In September of 2006, Majesco unleashed Cooking Mamma to the world. And while some players have absolutely loved this cooking simulation game, others have found it to be rather dull after all recipes are mastered. It’s important I think to know both pros and cons of this game before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
In Cooking Mamma, the player is given various cooking tasks where they prepare a meal with the help of their stylus and the touch screen of their Nintendo DS. Getting the hang of slicing, and dicing, and frying, and chopping away at various foods with their stylus is really quite simple. To have fully prepared a meal, the player must first accomplish each of the mini-games, which are really various steps of cooking such as peeling, chopping, stirring, and so on. Depending on how well you accomplish each one of the mini-game steps depends on the score you receive from Mamma.
The character of Mamma is used as the cooking guide through your game play. She will tell you what it is that needs to be done before the meal can be fully prepared. Such as adding a list of ingredients to a pot or a bowl to be mixed, or kneading doe to be baked. Basically, you follow her directions as you would the directions in a cookbook.
The level of challenge in this game is for the most part simple, where the player simply follows the guiding blue lines on the screen with their stylus to complete a cooking task. While other cooking steps however, can prove to be harder to get the hang of such as having to drain pasta or peel potatoes. The good thing about this is that the game starts you off with cooking something simple that takes little preparation time, to then learning new recipes that have more steps added to them and more for you to do.
Another option of game play if you are feeling adventurous would be to experiment with recipes to come up with a meal all your own. This brings a little extra spice to the game that holds only seventy six actual recipes. Once you complete and master the first fifteen recipes, the game gives you sixty one bonus recipes that are more complex then the real world recipes. But having the same recipes to prepare over and over again once you’ve completed them can get a little dreary.
Squido.com says that while the recipes are easy to complete, yet it “takes time to perfect all recipes so you get your money’s worth” this game really has “low replay value after all recipes are perfected” and some recipes are “too repetitive” with the steps used in preparing them.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics of this game are really nothing to be wowed at, and if consumers are looking for a game where the characters resemble real life people and places, then this is by far not the correct game for them. The characters of Cooking Mamma are cute cartooned people who interact with cooking in a cartooned world that can best summed up as child-like.
One thing you can count on with the graphics of this game is that there is no lack of color in any segment of game play. Each mini-game, kitchen scene, characters and food dishes are richly painted with a variety of colors from the rainbow that are very amusing to look at. Wiipals.net focuses on the changing eyes of Mamma when you cook a meal either excellent, ok, or bad as, “funny little animations” that will “draw in small children” with the vibrant colors and graphics.
The music as well is sure to draw in children with its quirkily melodic songs that are similar to elevator music. UGO.com has classified this music as bringing to mind, “old cooking shows, an upbeat jazzy piano riff that is perfectly suited but repetitive and tires quickly”. It really all depends on how much cutesy type of music you can stand listening to. On the upside, the music should not be of main importance while discovering whether or not this game is right for you, the volume can always be turned down.
According to gamespot.com, while the game is considered cute and charming it “lacks direction and depth” and has no real point. Overall I feel that while this is true, the game does offer players a considerable amount of enjoyment as well, and whether that enjoyment will be a long term investment or not is really up to individual players.
“Cooking Mama Review – NintendoPals.net Nintendo Friend Codes Forum.” NintendoPals.net Nintendo Friend Codes Forum. 14 Sept. 2008. Web. 10 Sept. 2010. .
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Higa, By Daniel. “UGO.COM – Cooking Mama Review.” Movie News, TV Show Guides, New Video Games, Hero Machine, Cool Stuff – UGO.com. Web. 10 Sept. 2010. .
Navarro, By Alex. “Cooking Mama Review for DS – GameSpot.” GameSpot Is Your Go-to Source for Video Game News, Reviews, and Entertainment. 18 Sept. 2006. Web. 10 Sept. 2010. .