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Cooking Mama 3

por Chris Lawlor (2019-12-21)

1 week agoid="cnetReview" section="rvwBody" data-component="indepthReview"> The Cooking Mama games were a bit of a surprise. Who'da thunk a cutesy, cartoony series of games about making crullers and tea would prove so addicting? Unlike many other cooking games on the market, Cooking Mama 3 doesn't offer real recipes or teach you to cook them, but there is a lot, after all, to be said for fun for its own sake.

Like its predecessors, Cooking Mama 3's core gameplay is simple: complete the steps of the recipe as quickly and neatly as you can; though this latest incarnation adds a few more cooking steps all round. Your score is calculated at the end based on how well you performed each of the steps. They're mostly pretty easy — stirring, chopping, weighing — but some of the tasks are a little more difficult, particularly when the instructions aren't adequately explained. For instance, we watched the timer ticking down in a state of frustration while poking at an unresponsive screen, unaware that the blue wind icon on meant we had to blow into the microphone to 'cool' the food.

Once you figure it out, though — and the repertoire of steps is not enormous, repeating in different orders across multiple recipes — you'll be able to get the scores pretty much down pat, the only hindrance to perfect 100 scores every time being the occasionally obstreperous touch controls, and the 'Practice' mode within the Cook With Mama mode allows you to sneak-preview the steps in any order before taking on the actual recipe. Not, we should add, 특별한 아이|자폐|장애|자폐 아이|장애 아이|ADHA|엄마|거북맘|토끼맘|힘내맘 that that's necessary — you're not penalised for stuffing up a recipe, and you can retry it as many times as you want, so in the end the 'Practice' mode seems like an odd inclusion. Especially when you consider that, for the first time in the franchise, Cooking Mama 3 does allow you to bounce back from your mistakes by cleaning up the mess and moving on.

First prize at the cooking fair
The warm glow of a job well done isn't the only reward for performing well. The better you make the dishes, the more unlockable content you'll have access to, and there is rather a lot of it. You can unlock new outfits and accessories in which to dress Mama in the Let's Get Fancy mode, kitchen decor and tools with which to gussy up your cooking space in the Change Design mode, and stickers with which to decorate the happy snaps of your culinary masterpieces in the Write in Diary mode.

In addition, you can also unlock new 'friends' in the Practice-free Let's Cook mode, wherein you'll put your skills to the test by cooking and serving up your dishes to a bunch of virtual characters; if they like your food, they'll recommend you to their (virtual) friends, who will then appear also clamouring for a feed. But they'll give you content too, so they're not complete freeloaders.

All in all, there's really not much difference between the first four modes. The gameplay is just packaged slightly differently, and that's okay: the first is straight-up cooking, the second is cooking for mates, the third is throwing ingredients together to see what you come up with, and the fourth is the cooking contest, with either single player or multiplayer. If you're going to get sick of the gameplay, an extra mode or two isn't going to make much difference; and if you're not, well, the extra modes are welcome.

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