Cooking Mama World: Hobbies & Fun by 505 Games on the Nintendo DS takes players on a journey of creativity. Over the years weâ€™ve seen the famous Cooking Mama creating delicious cuisine dishes and even trying her hand at gardening. The latest game gives players the opportunity to become very creative with the assistance of Mama.Â Players get involved with over 40 different activity projects and a compilation of 100 mini games. The game is set up in five different sections in which players will learn how to create, make and style a variety of different objects and jewellery. My review will guide you through some of the games and the entertainment that they provide.
In Letâ€™s Craft, players have the choice of a selection of objects to create. If youâ€™ve never played the Cooking Mama games before, donâ€™t worry as Mama doesnâ€™t throw players into the deep end. Simple instructions are supplied in the practice mode, where you can get to grips with some of the skills that are required of you. In the top screen, Mama will sit next to her timer as the countdown starts. Youâ€™re given a specific time for each craft and, depending on how talented you are, youâ€™ll be graded with a gold, silver or bronze award. There are simple to follow instructions informing players on how each project needs to be completed in the time period.
Iâ€™ve played most of the Cooking Mama games over the years on the handheld and I was quite surprised at how many games and projects there are in Cooking Mama World: Hobbies & Fun. Once you start on one of the projects, youâ€™ll soon find that it unlocks other crafts and mini games to enjoy. The game allows the player to be in control of what colour materials they use, to decorating jewellery with different coloured gems. The huge range of crafts to get involved with is massive, so you can create anything from a simple ceramic mug with your own choice of painted colours, to jazzing up a Xylophone. Each of the projects involve you cutting, sawing, sewing, gathering, and constructing an object.Â For instance, when making a plate I first had to take out the clay and knead it with my hands. The stretch it out, add some water and shape it into a plate. Again you can choose how you wish to paint it and then carry your finished plate to the kiln. All of this needs some skill, even getting the plate to the kiln in one piece without dropping it. Itâ€™s a bit of a balancing act as you carefully try and keep your hands still before firing it up in the kiln once youâ€™ve made some space.
Other projects such as making a pretty hair band involved collecting a series of beads as they fly out sideways of a paper bag. Using the stylus, you have to gather the right beads that show up in the square icon. Once youâ€™ve done that you can then attach the beads to the hair band. While most of the interactions involve players using the stylus to create crafts, there are some games where you will need to blow through the mic in order to cool something down or inflate something. Each project that you successfully complete will also unlock a small piece of a much bigger picture of Mama, her friends and pets. Once enough projects have been completed, the full picture will be unveiled. This picture can then be seen in the Mama Gallery. The Mama Gallery is a small virtual room which comprises of empty picture frames and you need to complete projects so those frames become filled with lovely photographs of Mama. There is a small degree of interaction here, where you can light the fire, turn on music, open drawers, and watch a teddy doing a small dance on the sofa. Itâ€™s all very cute and very pink, which would appeal to most little girls.
In Mystery Crafting, players will be given mystery projects to work on. Itâ€™s not until youâ€™re at the end of your crafting that you work out what it is. In woodwork you can construct such things as a bird house and a musical Xylophone with which you have to listen to the music to learn how to add the right musical bars to the instrument. In pottery you can try your hand at making a pink ceramic mug, which you have to paint and place the handles on, or sculpt some clay to create a ceramic plate. In sewing, players can have fun making pretty handkerchiefs, which use a needle or sewing machine, or filling and making a cushion. Each time you complete a craft, the game then unlocks different crafts within that section.
In craft collection, players will find the variety of objects and jewellery that they have created. This is also where youâ€™ll find the mini games, of which there are 100. The mini games include anything from spot the difference, where you have to spot differences in materials, to throwing a flower hair garland onto a little girlâ€™s head. In this section players can also dress up Mama using the selection of jewellery and clothes that theyâ€™ve unlocked.
Cooking Mama World: Hobbies & Fun can also be linked up with your friends as it has 4 player support on the Nintendo DS, enabling friends to join in the fun and participate in the huge number of mini games on offer. I personally think this is a great feature, as it enables friends to get together and have some fun. Up to four players, including yourself can play Crafting Party. Friends and family can join in, even if they donâ€™t own the Cooking Mama World: Hobbies & Fun game cart. Check out all the Cooking Mama games on their European website.
Cooking Mama World: Hobbies & Fun provides the ideal number of projects to get you into a creative mood. The bright and vibrant projects allow players to get absorbed in the imagination of crafting some lovely items, objects and jewellery in a clear and concise way. With all of the mini games and unlockable projects and items, I am a little hard pressed to write anything negative about this game. In general, the game will appeal to the younger generation of girls. I personally would have liked to have some cutscenes taking place or even enhancements in the multiplayer support, such as being able to exchange items and clothing with friends to allow extended gameplay. My overriding conclusion is that this is an ideal game for youngsters who want to learn and understand how things are made. It offers an excellent amount of interaction and never really falls short of entertainment on the Nintendo DS. This is a perfect compilation of creative crafts and mini games, and will keep the player entertained for ages.