When Nintendo announced this DS title, everyone was confused why they were releasing such a title? With around 250 in depth guides to cooking though, this isn't an application to be sniffed at.
To get started, you can choose what you wish to make by searching the country it originates from or what you want it to include. The advanced search tool works really well, and includes options for the amount of calories, the main ingredient (such as meat, fish, veg) and the cooking time. This narrows your search down to all of the recipes that apply, and from here you can view details of each one, and then check you've got the correct utensils and ingredients ready.
When it's time to cook, you get help from a cheerful British "man", who reads out each of your instructions for you. The instructions are also available in a little more depth on the screen, and sometimes more details will be available alongside each step. These extra details might explain why you're doing something or they may give you tips on how to get a nicer taste. Sometimes, there will even be a video (displayed in a very good picture quality for the DS) to help you further, making sure that you hardly ever get it wrong.
To progress to the next step, you can either touch the respective icon on the screen, or say "continue" out loud for the microphone to hear. You can also ask the cook to repeat instructions or go back a step if you need any more help.
In addition to all this, there are several extras also worth mentioning. First of all, there is a guide that teaches you the meanings of all the terminology used, and how to perform each technique described when cooking. These are packed full of information, and are also available whilst you're cooking a recipe. There are also lists of all the ingredients used, with an image and description of each one, and (where applicable) a substitute ingredient that may be used instead.
Plus, the cartridge also includes a timer that can be activated at any point during a recipe, further ensuring you get everything perfectly right. Whilst your meals are cooking, there is also an option to busy yourself with the Game & Watch title "Chef", where you move a character left and right to toss falling sausages before they hit the ground. It may be a simple game, but it's also pretty addictive and is a welcome addition.
If you're not in the mood for cooking, though, then you can still browse the recipes, and mark them for notification later. Plus, you can add comments (written by handwriting on the touch screen, Brain Training style) to each meal, search for a particular something, or browse the calendar to see which meals you have made and when you made them.
There are a few letdowns in the software though. For starters, many of the recipes are foreign, and will most definitely not suit everyone's taste. The problem with the recipes being foreign also means that there are quite a few ingredients you won't be able to get because they originate from Japan, or other countries. The substitute ingredients list helps out, but it's still a shame it's been done this way. In addition to this, the microphone (marketed as one of the most important features) is often too responsive, and there is no option to alter this. If you clatter a pan or rapidly stir some food, it can pick this up, and often skips back a step, or repeats the step again, which eventually led to me switching that option off, and instead getting my DS covered in food by using the on screen "buttons".
Overall though, there's loads to do in this package, and it is well recommended for anyone who can or would like to cook, providing you've got a liking for a wide variety of foreign food.