It's tough to hate on Cooking Mama. The cheery graphics and so-simple minigames make it ideal for casual gamers or anyone looking to kill a few minutes on a bus, but hang around long enough and the charm starts to wear thin. There may be more than 70 dishes to create, but after 15 minutes of cutting, stirring and blowing into the DS's microphone, we don't care how delicious octopus spaghetti might be.
The entire game revolves around preparing dishes. You start simple, with things like rice, then work up to elaborate combinations of meat, seasoning and anything else you want to toss on there. Preparation might be tapping the knife to cut a carrot, tracing arrows to mash bread around or obeying a series of rhythm-game-like commands to stew a pot of ingredients. Each step of creation is its own timed minigame, eventually giving you the finished product at the end.
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