Cooking Mama 3: Shop and Chop

Having been out in the garden earlier this year, Mama returns to the kitchen for Cooking Mama 3: Shop and Chop. Mama makes the most of her domestic goddess status with 4 DS games in total, 2 Wii games and a family large enough to rival that of Brad and Angelina. She’s ready to bestow her skills upon you if you’re willing to learn!

Cooking Mama 3 is very similar in style to the previous DS games in the series with colourful simple graphics, a cheerful atmosphere and Mama’s terribly accented English. The format of the game is also very largely unchanged: cook a dish by playing through a series of mini games making full use of the stylus and the touch screen. The better you do in the mini games, the better your overall score. Screw up during any individual stage and Mama will step in with flaming eyes and clenched fists. “Don’t worry… Mama will fix it…”

The usual mini games are there from tracing lines across vegetables to slice them and swirling the stylus around a bowl to stir the contents. Cooking Mama 3 introduces a few variations to shake things up a bit, occasionally making you do your cuts or stirs in time with a guideline on screen. There are also a few new mini games, but unfortunately some of these are very frustrating to play.

One example is a mini game where you have to hang up various foodstuffs to dry out. You are shown an example of how the food should be hung up before the game starts. But until you’ve figured out the inexplicable trick to the game, your food will not hang properly. You will constantly knock over your vegetables as you try desperately to hang more to fit them in as in the example, leaving a pile of radishes on the floor and one angry Mama. Her eyes flamed at me so often that had she been real, I would have been crispier on the outside than her crab cream croquettes.

Apart from the usual ‘Cook with Mama’ mode, the game keeps other modes from previous installments. ‘Let’s Cook!’ launches you into the kitchen to cook for one of Mama’s family, running you through the mini games with no guide and no Mama to help you if you mess it up. ‘Cooking Challenge’ gives you a time limit to see how many eggs you can crack or potatoes you can peel. ‘Let’s Match!’ gives you the opportunity to combine ingredients to fine new recipes. All familiar territory which fits with the game well. After all, if something’s not broken, then don’t fix it.

The newest game mode is ‘Let’s Shop’ which explains the ‘shop’ in ‘Shop and Chop’. In this mode, you tap the screen to direct a character around a supermarket, trying to collect the ingredients Mama needs before time runs out. Easy enough, but the supermarket is a busy place and people will crash into you, initiating a mini game. You’ll help some clumsy idiot catch the shopping that has flown out of his basket, and you’ll chomp your way through free samples offered by an overenthusiastic sales assistant. It’s not as fun to play as the main game, but it’s nice to have a bit of variety.

Although the game is mainly the same as its predecessors, there are cute little updates here and there. Instead of a simple present once you’ve accumulated enough bonus points, you now get a little scratchcard to reveal your reward. There are new accessories available to make Mama look lovely or ridiculous depending on what authority issues you may have. You can also connect to Gardening Mama and use the vegetables you’ve grown for recipes in the kitchen, a novelty touch to an overall sweet little portable package.







One response to “Cooking Mama 3: Shop and Chop”

  1. Randall Tuffin avatar

    Some good ideas here. I am continuing to for supplemental data on gardening and would love any suggestions. Thanks a lot!

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