I purchased the Nintendo DS version of Cooking Mama in hopes my 4 year old wannabe Rachel Ray would entertain herself for at least 30 minutes. Instead of hammering in my fridge or breaking eggs in her miniature fantasy kitchen she could crack a few with the DS wand right? Wrong. Either her age or impatient temperament was a factor in their disagreement. Instead of freeing up some of my MUCH needed and desired relaxation time, I listened to cries and whines about how "Mama can’t do it…" or "I can’t do this!"
Needless to say, I dove into the game myself. The basic concept for the DS is clear: pick out a recipe and make it. No real story line here, just you and Mama dealing out a feast for the imaginary tasters.
Compared to the Wii version, the DS version is much lighter and made for ‘quick play’. If you only have a few minutes to yourself and want some entertainment, a Cooking Mama recipe can be completed in less than 10 minutes. Also, if you are looking to immerse yourself for an hour in the depths of cooking off-the-wall cuisine, you can. The game’s graphics aren’t much to brag about, but honestly if you are playing a DS game anyways you aren’t worried about extreme video quality. Another slight downside to the game is that it can be a little difficult. Some of the steps in a recipe aren’t really demonstrated very clearly and it can take multiple tries to make Mama happy. The Cooking Mama character doesn’t speak very often, but when she scolds or praises you it is very humorous. Her sayings have transcended into our household’s real world cooking slang.
Overall, this game is worth buying for adults and kids. The amount of playing time you get out of the game is worth the price. It could have some value for children school age or older, but any younger and they may not be able to keep up with Mama.
Game: Cooking Mama
System: Nintendo DS