“Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends,” a cooking simulation game originally made for the Nintendo DS, gives a quick food-making experience that could end in such happiness and reward, or could end in major disaster. With its anime-like and simple yet colorful graphics, “Cooking Mama 2” is appealing to both children and young adults.
To play, you simply work by using the stylus from the DS to cut, roll, crack, bang, slap, chop and squeeze various ingredients for Mama’s recipes. There are dozens of recipes to cook and some are very easy to make, though others could be more difficult.
Other than chopping and preparing ingredients, the gaming experience also takes players to the actual cooking action, where one would have to watch vegetables in a pan in case they burn, or set the oven properly so the pie too doesn’t burn.
Throughout the game, Mama and her friends grade the food prepared by a player, and if a player does well, they are rewarded with adorable outfits and accessories for Mama, kitchen furnishings and decorations, new recipes to make and even new friends to prepare food for.
If these gameplay elements weren’t enough, “Cooking Mama 2” also has a solid learning curve. If a player is bad at specific food preparations such as cracking an egg, cutting the right length of pasta, spilling food out properly into a strainer or has trouble squeezing the right amount of dough, the game provides a section where a player would be able to practice all of these techniques before cooking the actual recipes.
And since this game is cute and provides cooking fun, many young girls may enjoy it, as it almost gives the real-life cooking experience. Even the recipes seem correct, but the timing of preparation is way off.
In most cases, the game could also be rather annoying if a player is bad at timing which is also taken into consideration in most food preparation stages. Working with the stylus in some of the game’s preparation techniques also tends to be difficult. Sometimes the funniest moments of the game are when one fails to prepare something properly and random things would happen. Mama also praises a player’s hard work in every stage of recipe making, and one would easily get annoyed hearing her voice so many times throughout the game.
However, “Cooking Mama 2” is hours of fun and takes practice to really enjoy most of the game.
Nevertheless, it is entertaining, easy to learn and almost gives a player a real-life cooking experience.