

  • Sunday Brunch: There are only Teens & Seniors in this secret level, this tests your ability to react fast.
  • All Star Game: Over half the customers will order a snack and dessert, this tests your ability to chain.
  • Tourist Invasion: Only Tourists who all want a picture, this tests your ability to wait a few seconds.
  • Birthday Bash: Adults with all kids and babies. They will always order a snack while they order and during their meal, this tests your ability to chain and keep the families happy.
  • Flo's Inferno: A true nightmare of a secret level, the young ladies, cellphone addicts, joggers, business women, family's father and tourists appear in mixed groups and will instantly order, they are all impatient. This tests all of your abilities and is the hardest level of the game.

Expansion Packs[edit]

There are three themed expansion packs that can be bought separately, also featuring Flo & Grandma:

  • Seasonal Snack Pack: Coral Cove Cafe, Crypt Cafe, Hometown Harvest, Winter Wonderland & Romantic Rendezvous
  • Flo Through Time: The Caveman Cafe, Pharaoh's Feast, All Knight Diner, Buccaneer Bistro & Snack to the Future
  • Once Upon a Diner: 1001 Bites, Through the Cooking Glass, Fee Fi Flo Fun, The Dash Slipper & Munchkin Lunchkin

Video Game Elements[edit]

Diner Dash: Hometown Hero is definitely a goal-directed game. It has clear rules and a clear goal that you must reach in order to pass the level. Specifically, it gives you a certain amount of money that you have to earn at the cafe in a given amount of time with a given amount of customers in order to proceed to the next level. The game also has a narrative. It tells the story of the main character, Flo, who returns to her hometown to see that many of her favorite places are run-down. She opens and runs cafes in each of these places in order to raise money to help out. You must complete each level in order to open a new cafe somewhere else. As far as simulation, the game does simulate real life to a point. Players must manage the restaurant and chose which upgrades to make in the restaurant at the end of each level. The goal is to manage a successful restaurant. You even have customers with different personalities who must be dealt with differently.

New Additions[edit]

At certain levels in the game, Flo hires an assistant. In these levels, the only goal is to make more money than her assistant. It incorporates a new element of friendly competition into the game instead of always going against the clock.


  • Young Lady: A young woman, probably in her 20s-30s, who has moderate patience. They order and eat at moderate speed and they are the "restaurant regulars." They moderately dislike noise, and they are moderate tippers. Fourth appearance. They can sometimes be seen with son.
  • Senior Lady: Just like the kindly senior from the first 3 games, the elderly woman is the most patient out of the customers, but they are very slow when eating and ordering. They moderately hate noise, and they do not tip well. First appearance.
  • Cellphone Addict: A business man who is in his 30s-40s who speaks on the phone a lot. They annoy customers with their constant chatter, they order and eat fast, and they are one of the most impatient customers. They do not mind noise. Third appearance. They can sometimes be seen with father.
  • Bookworm: An man who hates noise more than any other customer. If they get mad at only one noise, they might not even tip well. They are very patient, and they order and eat slowly. They are a moderate tipper, but just like above, they will tip low if they hear just one noise. Third appearance.
  • Love Birds: A newly wedded couple that will only sit at a 2-top table, and won't sit at the bar, because they don't like sitting near other people. They are very patient, but if you keep them waiting too long, they will start smooching, which will annoy other customers. They do not mind noise and they are a moderate tipper. Second appearance.
  • Jogger: A youngish woman who's very athletic. She is moderately patient and orders and eats at a moderate speed. She does not mind noise because she never takes off her headphones. They never order dessert because they are watching their weight, but they do order snacks almost all the time. She is a moderate tipper. Third appearance.
  • Business Woman: A middle-aged woman who is the most impatient customer in the entire game. They order and eat fast, and they moderately dislike noise. They tip very high. Fourth appearance.
  • Celebrity: The celebrity is a famous man that is very impatient. If you sit them near other customers, they will get starstruck and become happier. They do everything fast and they moderately dislike noise. They are an EXTREMELY high tipper - they are the highest tippers in the game. First appearance.
  • Family: A family consists of a mother, father, son, and baby. The baby will ALWAYS cry if he's not in a high chair, and after that he'll only cry if the family gets upset waiting for service. The kid and the baby can spill drinks, so there's a mop to clean it up. They are sometimes seen in pairs: Father and son and Mom and babies. If the son isn't with them, they are usually seen with a senior man/lady, or just without him. The father is also sometimes seen with the cell phone addicts, and the son can sometimes be seen with young ladies. They are moderately patient, they order and eat at a moderate speed, and they are a moderate tipper. They don't mind noise much. Third appearance.
  • Food Critic: They are impatient and, like the bookworms, they HATE noise. They are slow to order, but eat at a moderate speed. They are a SUPER high tipper just like the celebrities. This is their second appearance since the original Diner Dash. They don't like sitting near other people.
  • Hungry Men: New to the series, they order a second meal after finishing their first one and they moderately tip.
  • Teenagers: Just like the Cellphone Addict they will constantly make noise disturbing the other customers around them. There are Boy and Girl teenagers, If you sit Boy & Girl teenagers next to each other they will turn off their phones and instead flirt (giving a one time flirt bonus). They are the lowest tippers in the game. First appearance.
  • Tourists: Tourists order slowly, but eat at a regular speed. They are patient in line, but become impatient at the table. Sometimes, they will ask for a picture. Strangely, they are not introduced in this game, they just come in on a random level. Second appearance.

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