Cooking Mama is a slightly educational game where you prepare and cook various foods by following a recipe.
There were many different types of preparations skills, some include chopping, folding dumplings, baking, cutting tendon, frying, stewing, tearing, cutting, cracking and peeling an, peel an egg, tenderising meat, peeling, grating, shaping, etc.
The recipes ranged from easy to hard which include making grilled gyoza, beef steak, fried chicken, sandwich, boiled egg, pork cutlet, potato salad, spring roll, pizza, meat pie, etc.
In the main menu you have three game play modes:
Let's Cook: make food according to a recipe
Let's Combine: combine two recipes
Use skill: use your skills in preparation
When playing Let's Cook you are able to select the food you wish to make and can either practice making the food which allows you to try out the individual parts or make the food in which case you won't be able to retry a certain part if you fail it.
You are trying to prepare and cook the food correctly and as fast as possible. You are required to follow instructions and in most cases need to beat a timer. For each part in the preparation or cooking of the food you receive a rating - very good, good or failed. Once the meal is cooked you are shown your final score out of 100 and are awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal depending on your score. You sometimes unlock a new recipe when completing a meal.
On some meals you are able to place the toppings you desire on your meal, for example, pizza.
The Use Skill game play allows you to practice the skills you have learnt when making meals. There are several rounds of practicing the skill and after each round the timer or the ingredients to add increases.
One issue I have with this game is that when preparing a meal sometimes you didn't quite understand the instructions you were given. Maybe when practicing to make a meal you should have been given exact instructions on what to do.
Another issue that comes to mind is when some parts of making the meal didn't make sense. For example, when removing the pasta from the pot, if you caught all the pasta but not the water then you would not receive the "Very Good" rating. Another example is when tossing the spaghetti; you need to constantly toss the spaghetti up and down to receive the "Very Good" rating.
A point to add is when failing a part of the cooking process it's sort of over exaggerated. You'll see from the picture that if you fail, cooking mama's eyes are burning, kind of like your effort was such a failure that it hurts to look at it.
The game is intended to those whom are interested in cooking and learning different meals but it may also be suitable for those whom enjoy simple activities. It seems to have a "WarioWare: Touched" kind of game play to it as in each part to making the meal is short and like an activity.