Strap on your apron, Cooking Mama has arrived on Facebook in delicious fashion
After years of success on other platforms, Majesco and Arkadium have finally decided to give Facebook gamers a little taste of Cooking Mama. Thankfully, not a single slice of quality feels lost in the social conversion.
Cooking Mama places you right in the kitchen, and it’s your goal to make a variety of appetizers, entrees, desserts and more for guests of Mama’s restaurant. Mama is also a big help, as she will show you how to make each and every one of the different dishes available.
When you’re ready to cook something, you’ll open up the recipe book where each dish is separated by type (drinks, appetizers, main courses etc.). Each dish requires a set of ingredients that you have to purchase before you can cook them (missing ingredients will be greyed out). Once you have all of the ingredients, you can click the “Cook” button to begin preparing the dish.
The actual preparation of each dish is a set of timed steps, and depending on how well and quick you complete each step, you’ll receive a score of 1 to 100 points. The more points earned, the more experience points you receive, which will allow you to level-up. In addition, the cooked dish will also receive a separate amount of experience points and can also level-up. A higher level dish will earn more coins and experience points when served at Mama’s restaurant.
Speaking of, a line of hungry guests will appear at the top of the screen. Each of these guests has a craving for a specific dish, and placing this dish on your menu will earn you bonus experience. The menu can hold up to 3 dishes to start, and can expand up to 12 as you gain levels.
Cooking dishes is fun and all, you’ll only be able to serve these dishes for a certain amount of time. When completing dishes and placing them on the menu, you can only set them up to be served from 30 minutes to 24 hours. This element is similar to Restaurant City in that Mama’s restaurant will only be open for as long as you choose for it to be.
Goals are also a prominent feature, and are essentially a good way to tell what kind of dishes you should put on your menu (such as a series of breakfast items). Completing goals (as in any other game) will earn you coins and experience points.
While energy is part of Cooking Mama (one cooked dish = one energy point), you likely won’t even notice it exists, as it doesn’t have much effect on what you can or can’t do. Even if you happen to run out, you can easily head over to a friend’s restaurant (or even Mama’s) to refill.
Sure, Cooking Mama may have a lot going on, but everything is balanced and is never chaotic or overwhelming. High production values are also a part of what makes the game great and are not often seen this side of Zynga. What the developers seem to have done is taken the same great gameplay, made it even better and put it on Facebook.
If Cooking Mama on Facebook has proven anything, it’s that developers don’t have to dumb down their game to make it work. Not only is this a great version of the game, it’s the best version of the game found anywhere.