A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that as with its popular predecessor, Cooking Mama, Gardening Mama is a safe arcade-like simulation that doesn't contain any controversial content. This Nintendo DS game lets kids – an kids at heart – try their skill at gardening using the stylus pen.One mode does allow you to trade items with a friend using the Nintendo wireless connection.
What's it about?
If you've had your fill of flipping burgers, sautting vegetables, and frying eggs, trade your skillet for a gardening hoe in Majesco's GARDENING MAMA, a new Nintendo DS game that borrows from the frantic play from the original Cooking Mama but now lets you get your knees dirty, virtually speaking. As the name suggests, this family-friendly title places you in a garden and your task is to maintain the growth of flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
In the main mode you'll only be able to cultivate a few items at first but as your thumb gets greener you'll unlock many new kids of seeds. All the mini-games require a number of steps such as using your stylus pen on the touch screen to add fertilizer to the soil and mix it around, dig a hole and drop in a seed or bulb from your bag, water them, maybe spray pesticide, blow bugs off the plant (using the Nintendo DS's built-in microphone), and so on.
Is it any good?
If you find frantic games like Cooking Mama a fun and engaging time waster, then you'll probably like this $30 portable game, too. That said, it's more of the same -- just with gardening tasks as opposed to kitchen-centric ones -- but players should find this sequel nicely adds increasingly challenging steps, unlockable bonus items (ranging from garden gnomes to new outfits for Mama) and multiple game modes (including one that lets you trade items with a friend over a wireless connection).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not the Mama-style game-play should branch out into multiple themes or is Majesco watering down the brand with mediocre offshoots -- as PlayFirst did with its countless Diner Dash sequels? Did you learn anything about gardening by playing this game?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.