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Cooking Mama

Released on 08 December 2006

Rating: 3+ (PEGI)

4.0 out of 5 (74 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Cooking Mama challenges players to use the stylus as a master kitchen tool to cook 76 real world dishes ranging from pepperoni pizza to cabbage meat rolls. Under Mama's watchful eye, players must first prepare ingredients, then combine, cook and present the final meal all via the touch screen. Players can even "cool down" dishes by blowing into the DS microphone and share their favourite recipes with friends via the DS wireless link.

*2006 'Best of E3' Winner
  • Create 76 different, real world dishes from fried eggs to cabbage meat rolls! By mastering the first 15 recipes you can unlock 61 increasingly complex bonus recipes to expand your skills in the kitchen.
  • The stylus is your master kitchen tool. Use it in more than 200 mini-games to chop, slice, pan fry, knead, grate, mash, tenderize, mix, peel, carve, roll and more. Once your dish is ready, you can even use the stylus to prepare the final layout of your meal.
  • Cool food down by blowing into the Nintendo DS microphone
  • Combine recipes to create more advanced dishes
  • Share recipes with up to 4 other people or transfer a saved game to a friend via the DS wireless link
  • Earn bronze, silver and gold medals based on the quality of your cooking
  • Practice mode lets you finetune your cooking skills without being judged

customer Reviews

 Average rating (74 reviews)

 A Recipe For Success?

| | See all saladin's reviews (5)

Home Economics. Dreary Wednesday afternoons, glumly watching flies bat themselves unconscious against the classroom windows, before falling helplessly into some-one's cake mix. The flies, that is, not me. I didn't often make a habit of falling into cake mix in my youth.


Cooking Mama. The one thing you can't say about it is "dreary". From the opening sequence, to the music, to the animations, nothing about this game is dreary. The graphics are bright and sharp on the DS's lovely little screens and the music and sound effects are crisp and quirky. From the simple task of cooking rice, to preparing a complicated squid dish, everything is beautifully and surprisingly well animated, given that animating falling rice could be considered too pedantic to be worth the effort. Nevertheless, they bothered and it paid off.

Given the slightly weird subject matter (cook stuff, for pretty much no reason), it would be understandable for the developer to attempt to shoe-horn in some ridiculously over-the-top storyline about a cute Anime girl saving her ancestor's famous restaurant from imminent destruction by sushi-hating culinary ninjas. Thankfully, no-one thought about that, so what we're left with is a game without a storyline. Players are allowed to practice new techniques and dishes before attempting to cook them to Cooking Mama's exacting standards. Cooking Mama is the sole game character, but one whose only role is either to shower you with praise or scream at you in fury, eyes ablaze (literally, for some reason). Thankfully, that's the extent of her interference with your fun. No poorly translated dialogue. In fact, the total lack of the usual Japanese craziness that I've come to expect from games such as these was worryingly absent. Maybe the crazy artist was off sick that day.

As for the food, the dishes available to cook are rather interesting. Very few of them are boring Western dishes - imagine how tedious turkey twizzlers would get after a while. No, the food you can cook is thoroughly Japanese and therefore interesting, colourful and occasionally inspiring. You mightn't think it, but it would possible to pick up a few pointers from Cooking Mama. The occasional non-Japanese dish makes a nice change, such as pizza or curry. Some are a bit wacko, and seem to suggest that someone was running out of ideas by the end of the developing process. A sandwich? Instant noodles?

Control of the game is solely by the touchscreen, where the majority of the action takes place. Some mini-games follow a simple DDR format, wherein you might have to add ingredients, stir or blow on the microphone to cool things down in time to the little progress bar on the upper screen. My sole criticism of these sequences is that they are just too easy. The various actions never come close enough together to present anything near a challenge for most people with some degree of coordination. Also, some of the mini-games are rather counter-intuitive, such as peeling potatoes. Oh, how I now resent peeling potatoes.

Aside from that, the rest of the mini-games are great fun. None of the dishes is particularly long, meaning that the game is instantly suitable for the hand-held gamer on the go. Creating some of the more complex dishes is very satisfying, and the option to modify some dishes half-way through adds a certain degree of replayability.

With its instant pick-up-and-play nature, and the intuitive nature of the DS, this makes a great game to encourage people to start playing games. The unusual subject matter, the high quality of the execution and the appealing music and animation mean that Cooking Mama will charm pretty much any gamer or non-gamer alike.

 Cooking Mama

| | See all idunno's reviews (1)

This game is perfect for long journeys it lets you cook and see if youre up to the little girls standards. This game gives you a range of short activities to do. The good thing is that the activities are meals and each very different you can choose from loads of traditional dishes and normal fun things like pizza. I know this game will not allow you to be bored as I played it on a 5 ½ hour trip, so trust me this game is perfect for long drives.

 I've always wanted to be a ...

| | See all Carolynxxx's reviews (3)

..good cook, and thanks to mama's help and guidance i can be, well at least on my nintendo ds that is ! This game is excellent and extremely addictive for all ages, from your nephew to your grandma!! The great thing about this game is that it gives you the chance to experience all kinds of cooking from boiled eggs to japanese steak and trust me once you have picked it up you wont be able to put it down for hours and you'll soon be humming along to the very very catchy music. I would recommend this game to anyone and i rate it highly!

 ok game

| | See all lovexx1's reviews (2)

this game is ok but not very good if ur left handed which i am. the stylus doesn,t work some times which gets really annoying cause u know what u have to do u just can,t do it. i think the worse thing about this game is if ur left handed because u cover alot of the stuff with ur hand.

 good but not as good as number 2

| | See all brownieowl's reviews (49)

This game is good and fun but cooking mama 2 is soo much better. if your thinking of getting this buy number 2 instead. Its not a follow on of this game just an upgraded version with much, much more to do hope this was useful.

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Rating3+ (PEGI)