Only 30 seconds left, but you still have 10 or more sweet rice balls to grill. One of the fires is too little, the other one is too big. Some of the rice balls are burning, but you are still not sure what level you should grill them to. Time is ticking again!! Hurry up! You really want to pass this minigame to move on and unlock more items. What should you do?
Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends is not only a simple, easy to grasp game that you will not want to give up until you unlock everything, but it is also a game that will motivate you to go into the mysterious kitchen and cook for all your families and friends. Being the second game in the series, it inherits all the original fun features from the first game, Cooking Mama, and adds in more minigames, new recipes, and a new multiplayer cook off mode to allow you to have a cooking contest with your friends. Despite the fact that it is popular for children and teenagers, it is also nominated for BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Children’s Kids Vote Award in video games, and awarded Best of 2007 by editors from 1UP.com.
Of course, your main job in Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends is to cook! You follow the instructions given on the top screen and use the touch screen you to do what you need to do. You might have to cut the vegetables, wash rice, slice the fish, set the oven and etc. Each instruction in a step in dish preparation, and it’s a minigame. The mechanics of these minigames range from simply drawing parallel lines to cut food or touch the screen quickly to chop food into small pieces to draw the direction of intended action to grill food on charcoal or blow into the microphone to make sure your food will not burn. The number of minigames you will need to complete is dependedent on the complexity of that recipe. As you work your way up to unlock a total of 80 recipes, the complexity of each recipe becomes harder and harder. You can also choose different outfits for “Mama”, change the design of your kitchen, or have a picture diary of the food you make.
This game starts off by letting you choose from four different game modes: Cook with Mama, Let’s cook, Cooking Contest (Solo Challenge) and Cooking Contest (Friends Challenge). Don’t worry if you have never cooked or tried to cook before. This game will give you the basic idea of how to.
Mama teaches you how to prepare dishes in Cook with Mama. Before you go into a minigame, there will be instructions on the touch screen telling you what to do next. When you are in the middle of a minigame, there will also be instructions on the screen for you to follow. Sometimes you will see arrows or dash lines, all you need to do is use your stylus to trace them. After a minigame, Mama will tell you how well you did. After you finish a dish, Mama will evaluate your learning process with a score out of 100, and give you a corresponding medal. Sometimes you will have bonus points. For every five bonus you earn in preparing a dish, you will have a chance to unlock an item. If you ever feel you need to go over a step again, you can hit “Practice” instead of “OK” when you are choosing what you want to make. Don’t worry, Mama will never yell at you when you mess up or burn down the kitchen!
Prepare dishes for Mama and her friends in Let’s cook! Mama will not tell you what to do; you have to figure it out yourself. Cooking in this mode is more close to reality. If you do not complete a minigame or make a major mistake, they will tell you “This can’t be eaten.” You will then have to start all over again. After successfully completing all the minigames to prepare your meal, your dish is tasted by whom you choose to cook for. By doing such a great job, you will either be awarded with a new friend, a new outfit/design, or a new recipe.
Watch yourself improve by doing a Cooking Contest-Solo Challenge. You compete against your personal best in this minigames. The mechanics of each minigame is the same as when you are preparing for food. Cracking eggs, peeling skins, pouring liquids and etc.
A great way to show off cooking skills with your friends without making a mess in the kitchen is Cooking Contest-Friends Challenge. You can connect with up to three other friends using a single copy of Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends. You compete against your friends in minigames similar to the Solo Challenge.
Besides the four exciting game modes, you can also change designs and write a cooking picture diary. Changes you can make in Change Design include Mama’s Outfit, Mama’s Accessory, Utensils, Kitchen and Top Screen. Each item can be unlocked by cooking for Mama and her friends. Mama’s Outfit is by far the funniest change to make. Just imagine your mom cooking with Japanese traditional clothing, kimono, Chinese traditional dress, cheongsam, gown, cheerleading outfit and etc…
Keep a picture diary of up to eight entries in Write in Diary. It will record what and when you cooked, and the rating. You can also add Seal to make each entry unique. The surprise gift boxes you earn from five bonus points can unlock seals.
Gameplay of Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends gets a little repetitive because it’s about cooking. However, surprising Mama outfits will keep you itching to move on. Mama voices are better than the previous game, and it is entertaining to imitate the voices. Graphic is still very good and cute, but when you complete a dish in Cook with Mama, the touch screen is overwhelmed with little flowers. One thing to notice is that when you have a chance to decorate your dish, the result shows on the touch screen is actually how you place each item. This game will keep you busy until the day you unlock every item in the game. The fun and cooking skills you can learn from this game is worth the price. Next time when you see your mom or dad is cooking, ask to help out! They will be amazed, and you can show off your cooking skills!