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Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! Review

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! is the fifth major release for the Cooking Mama series and the sequel to the Nintendo 3DS title Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic. The new release is an exciting title for fans of the series, and though it doesn’t make any major innovations for the franchise, it’s still a fun game that offers nearly 100 different game variants and plenty of unlockables that will have players enthralled for hours. The game aims to capture the attention of a casual audience, so the game isn’t all that difficult, but gamers that enjoy titles that allow them to lay back and immerse in the gameplay will find something to like about Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit!

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! is pretty bare bones when it comes to a narrative. Players access one of six game modes from the main menu and are treated to commentary from the game’s main chef after each session is completed. The game never really shows where the player is working, and the game doesn’t explain why certain chores need to be completed. The game is essentially a collection of mini-games not completely unlike other handheld titles such as the Wario Ware franchise. The main difference between the Cooking Mama series and similar titles in the genre have been the detailed cooking missions, and that doesn’t change in Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit!, though there are additional game modes that challenges players with objectives such as feeding fish or harvesting vegetables from the garden.

The first thing many players will want to do when starting up Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! for the first time is to visit Mama’s Gallery. Players can access all sorts of customization options for the game here. There are plenty of different apron patterns, napkins, cookware and other items to choose and customize in the gallery. Additionally, players can unlock additional items through playing and performing well when playing the actual game to further customize the player’s home and kitchen. There are a lot of choices for players to cycle through, and the unlockable items give players reasons to shoot for the best scores when cooking recipes or performing chores in the main game.

For the traditional Cooking Mama experience, players will head to the Let’s Cook mode and start creating recipes. Each recipe has a certain number of steps that must be performed in succession to create the perfect dish. Perform well, and the game will reward you with additional recipes and new items to use in the game. There are 60 different recipes included in Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit!, and the new recipes mean there are some pretty bizarre foods in the mix including grape bread and cracker sandwiches. The developer behind the game got pretty creative with some of the recipes, and players will definitely experiencing each new recipe for the first time in the new game.

One issue many players will have with the new game is the relative ease at which recipes are completed. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! is a game aimed for younger gamers and a casual experience. As such, the game never gets much more difficult than using the touch screen and Nintendo 3DS stylus to knead dough by swiping back and forth on the screen or rotating the stylus in a circle to stir a bowl of ingredients. The game typically gives players an abundance of time to complete the steps as well, so it’s very uncommon to fail at any one step. Luckily, it’s a bit of a challenge to perfect a recipe all of the way through the multiple step process, so players may need to play through any one of the game’s multiple recipes a number of times to get the perfect rating on each one.

There are five other ways to enjoy Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! in single player modes. Let’s Help Mama! has players performing odd jobs around the house, Let’s Help Harvest! sends players to the garden to work, and Let’s Help In the Shop! is similar but has players working in the shop serving ice cream and performing various job related activities. Let’s Study! is a bit different from the other modes and has players performing brain teasing puzzles such as spelling out words as named on the screen or performing math related tasks. Cooking Dojo is the final way to play, and the mode will have players racing against the clock to complete recipes in a random order of steps from how the dish is traditionally prepared. Each mode offers a fun way to play and has some nice prizes for players to shoot for as well.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! also supports multiplayer for up to four players in a single session. The Cooking Mama series is traditionally best played solo, but competing against other players via StreetPass is a good way for players to really test their cooking skills and receive a difficult challenge that some of the other game modes in the new title don’t offer.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! looks akin to the other games in the series. Cute chibi graphics and girly color palettes and designs litter the game. Players also know how well they performed cooking a recipe or performing a chore based on the sound bite heard at the end of the current objective. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! has some fun themes and sound effects in the game as well. The controls are very simple to pick up and understand with on-screen prompts for every action a player needs to do in order to perform well in the game.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! is a fun casual game that isn’t revolutionary for the series but still remains a great sequel that fans will want to pick up for Nintendo 3DS. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! includes enough mini-games and unlockables to give players hours of gameplay from the new title, and multiplayer adds a different challenge that gives the game even more replay value. Cooking up recipes and performing chores around the home and shop is a blast in Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! Players should look for Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! only on Nintendo 3DS today!

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! is now available exclusively for Nintendo 3DS and can be purchased for $29.99. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! is rated E by the ESRB for Alcohol Reference & Comic Mischief.

Game Features:
Online Multiplayer 1-4
6 Game Modes
60 New Recipes
30 Household Mini-Games
Tons of Unlockable Items

Game Information:
Developer: Cooking Mama Ltd.
Publisher: Majesco Entertainment
Available exclusively for Nintendo 3DS

Overall I give this a 7/10.

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