OWTK Gaming

Nintendo 3DS Game Review: Cooking Mama 4 Kitchen Magic

by Cooper McHatton

Intro/About: Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic, the newest outing of this popular series, does not disappoint the gamer looking to continue what they already love about the Cooking Mama franchise, and at the same time makes a great entry point for newcomers ready to try some virtual cooking.

Mama’s Minigames: In Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic, players follow recipes and directions that Mama gives them and perform tasks such as pounding dough, peeling chestnuts, and taking bubble scum out of cooking pots. Each is done with a series of swipes and taps from the stylus (with the occasional yell in to the microphone thrown in for good measure). Also, many of the minigames utilize the 3DS’s gyroscope to do familiar kitchen tasks such as mixing together ingredients and cracking eggs. Most everything is tracked well and works with ease, although certain repeated tasks become tedious.

Recipes Galore: There are 60 recipes in Cooking Mama 4, although the majority feature meat as a primary ingredient, meaning this game isn’t the best choice for vegetarian gamers like myself. Players cook and bake an array of foods from many different ethnic cultures; dishes like cupcakes, clam chowder, takoyaki (fried octopus), corn dogs, and pizza. And each recipe requires a certain number of tasks to be completed from the over 200 minigames.

Graphics and 3D: All in all, Cooking Mama 4 has really nice graphics. Everything is smooth and clear with hardly any pixelated edges. My only complaint is the lack of 3D used. Because all the action takes place on the bottom screen, the only things on the 3D top screen are generally just mama and your score. The minimal parts are handled well (Mama runs *toward* the player when they win a minigame), and while I realize this is a design choice of the game it still would have been nice for the 3D aspect to take more of a front seat in the gameplay.

Overall: Cooking Mama 4 has its charms, is presented well, and hosts a nice collection of minigames all set in a fun format.  Kitchen Magic does a good job in continuing this very successful franchise.  However, due to the similarities to previous Cooking Mama games the developers may want to think about changing it up next time out or longtime fans might start eating out more often, and cooking less with Mama.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Design: 6
Story: N/A
Gameplay: 7
Value: 7
Overall: 7

*OWTK received a copy of Cooking Mama 4 for 3DS for review consideration.  The opinions above are honest and unbiased.

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