If my cooking skills in real life were on par with what they are in Cooking Mama Let’s Cook!, I should be running my own Michelin Star restaurant in rather than lazily laying on my couch playing a cooking game designed for little kids who like stars, sparkles, and the color pink.
Needless to say, due to it’s very nature, Cooking Mama Let’s Cook is an easy game.
The franchise has been around for some time, with the original debuting on the Nindendo DS in 2006. Since then there have been numerous iterations of the game, and with the exception of spin-offs, they all revolve around the central task of cooking.
Because the game was conceived for the DS, it involves lots of gameplay that is stylus-friendly. This translates well to mobile devices, as (most of us) have ten styluses on-hand at any given time.
See what I did there? On-hand. It’s funny because: fingers.
Cooking Mama Let’s Cook is no different. Whether I was flipping a burger patty or putting the frosting on a cupcake, the procedure was as easy as mashing my finger to the screen and moving it in a predetermined direction, as indicated by the arrows.
Sure there is timing involved, but the window for success is a generous one. You’ll have to try to not succeed, to not succeed, basically. At harder difficulty settings these windows shrink down a bit, but they’re still a long-shot from anything difficult.
With that said, some of the cooking procedures were a little confusing to comprehend. For example, when it came time to slice my potatoes into fries, the potato slicer was plopped down in front of me and I was shown an arrow within a double-sided arrow. “What in the name of Gordon Ramsey does this mean?” I found myself wondering. Finally, I figured out that you have to wiggle the machine up-and-down enough times for the double-sided arrow to turn green, and then you slide it down, as indicated by the inner arrow.
The potato slicer incident only stumped me for three turns. It was, by far, the hardest part of the game.
All of the other cooking tasks I encountered were easy to comprehend, and worked just as the arrows indicated they would. No problems there.
Cooking Mama Let’s Cook is free, but the base version only comes with a few recipes that players can make. If you don’t understand how arrows work, you could spend about an hour playing through the free recipes, everyone else will be able to complete all the free content in around twenty minutes.
There are additional recipe packs that you can buy; each pack contains seven new recipes for $3.99, and there are five packs in total. So you can spend $20 on thirty-five recipes, if you so desire. The recipe count can be increased a bit more due to the fact that you can combine some recipes together —for example, you can combine the steak and french fry recipe that comes in the free content to make a steak dinner. However, these combinations don’t bring anything new to the table (pun intended); you’re simply making the two original recipes in one cooking session.
Cooking Mama Let’s Cook continues the tradition of being a gesture-based cooking simulator. It’s very cute and adorable, but also very easy. The game is clearly designed for little kids who have a budding interest in what goes on in the kitchen, and for that audience, it’s pretty much ideal.