Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked

Game review by
Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media
Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked Game Poster Image
Cooking game teaches the basics of how to use a kitchen.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players learn to be competent cooks.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mory and Susie give you advice, tips, and encouragement as you cook and then taste and judge the results of your cooking.

Ease of Play

Shaking, swirling, stirring, and other motions used in cooking are simulated using the Wii remote and nunchuk.  Meters show you how well you are doing and tips and advice are given by the main characters.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

There are some references to the Food Network.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There is some alcohol reference in that some recipes use cooking wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that  Food Network: Cook or be Cooked is a cooking simulation game that shows players the basic movements of cooking. It gives players a good appreciation of how much work and multi-tasking is required to create a meal, and can be used as a starting point to get kids cooking and helping. Parents also need to know that this is a relatively short game and the 30+ recipes translate into about 12 meals because a dish like bacon and eggs count as two recipes.

User Reviews

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Kid, 9 years old March 27, 2010

I'm cooked

Cook or be cooked is fine. It is really hard to get a perfect score so it is not easy to play.

What's it about?

FOOD NETWORK: COOK OR BE COOKED is a cooking simulation game where players learn the basics of cooking. Players will move from simple breakfast dishes such as Over Easy Fried Eggs and Skillet Bacon to a full dinner meal such as Turkey Meatballs in a Marinara Sauce and Penne Pasta by selecting ingredients and playing mini-games simulating cooking motions. There are several game modes including Solo cooking, Hot Potato (where you pass the Wii remote & nunchuck to the next player, allowind up to 4 to play), and Cook-off (where two players compete for the most points).

Is it any good?

For the total beginner, Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked takes the player on a tour of the kitchen, from gathering ingredients to multi-tasking to prepare a dish like Pan Seared T-Bone Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Steamed Asparagus. Some recipes, such as Mashed Potatoes, need prep work to boil the potatoes before they can be mashed. Players must figure out how to cook multiple dishes at once so that they can all be served at the same time. In this simulation game, every action is done in real time.  The game does not allow the player to stop a process if they realize they started it too early.  It does however, allow speeding up a process -- such as shortening the baking time.

While the game does familiarize the total novice with a kitchen, including where food items are stored, including pantry, refrigerator, or freezer, it does not touch on dangers and safety procedures in the kitchen. It does however, give players a good feel of what it takes to put a meal of a meat and two sides on the table, and the recipes are real Food Network recipes and provided in the manual for players to duplicate in their own kitchens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about gender stereotypes. Why is it that so many women do the family's cooking? Why are so many celebrity chefs men?

  • Families can also talk about the difference between a simulation game and actual cooking. There are do-overs in a real kitchen and things you can do should you make a mistake in a recipe. Parents can also use the game as a starting point in teaching their kids to cook.

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: November 2, 2009
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: E for Alcohol Reference

For kids who love simulation games

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