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  ‘Cooking Mama’ [DS]  
Posted 2006-09-24 by Tony Walsh
‘Cooking Mama’ [DS]
Although I bought a Nintendo DS Lite for myself, it turns out that my wife's enjoying it a lot more. She was hooked on Nintendogs for a couple of months, and came home the other day with Cooking Mama. Clearly aimed at casual gamers, Cooking Mama involves making up to 76 unique dishes using over 200 mini-games as a metaphor for chopping, mixing, stirring, etc. The game is very cute, extremely easy to learn, and could almost be an example of productive play. While you won't pick up any actually useful recipes by playing Cooking Mama, you will learn generally how certain dishes are made, and what general ingredients are involved. If only real recipes were included, Cooking Mama could have climbed from casual game to interactive cooking show. This one's got appeal for non-gamers, casual gamers, and those who enjoy novel methods of interaction. But for advanced gamers (or those looking for functional fun), you won't get much out of the game.

Sidenote: My Italian side takes great offense to Cooking Mama telling me spaghetti sauce is made with "ketchup." Fortunately, my Irish side doesn't know a thing about Italian food.
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