Cooking Mama with added ingredientsThe success of the Cooking Mama series has inevitably encouraged a number of developers to dip their own ladles into the culinary-themed videogames gravy pot.
It’s no real surprise either that their platform of choice happens to be Wii, a console that’s Wii-mote lends itself very nicely to the motion of beating an egg, dicing an onion or peeling a potato.
Arguably, none to date have managed to do it as expertly as Cooking Mama, but the latest entry in the genre, Order Up! does manage to expand on the formula that was so cleverly imagined by the Cooking Mama developer. The resulting, and particularly tasty morsel, is a cooking simulation crammed full of personality and charm and one that offers much more in terms of game-play and fun than its rival.
In Order Up! there is a storyline, albeit a predictable one. You begin your culinary career on minimum wage working at the fast food restaurant, Burger Face, where you’re tasked with preparing food under the watchful eye of a spotty youth who trains you in the art of grilling burgers, chopping onions, slicing tomatoes and frying chips.
Using the Wii-mote you throw the burger on the grill, keeping an eye on the progress bar that indicates when to flip it over, and whilst it’s cooking, you chop an onion, toss the some chips into the fryer, shred lettuce, slice the tomatoes and then, once the greasy dish is ready, you ring the bell to summon the waiter who dashes off to serve your meaty treat to the ravenous and often very fussy customers.
Throughout the preparation of each dish, there are a series of timers and metres that you need to watch closely indicating. They also indicate when to add an ingredient or let you know if you’re about to overcook your food.
The initial stage acts as a tutorial, introducing you to the simple cooking skills that you’ll need to master with your Wii-mote. From this point forth though, it gets much tougher as you leave the burger restaurant behind for good and open up your own American Diner, where speed of service, multi-tasking and time management comes flooding into play.