A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
MasterChef: Let's Cook! is a lighthearted simulation about a cooking competition on TV. It's positive because you're creating something -- which can be transferred to real-life skills -- and are encouraged to master technique, speed, and presentation along the way.
Positive Role Models
You create your own character from scratch -- by choosing gender, skin color, eyes, hair style/color, body type, and more -- but you don't have a personality or dialog in this game. Therefore, we assume the protagonist is a positive role model as he auditioned and competed in a television show about cooking and baking, but we really don't get to know who the hero/heroine is.
The game offers diverse representations in a couple of areas. One, is you get to customize your character at the start of the game by choosing male or female, skin and hair color/style, eye shape, body type, and more. Secondly, the judges of the game are well represented, including a heavy-set black male, an older woman (that's a senior citizen), and a Latino male, too.
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Ease of Play
MasterChef: Let's Cook! isn't difficult to learn, but there isn't a tutorial, so you will learn as you go, even with mistakes. The game developers could have done a better job with instructions. But it's fairly easy to pick up. You'll learn to cut food, spread out ingredients (like tomato sauce on dough or rice on sheets of seaweed), bake or boil, and add some extra visual flare before presenting the dish.
Products & Purchases
As with all Apple Arcade games, there are no in-game purchases and no ads. MasterChef is a real TV show that airs on FOX, and has the same logo as this Apple Arcade game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know MasterChef: Let's Cook! is a cooking simulation for Apple Arcade. It's based off of the popular television show, and casts players are contestants who engage in a cooking competition. Players can customize their avatar to look like you or someone else, offering choices in skin and hair color/style, eyes, body type, gender, and more. There isn't any inappropriate content in this game, and its suitable for players of all ages.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun -- an sometimes frantic -- cooking simulation that gets it mostly right. While not an original concept, MasterChef: Let's Cook! manages to make all the minigames that go into making a meal fun, as you must go through each step in the correct order to whip up your meal. Rolling the dough for pizza precedes spreading the sauce around (and hopefully making it even across the pie, before laying down veggies, meat and cheese, and such. And don't under- or over-cook the 'za, or else the judges will dock some marks for you. But speed does play a big role in this game, so the key is to try and not sacrifice quality (cooking or presentation) for timing. While it's a multiplayer game, it's not clear if you're playing at the same time or if your opponents have also cooked this exact recipe before and you're judged against their data when you're done. Regardless, the competitions are fun, fast-paced, and it's a good idea to award XP points to progress, unlock new utensils, recipes and outfits (including a zany carrot-themed apron), and move onto new challenges, collect trophies, and more.
There are a couple of issues, though, besides a game formula that has been done before. One is there isn't a tutorial, which is fine for some of the basic tasks, like being instructed to cut tomatoes by following the dotted lines, but the instructions (or lack thereof) make other tasks, like baking, a challenge. It will take some trial and error, and will likely cost you some stars until you figure it out (instead of a mandatory tutorial to teach you before you compete). Also, while there are many different competitions to take part in, you'll frequently get the same recipe request, which can become very boring to play though repeatedly. At least there are daily and weekly challenges and seasonal events, too. Overall, though, MasterChef: Let's Cook! is still a fun, casual cooking simulation that combines meal making with a TV show competition.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.