Parents' Guide to

Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic

By Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Feels more like a game than a cooking sim, with nice menu.

Game Nintendo 3DS 2011
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Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic doesn't do much to improve the series or even build upon its previous successful entries. It's still fun to rapidly chop veggies or delicately pour out pasta water without dumping your spaghetti in the sink, but a lot of the new dishes here seem to contain steps that are pure video game, bearing no resemblance to real cooking. For instance, you might need to catch falling food in a basket or tap fast-moving dishes as they pass by on conveyor belts. It's simply not as novel or interesting as, say, wrapping rice in a banana leaf.

Also, the 3D capabilities of the 3DS are squandered. Every so often, something will fly around on the upper 3D screen, supposedly to distract you -- but you're focused only on the touchscreen while playing, so you barely notice the rare 3D effect. For newcomers, this addition to the series is fine. But veterans may not be impressed.

Game Details

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