CES 07: Cooking Mama: Cook Off Hands-On

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! We check out this cooking game for the Nintendo Wii.

LAS VEGAS--Cut the tomatoes, grate the cheese, mix the dough, slice the bacon...geez when did manual labor become the basis of a video game? One answer might be the Cooking Mama series, which began on the Nintendo DS and is now continuing on the DS' big brother, the Wii. Cooking delicious meals may be a lot of work, but based on the time we spent with the game today at the Majesco booth here at the Consumer Electronics Show, it proves to be a lot of fun.

Even if you've never played Cooking Mama before, you probably won't be surprised, based on the title alone, to hear that it's a cooking game. It's a game that challenges you to create as many sumptuous meals as you can by using various ingredients while being presided over by the "tough love" of Mama. Yes, Mama wants you to succeed in your culinary efforts, but she's not afraid to get tough on you if you don't bring your "A game" to the kitchen.

The game is based closely on the handheld version and separates itself from the unique control capabilities granted by the Wii Remote. Based on our time with the game, it seems like practically anything you do in the kitchen can be pulled off by putting the Wii Remote to use.

Preparing meals in Cooking Mama is simple: you follow the step-by-step instructions as they come on screen, combining and manipulating ingredients until your meal is prepared. The faster and more accurately you prepare the ingredients, the higher the score you will earn in the process. The game will feature a truly international lineup of recipes to try, which are all organized by country of origin. So you'll have a chance to whip up some Italian minestrone soup or try your hand at the delicate art of sushi preparation.

The variety of things you can do when preparing your recipes is huge--everything from stirring the soup and adjusting the heat on the burner, to ensuring your soup is just the right temperature at all times. You'll slice and grind meat (which, in this case, gives you a stomach-turning chance to check out the very realistic-looking food models in the game), smash tomatoes, crack eggs, clean and prepare fish, flip burgers on your frying pan, peel carrots and potatoes, combine spices, and knead dough, along with much more--all using Wii Remote motions that feel just like (or close to) the real thing. While each step in the process is timed, you won't be in a hurry at all times. At certain points, a meter will scroll along the bottom of the screen to indicate the precise durations for such things as heating and stirring.

To combine ingredients in the mixing bowl, you'll play a little minigame where you have to guess the next ingredient in the mix. A small window in the upper left-hand corner of the screen will feature the next ingredient hidden behind slowly disappearing squares that will eventually reveal the ingredient. The faster you can identify the next ingredient, the closer you'll be to getting your recipe finished. After each step, you'll be receiving feedback from Mama, be it good, decent, or "not your best effort."

Beyond the standard cooking mode, Cook Off will also feature a career mode of sorts, which is known as international friends mode. Here, you'll take on a number of your cosmopolitan friends in their recipes of choice. For example, taking on your Spanish friend, will challenge you to make paella or tortillas; while going up against your Brit buddy will be a battle of fish and chips. By beating your friends, you'll gain new items for your kitchen, such as better accessories for cooking. There's also a two-player multiplayer mode, where you and a friend will battle it out using the same recipe.

With more than 300 food ingredients, 55 recipes to choose from, and excellent, varied controls using the Wii Remote, Cooking Mama: Cook Off looks like it will be compelling game for the Wii that the whole family can enjoy. It's just too bad you can't eat the delicious meals you create in the game. Stay tuned for more information on this game in the weeks leading up to its release later this year.

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Discussion

54 comments
anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

lol this game is fun on the ds- hopefully its faithfully tranlated

Slappywhite2001
Slappywhite2001

This game looks like wicked fun. Can't wait to play.

Cubb7
Cubb7

Where the crap did this happen? I was at the CES and I hardly saw ANYTHING about games. :cry:

captin-jack
captin-jack

Liked the cookie mama game for the ds, used the ds's tech extremely well, cant wait for the wii verson.

GamerGirlPwnz
GamerGirlPwnz

Looks and sounds good. Can't wait to stir up the cooking pan with the Wiimote :D

StarFoxCOM
StarFoxCOM

This will be the next bully. I could only imgine Jack Thompson protestiing cooking mama

sleepontheroad
sleepontheroad

the ds version was ok, but there was too much stopping and starting between actions and stages. Sure, at the beginning it was important, but it just becomes really irritating after you've got all the basics down. It still looks fun, but i think it still has those annoying stop/starts between the stages. UGH.

Linko-san
Linko-san

Looks pretty good to me, the idea only with the Wii mote is a killer to al kind of games in this genre

AFWorm
AFWorm

Pretty engenious. So unlikely that games like this would be successful.

Staryoshi87
Staryoshi87

Not sure if I should pick up the DS version first or wait on this one...hmm. I'm definetly gettin' it though

bowserrox
bowserrox

yeah it seems boring... my sis plays the ds 1 and all the time i hear the same annoying "classical" music coming from her ds. that got REALLY repetitive

speedracer216
speedracer216

if this is anything like the DS game, it DOES get boring fast because even though you cook 55 different meals... it's just the same chopping and stirring motion over and over and over. anyone remember that cooking game demo on playstation back in the day? never came to the states, but you had to cook for customers to keep them happy, count your money, pour beer, chase robbers out of your restaurant, etc. all with the analog sticks. it was awesome. this seems like a pale copy (so does that internet game where you are a waitress).

datniccah187
datniccah187

This is the only thing i'll remember about the CES show. COOKING MAMA!!!

LoWpS
LoWpS

ive got mixed feelings for this one... looks like itll be tons of fun... but then again it also looks like it mite get boring pretty quick

jerm1403
jerm1403

looks like a pretty interesting game Im writing this comment from my wii :)

Supperdude9
Supperdude9

"Haha, as my mum always says: Oh you want the new Nintedo Wii... But can it cook and wash clothes ?" Now that is a win for gamers.

FortuneC00kie
FortuneC00kie

I'm totally ready for this game. I've had it reserved for a while now. Also looking foward to a Phoenix Wright adaptation.

MrPuzzlez
MrPuzzlez

Hmmm, I wonder if you can fry some of that good ol' yard bird?

snemand68
snemand68

Haha, as my mum always says: Oh you want the new Nintedo Wii... But can it cook and wash clothes ? Lol dude.. IT CAN.. PS. I got the last Wii in Belgium.. :D

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

Mums/chefs/dads play this game....hardcore gamers disappear...*urge to kill rising*

Shadow_wand
Shadow_wand

55 isn't very good... I own the original DS - and even their 76 isn't much once you get into the game. It sounds like it'll take full control of the remotes capabilities - Hopefully they've worked out the glitches from the DS version

teknicz
teknicz

55 recipes isn't enough.

juanfraino
juanfraino

Does anyone know If you can make PIE?!?!?!

NathanHawkins
NathanHawkins

This game truly seems to take advantage of the Wii remote. The video accompanying this article is impressive. Can't wait to try this one.

ChitoKiryoku
ChitoKiryoku

Maybe I should buy this game just to get my mom to play video games ^^

ignoman
ignoman

Sounds interesting, perhaps... I probably won't even consider trying it until its in the bargain bin.

sleepy357
sleepy357

My girlfriend enjoys the DS virsion. I've played it too. You can get addicted to it for a while.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

While probably implemented better than the DS version (shaking the Wiimote like a stirfry pan, twirling it like a whisk, chopping with it, etc. -- lots of potential in it), I don't think I really need more than one Cooking Mama game. But oh Mama... so hot...

McMurmur
McMurmur

The implementation of the Wiimote is exactly what I imagined and then some. The level of control and the tasks to undertake are impressive. Totally one to look forward to.

Biendeo
Biendeo

This game is going to be great. I'm asking can you make chicken.

DiscoBurn
DiscoBurn

This is easily the most rediculas idea ever. And I love it. I probably wont get this game because Im super short on cash, but it looks like it could be surprisingly fun. Ive never played the DS version to know what its like but Ive heard pretty good things.

mdagli1
mdagli1

I think this is an interesting idea. I have a disability that has compromised my independent skills. This might be a useful education, practical, FUN tool... Question: how realistic is it for real life implementations?

5Bata
5Bata

can you get e coli if you don't cook at the right temp., because i hate getting sick off bad food.

Re_ensurer
Re_ensurer

I don't like Cooking Mama all that much. The DS version was fun, but not fun enough for me to want to go and get another one.

BounceDK
BounceDK

I hope you do more than just cooking, like running a shop or something... If not, then this is just another crappy game trying to score some cash.

urbanlegend13
urbanlegend13

Really funny... I'm hoping to see a great game, probably better than the DS version. lol :P

Rokin1
Rokin1

This looks hilarious

The_Fat_Zebra
The_Fat_Zebra

Just go to the shop, buy real food and cook that. It's the same thing, but you learn how to cook for real and you get to eat it.