First available for and made popular by the Nintendo DS, Cooking Mama is now available for the iPhone/iPod touch. For those who are unfamiliar with Cooking Mama published by TAITO Corporation, it is an animated cooking simulation game played out through a series of mini games where recipes are followed to create various dishes like Pork Curry and Rice and Green Soybean Soup.
Having played both the DS version and now the iPhone one, I can say it is essentially the same game on both. Cooking Mama translates well to the iPhone, though I personally prefer the DS version for the use of the stylus over the touch interface of the iPhone. However, Cooking Mama on the iPhone takes advantage of touch, shake, and tilt, which does add some differences and makes certain tasks, such as melting butter in a pan, more realistic.
To give a brief overview of Cooking Mama, users choose from available recipes and follow a recipe step by step by executing certain cooking tasks such as chopping, slicing, stirring, and frying. Depending on how well you follow the recipe and execute the tasks, Mama, a friendly, anime-style gal in an apron and bandanna, will award you one of three medals — bronze, silver, or gold. If you are successful at each recipe, a new recipe will become unlocked.
The iPhone version of Cooking Mama features two modes of play — Let’s Cook and Cooking Contest. The former mode is the basic game of completing and unlocking recipes and the latter is a mode where you can practice individual cooking tasks previously completed in Let’s Cook mode and try to beat your best records.
While Cooking Mama for the iPhone achieves the same basic game play, displays the same cartoon graphics, and uses a touch interface similar to the DS, the iPhone version is much shorter. There are only 15 recipes available, which is far less than the original, but a few of them are new for iPhone. Perhaps a future update will install additional recipes, which would definitely enhance replay value.
I would recommend this app only if you’ve played Cooking Mama before, but don’t already own it for a different platform, or if you’ve never tried it and are looking for some good cooking mini-games. After all, it’s a pretty hefty price for such a short-lived game, but Cooking Mama is still a fair bit of fun.