Cooking Mama Cooks In Leaning PanSource: Rebecca Spear/iMore

Mama Kitchen: Kitchen! is the latest game to come to Apple Arcade, bringing cooking simulation fun to your iPhone or iPad. As with previous Nintendo DS titles, Mama is there to praise you and help you with her exaggerated facial expressions. While this new entry doesn’t do much to detract from the minigames of previous titles, it does provide some progression and a reason to come back every day. Also, cooking all those delicious dishes is extremely satisfying.

And don’t worry. For anyone wondering, Cook! It is a great improvement over Cookstar.

It’s no secret that the latest game, Cooking Mama: Cookstar, which was released in 2020, failed to impress people; it currently has a Metascore of just 46 and a Metacritic User Score of 6.7. In addition to the game’s low quality, Cookstar had licensing issues between the publisher and developer that led to it being removed from stores and the Nintendo eShop shortly after release. But luckily, Cooking Mama: Kitchen! It makes up for what the previous game lacked and doesn’t have any legal fuss sullying the Apple Arcade experience.

In many ways, Cooking Mama is the perfect Apple Arcade game due to the focus on touch controls. The first game released for the DS in 2006 and relied on players using a stylus to engage in mini-games like cutting potatoes and frying onions. On iPhone and iPad, I just use my finger to tap, swipe, or place items as per the instructions for each minigame. Most of the minigames are incredibly easy, making it a fun game for people of all ages and skill levels. I even had fun watching my favorite shows while playing this on my iPad as I didn’t need to pay much attention.

Another reason Cooking Mama works so well on Apple Arcade is that the game can easily be updated to include new recipes and ingredients. The list of ingredients available to you changes every day to keep the game fresh and interesting, so it will come in handy.

In previous Cooking Mama games, players were brought into the kitchen and then given a recipe to make. Kitchen! change this by trying to add a more realistic element with a touch of surprise. Just like when you come home for the day and look at the available foods in your pantry trying to figure out what you can do, cook! It gives you a limited number of ingredients and appliances to work with each day and then lets you choose which ones to use.

Cooking Mama Kitchen Kitchen Available Ingredients

Source: iMore

You won’t know what you’re cooking until you finish the recipe, which adds a fun layer of discovery. So you can keep trying different combinations of ingredients to try and unlock as many recipes as possible. As you cook, you unlock more daily ingredients and maybe even a new appliance, giving you more options to work with. It wasn’t always easy for me to remember which ingredient combinations I’d already used in a day, but the game makes even accidental replays worthwhile. For example, I ended up making donuts twice, but at the end of my second cooking session, Mom suggested we add chocolate, which unlocked a new recipe.

Unlike previous Cooking Mama games, Mama will never snap at you with those iconic burning eyes and tell you that you failed. I miss this because it was fun in its own way, but it makes the game more accessible. Mom is always happy at your job, even when you fail miserably. If she doesn’t get the desired three-star score, she can always go back to work on the recipe as long as the ingredients are available.

Cooking Mama Excited Kitchen Mama

Source: iMore

The game also rewards you for cooking dishes by unlocking new customizations for Mom or for the kitchen. I don’t know why dressing up as digital characters is so much fun, but I was all smiles every time I got Mom a new outfit or hairstyle. It kept me going, wanting to unlock more.

Really, the biggest downside to this game is that chopping up those satisfying veggies, stirring that pot, and making desserts made me hungry in real life. I had to consciously tell myself that there was no point in throwing a lavish midnight feast after playing this game for over an hour. But if you want to see amazing meals without the mess or hassle of the actual kitchen, you need to check out Kitchen! outside.

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Game on!

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Unlimited games, one price

Apple Arcade has over a hundred premium games with more being added regularly every week. There’s something here for everyone, and it’s only $5 a month for all you can play!

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