Quick FactsCooking_Mama.JPG

  • Platform: Nintendo DS.
  • Suggested Platform: Nintendo DS.
  • Developer: Majesco Corporation.
  • Genre: Mini-Game.
  • Release Date: 09/12/06
  • Why Play It?: Fast paced, fun mini-games with a nice presentation, and plenty to unlock. Plays kind of like a food version of Warioware. Or if you’re Miley Cyrus.
  • Why Skip It?: If you’re looking for a serious title, or if you’re in PETA.

Okay, just hear me out. I’m sure you’ll look at this and review and say, “Really? Cooking Mama? Isn’t that a kid’s game?” Sure, Cooking Mama has a cute and sometimes goofy presentation, but I firmly stand by my assessment of Cooking Mama being a best game ever. It’s fun, fast-paced, and reminds me of a less frantic cooking version of  Warioware, which is a lot of fun.

Cooking Mama is a mini-game game. You’ll pick a recipe from an ever-expanding list of various dishes and get right into it. Everything from Cup Ramen to Japanese style steaks are available on the menu. Once you’ve decided on your dish, you’ll be brought to a screen briefly detailing the instructions for that part of the dish. Cooking Mama utilizes all of the features of the Nintendo DS. You’ll do prep work by cutting things with a knife on the touch screen, stirring and blowing foam off the top of a boiling pot, peeling vegetables, and much more. Each recipe has multiple steps, and you’ll be graded based on your performance in each step, from bronze to gold. At the end of the recipe, your score will be averaged between all your grades. You should strive for 100%! You’ll unlock more recipes as you complete others, and some recipes can be changed up on the fly. These dishes are only unlockable this way.cookingmamadsscreen1.jpg

There are three modes in Cooking Mama. Let’s Cook, which I detailed above, Let’s Combine, which allows you to take two dishes that you have unlocked and combine them, and Use Skill, which are challenges for each individual step. There is a sample recipe of Salisbury Steak that you can send to another DS via the DS Shareplay feature. You are also able to practice any recipe, skipping to whichever step you’d like.

Cooking Mama received a number of sequels and spin offs for the Wii, DS and 3DS. I’ve only ever played the original Cooking Mama and Cooking Mama: Cook-Off (for the Wii) and both are pretty fun, the latter, more-so with friends, although I’ve heard that most of the titles are a lot of fun. You can’t really go wrong with a mini-game game if the mini games are fun and fast-paced. Cooking Mama does that really well. Cooking Mama presentation includes plenty of bright colors and upbeat music.

Two quick fun facts about Cooking Mama. Apparently Miley Cyrus really liked this game. I’m not sure what that means for the world or the fate of Cooking Mama, but… There you go. PETA on the other hand hated it due to the many meat dishes (despite there also being many vegetarian dishes). In fact, PETA hated Cooking Mama so much that they released their own Cooking Mama spin off involving brutally murdering animals to make your dishes. That’s PETA for you.

Love it or hate it, I still think Cooking Mama deserves a spot on the list. It’s great for quick sessions, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t sat down and powered through a bunch of recipes. Cooking Mama is plenty of fun, and deserves her spot on the list.