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"Wonderful! Better than Mama!"—Mama
Cooking Mama is a game series by Majesco on Nintendo's systems in which you are a cook in the titular Mama's kitchen. She teaches you how to prepare a variety of dishes step by step, from preparing the raw meat, chopping vegetables, stirring, baking, frying, you name it. Each step takes the form of a mini-game. Your score for how well you complete each task, with bonus points if you do it before the time runs out. And at the end you see just how lovely your dish came out.
Depending on the system it's on, it makes very good use of the DS's touch screen or Wii Remote controls.
There are several games in this series:
- Cooking Mama (DS) -- First game in the series. Allowed players to unlock more recipes by combining dishes already created.
- Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Wii) -- First Wii entry. Introduced Mama's friends from around the world, along with a selection of international dishes.
- Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends (DS) -- With new recipes came an Iron Chef-style mode where you had to prepare a dish minus instructions and offer it to Mama or one of her friends for tasting.
- World Kitchen (Wii) -- Now with 3D graphics and more of the tried-and-true content from previous games, including 2-player co-op.
- Gardening Mama (DS) -- Cooking Mama WITH POTTING SOIL!
- Cooking Mama 3: Shop & Chop (DS) -- More of the same as Dinner with Friends, except with different recipes and a new "shop for food" mode which puts you in the most malevolent grocery store ever.
- Crafting Mama (DS) -- Cooking Mama WITH CRAFTING!
- Babysitting Mama (Wii) -- Cooking Mama WITH BABIES! Why Babysitting Mama? Because Mama Mama is a dumb name for a game. And Baby Mama would be awkward.
- Camping Mama (DS) -- Cooking Mama WITH CAMPING!
- Cooking Mama 4 (3DS) -- Cooking Mama IN 3D!
Apart from all that, it appears that Taiwanese arcade games maker Universal Space has obtained the rights to create a Cooking Mama arcade game to market only in the southeastern region of Asia. There is also Cooking Mama: Friends' Café (currently in beta) on Facebook, good for pestering your friends and Bribing Your Way to Victory.
This game provides examples of:
- Artistic License: This'll teach you how to cook the same way Guitar Hero or Rock Band will teach you how to play guitar -- which is to say it won't. At all.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Cook Off; more gold medals = more fancy cookware to display in your kitchen.
- Cooking Duel
- Fireball Eyeballs
- Food Porn: What did you expect from a cooking title?
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In World Kitchen, you can point and click on Mama in the main menu. She reacts depending on where you click on her (face = sneeze; legs = bow; chest = spinning around with stars in her eyes).
- Gratuitous English: This is the only language Mama speaks.
Mama: WONDAFUHL! EVEN BETTA ZAN MAMA!
- Holiday Mode: Cooking Mama 3 features Christmas mode during December.
- Hollywood Cuisine
- Housewife: Also falls under the Feminine Women Can Cook umbrella.
- Kawaisa: The game is loaded with cuteness.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The various chefs that appear in later iterations of the series.
- Mini Game: Every cooking step is a minigame.
- The Moral Substitute: P.E.T.A. has on their website a game called Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, which shows a very angry and violent Mama preparing a Thanksgiving feast in the most gory cartoon fashion possible. In the end, she performs a "face turn" and turns to making a tofu turkey feast instead.
- Subsequently, Majesco issued a Take That and exploited the frenetic attention that PETA was gaining with such gore both in a single message.
- No Cartoon Fish: Averted, since most of the ingredients are depicted very realistically compared to Mama herself.
- No Damage Run: Required. Make one mistake in any step and you fail automatically. It appears that World Kitchen has done away with this.
- The Noseless
- Rank Inflation: You get a gold, silver, or bronze medal depending on your score.
- Sugar Bowl: Appropriately enough.
- Supreme Chef: The goal is of course to be "Better than Mama!"
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Babysitting Mama lets you babysit a baby. You can shake the baby and essentially make their lives miserable, at the price of it crying.
- Widget Series: Boy, is it ever!
- Wingding Eyes