Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

It’s slightly unnerving to wave a Nintendo DS around the fruit ‘n’ veg section in Tesco’s at ten o’clock at night.  Apart from sending out a public invitation for robbery, I was shopping for dinner, courtesy of Cooking Guide: Can’t Decide What To Eat? 

Determined to get you into the kitchen (and, in my case, away from KFC), Cooking Guide differs from similar sounding titles such as Cooking Mama, by actually teaching you how to cook.  It boasts almost 250 recipes from around the world, which can be divided into numerous categories such as difficulty and number of calories.  Once you select what recipe you want, a virtual chef will guide you through the individual cooking steps on screen and via microphone.  To ask for further details, or to hop to the next step, simply tap the screen or shout a voice command such as “Continue!”  Rather handy when you’re up to your elbows in maccheroni.  It even throws in a cooking timer and virtual shopping list – to be used at your peril, of course.

There are hiccups.  After a couple of attempts you may well find yourself turning off the microphone function, which often confuses the sizzle of a cooking pan with a voice command.  The pictures accompanying the steps can also occasionally be inaccurate, though the help videos are a wonderful touch.  Allowing you to adjust food portions is also a very useful addition, so singles to families can get in on the culinary action.  And not forgetting, each meal successfully completed is awarded with a stamp.  For what is a lifestyle game if you can’t get a stamp, right?

I’m not sure if Cooking Guide is enough to turn me into a culinary wizard, but like many games of this genre, it provides an encouraging push in the right direction.  And whilst the £29.99 RRP might put off many potential shoppers – after all, good ol’ fashioned cookery books can be purchased for a fraction of the price – the number of recipes, help videos and sheer novelty value will certainly be good enough for many.  Just think of it as an investment.  Or in my case, two and a half Domino’s pizzas.






14 responses to “Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire”

  1. Kirsten avatar

    This blog is making me hungry. I’m totally buying this as I’ve got really into cooking in the last year after decades of ready meals. Look how even our ‘Team Ready Up’ grid is! Great to have you xx

  2. Jamesbuc avatar

    Aggh! Im useless at cooking anything half-decent so I bought this only to fail anyway while making eggy bread 🙁 (Torriques? I forget the proper name). Bread kept disintergrating.

  3. Alex avatar

    I’m really tempted by this game. I’m a hopeless cook (Tried cooking sausages on the job the other night, an hour and a half later the outsides were black and the insides pink, d’oh) and i’d like to think, maybe, just maybe this would help me out!
    I’m living on takeaway and ready meals, it needs to stop! ;D

  4.  avatar

    I hope this game comes out stateside. Would be a real interesting game to get.

    I can cook, but I still need all the help I can get. I cooked corned beef hash patties for myself and they came out good though.

  5. arc14716 avatar

    Nice first article. Welcome to ready-up.

  6. Jake avatar

    Yeah, I have been inrigued by this one for a while. Haven’t purchased yet, but it’s been a “pick up and look at” game almost since it came out. I do think that, like Guitar Hero for the DS, they could release a novelty stylus in the shape of a wooden spoon,spatula, rolling pin, whisk or something other kitchen utensil.

  7. Michael avatar

    Tch, it’s macaroni!

    You people are hopeless.

  8. City avatar

    My friend sammie was actually trying to talk me into getting this AND a DS yesterday, I actually think its a really cool idea, and well if it converts people to cooking and ds’ing rather than take away and pure dakka (which is what gunnishment is called in my house, and theres also a drinking game of the same name too) then im all for it.

    I also played with a DS for the first time yesterday..
    I have to confess, i prefer my psp..

    (Also great to see you here at RU Kate.. yay!)

  9. Michael avatar

    Gunnishment? Dakka? What on earth are those?!

    Yeah, welcome Kate. I meant to say that earlier… no really. I was just shocked at the revelation of someone being unable to cook sausages. 😛

    I’ll probably still call you Jammy though. Except in my head it’ll go Jammyyyyyyyyy. Blaze.

    Streets of Rage, yes?

  10. Emily avatar

    I really don’t see the point in this game, or any cooking game that’s meant to show you how to make a meal.

    There are craploads of cookery books much cheaper than £30, or you could just find recipies on the internet. I really don’t know why anyone would buy this instead of a cheaper option. I’m sure it’ll raise interest, it just seems like a rip-off for what it is.

    Hello Kate! 🙂

  11. Laura avatar

    Hiya Kate, welcome to Ready Up!

    I wouldn’t buy this myself, but I think it’s cool, it’s gadgety and just shows how versatile the DS is. I bet we’ll be seeing the Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay versions hit the shelves by Crimbo.

  12. Martin avatar

    Welcome Kate, the ready-up family grows a bit more, interesting how a great many are referring to this as a game, is it? More a guide. But, Laura, looking forward to the Ramsay edition, “put the fu**in’ sausages in the fu**in’ pan!”

  13. Michael avatar

    I can picture lots of people going round the aisles, DS in one hand while trying to steer a trolley with the other, looking for ingredients…

    Haha, a Gordon Ramsay edition? Genius!

  14. Shaz avatar

    Think you should do some before and after pictures! Before being the DS recipe screenshot and after being your cooking being served! hehehehe!

    Any recipes you’ve tackled especially?

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