Mama is cooking up some gaming goodness with World Kitchen exclusively for the Nintendo Wii. New recipes, updated graphics, and more kitchen shenanigans are brought to a boil in Majesco’s cooking simulation. It’s time to cook with Mama one more time.

Cooking Mama is working her way up the Nintendo ranks after debuting on the Nintendo DS and successful moving onto the Wii. Cooking Mama transforms the Wii Remote into a cooking utensil letting you mix it up in the kitchen while you enjoy Mama’s quirky charm. For those who haven’t taken on the duties as a head chef, Cooking Mama plays out like a bunch of mini-games as you add ingredients to each dish. Really the formula is casual Wii-gaming 101. From creating a pizza to a simple hamburger, Mama will have you twisting and turning your wrist as you virtual completes each instruction.

Cooking for "E"veryone
The gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, and takes a fun runs if you want to make everything on Mama’s list turn out perfect. Cooking Mama: World Kitchen is an excellent game for anyone who wants to learn more about cooking, or who enjoys being in the kitchen. It’s not all about food, well it is, but the games are about having fun, more then the products in place to get there. Even if you’re not interested in cooking up a feast you will likely find something to enjoy in Cooking Mama: World Kitchen. The best part of Mama’s teaching is that younger kids can get interested in what goes on in the kitchen. Maybe it can even translate into some help in the kitchen.

World Appetite
For those with a picky appetite, don’t fret. Cooking Mama: World Kitchen serves more than 50 recipes including pancakes, onion rings, ratatouille, and more. Every time you complete one recipe you will unlock a new one to try your hand at. It’s quite fun to sit down and run through a few each sitting. Cooking Mama is not the type of game that you’ll throw three hours into, it’s more the half-hour to one-hour type of deal. This casual approach is enough to keep gamers interested as Mama helps you whip up dishes from all around the world. Mama is always watching and will be grading your performances after you create each dish. We like it that Mama is a good spirited lady because half the time I though the dish would turn out horrible and she loved it. Ah, sweet ol' Mama, always gunning for her students.

Cooking Contest
Besides straight ahead cooking with Mama you can try out the "Let's Cook" mode which lets you share you meals with a finicky group of Mama's friends. Like Mama, her friends will also bestow judgment on the quality of your kitchen craftsmanship. If multiplayer is your thing you can even go head-to-head, or co-operatively compete in the kitchen in the mode labeled "Cooking Contest" Both modes extend the life of the game and can be fun to mess around with when friends come over. They might give you a strange look when they see Cooking Mama on your desk, but once Mama gets rolling, she can be quite persuasive.

Second Hand Cooking Utensil
Even though we’d like to think Mama was perfect, she is not. World Kitchen has its flaws that come under fault of the shoddy controls that can randomly become unresponsive. It’s really moment to moment in Mama which is a little disheartening. The game is built around waving around the Wii remote, so it’s a shame it wasn’t fool proofed before it went out the door. Owners of a Wii console have probably been around this block a time or two, so it’s not going to make you give up on the game. It’s a price that comes with the territory, and hopefully one that is fixed when Mama returns to the kitchen next year.

The Dog Ate My Hamburger
Cooking Mama also incorporates little animations act like quick time events. These events like the dog leaping high into the air trying to eat your food are rather silly and will have you performing certain Wii waggles to get out of these cooking mishaps. These events are comedic in their own unique way, although they pop up a little too much for my tastes. If you are laughing right along with Cooking Mama's little skits of oddness then you can replay them in the "Album" selection from the main menu. This will show you all the events that you have unlocked during your game.

The Menu is looking Good
Graphically Cooking Mama has been enhanced and looks great in all her 3D charm. In typical Wii values, Cooking Mama: World Kitchen lives up to the Wii’s delightful simplistic immersion. All the lines are kept sharp and thick continuing Majesco’s trademark look for Mama. The sound on the other hand is a mesh mash of effects mixed in with Mama’s Engrish translation. We love Mama, but couldn’t they find a better actress to complete the voice overs?

Ummm... Nestle Chocolate!
Translating from the game to a real world application Cooking Mama: World Kitchen gives you direct instructions how to create "Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies" and "Nestle Toll House Famous Fudge" on the last few pages of the game manual. Who would of thought? It's a nice little touch that can fill your belly with more than gaming goodness. Not to mention this helps nail home Cooking Mama's endorsement with Nestle. Hey we all have to make a buck somehow.

Cooking Mama: World Kitchen cooks up its best version yet with its second round at seasoning the Nintendo Wii. The game might be a little shallow and strange for some gamers; however anyone who has got down and floury with Mama in the past will enjoy her usually optimistic approach.  The controls could still use some time in the oven, although aside from the lack of precision and shallow gameplay, Cooking Mama is actually fun and worth checking out.

It’s not often that we would recommend a game that is a little short on ingredients, but Mama has her charm and Cooking Mama: World Kitchen is a fun game that can translate to gamers of all ages. Mama might not be the Rachael Ray of gaming, but she can still pull out the odd Martha.

Gameplay:6.5, Graphics:8, Sound:5, Innovation:6, Mojo:7  Final: 6.5 / 10

Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 12.16.08
  • Graphics are simple, but effective
  • Teaches you about preparing meals in the kitchen
  • Wonderful game for younger gamers
  • Mama warm quirkiness will put a smile on your face
  • Sound quality could be better
  • Controls could have been more precise
  • Not much depth


Cooking Mama
World Kitchen

Mama Ltd.

November '08