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Video Game / Cooking Mama

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"Wonderful! Better than Mama!"

Cooking Mama is a game series by Office Create on Nintendo's systems in which you are a cook in the titular Mama's kitchen. She teaches you how to prepare a variety of dishes step by step, from preparing the raw meat, chopping vegetables, stirring, baking, frying, you name it. Each step takes the form of a mini-game. Your score for how well you complete each task, with bonus points if you do it before the time runs out. And at the end you see just how lovely your dish came out.

Depending on the system it's on, it makes very good use of the DS's touch screen or Wii Remote controls.

There are several games in this series:

  1. Cooking Mama (DS) — First game in the series. Allowed players to unlock more recipes by combining dishes already created.
  2. Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Wii) — First Wii entry. Introduced Mama's friends from around the world, along with a selection of international dishes.
  3. Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends (DS) — With new recipes came an Iron Chef-style mode where you had to prepare a dish minus instructions and offer it to Mama or one of her friends for tasting.
  4. Cooking Mama: World Kitchen (Wii) — Now with 3D graphics and more of the tried-and-true content from previous games, including 2-player co-op.
  5. Gardening Mama (DS) — Cooking Mama WITH POTTING SOIL!
  6. Cooking Mama 3: Shop & Chop (DS) — More of the same as Dinner with Friends, except with different recipes and a new "shop for food" mode which puts you in the most malevolent grocery store ever.
  7. Crafting Mama (DS) — Cooking Mama WITH CRAFTING!
  8. Babysitting Mama (Wii) — Cooking Mama WITH BABIES! The game also came with a stuffed baby toy peripheral.
  9. Camping Mama: Outdoor Adventures (DS) — Cooking Mama WITH CAMPING!
  10. Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic (3DS) — Cooking Mama IN 3D!
  11. Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends (3DS) — Cooking Mama WITH POTTING SOIL AND CUTE ANIMALS!
  12. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! (3DS) — Cooking Mama IN 3D AGAIN!
  13. Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop (3DS) — Cooking Mama FOCUSED ON DESSERTS!
  14. Cooking Mama: Let's Cook (mobile) — Cooking Mama ON MOBILE!
  15. Cooking Mama: Cookstar (Switch) — Cooking Mama WITH A VEGETARIAN OPTION!
  16. Cooking Mama: Cuisine (Apple Arcade) — Cooking Mama FOR APPLE ARCADE!

Apart from all that, it appears that Taiwanese arcade games maker Universal Space has obtained the rights to create a Cooking Mama arcade game to market only in the southeastern region of Asia. There is also Cooking Mama: Friends' Café on Facebook, good for pestering your friends and Bribing Your Way to Victory. There are also the app games "Cooking Mama Let's Cook" and "Cooking Mama: Let's Cook Puzzle".

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Given the art style, she doesn't look old enough to have two children.
  • Artistic License: This'll teach you how to cook the same way Guitar Hero or Rock Band will teach you how to play guitar — which is to say it won't. At all. Despite this, one person has tried to cook using the recipes and apparently it is technically possible to cook edible food using the game as a basis. Averted somewhat in "Cooking Mama: Let's Cook", as in the Mama's Theatre section, does contain actual videos of recipes being cooked, provided by the Macaroni YouTube channel.
  • Big Eater: This is Papa's (Mama's husband) main characteristic.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Cook Off; more gold medals = more fancy cookware to display in your kitchen.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first game is, thus far, the only title which allows you to choose to alter the dish when you're partway into making it. They're listed in the menu separately once you have opted to make the switch at least once. The timer is also much less forgiving in the first game compared to all its sequels.
  • Easily Impressed: In some recipes, you are tasked with either adding toppings on the dish, or drawing something with a condiment like a ketchup bottle. Doing nothing will result in the fiery eyeballs, but doing something as small as putting a single topping or a single drop of ketchup, not even ON the dish, but on the plate will result in a perfect score.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Mama's kids are named Ringo and Ichigo, after the Japanese words for apple and strawberry.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Mama gets these whenever you make a mistake. Averted in some games where she will instead be sad/disappointed upon failing.
    "Don't worry! Mama will fix it!"
  • Food Porn: What did you expect from a cooking title?
  • Gratuitous English: This is the only language Mama speaks in the North American version:
  • Holiday Mode: Cooking Mama 3 features a Christmas mode when played during December.